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Old 25-07-2011, 15:26   #1
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What the . . . ?

Have a little fun, CFers . . . from today's 'Lectronic Latitude comes this interesting challenge:

Can You Explain This Photo?

July 25, 2011 – Somewhere Out There




This is not your typical sailboat, but its cargo is even more unusual than its mainsail. © 2011 Lynn Ringseis

* * *

For the full story, go to:

Can You Explain This Photo?

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Old 25-07-2011, 15:40   #2
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Re: What the . . . ?

I'm guessing it's some form of fishing, not that they have much waterline if they catch anything. Sort of like the way they sailed to the grand banks and then put out in the dories. Must be something light though. Sponges? Pearls?
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Old 25-07-2011, 15:41   #3
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Is it a pump out boat? I can't open the link. Great idea better then the port jeff pump out boat that has 250hp merc. No explanation why a pump out boat had a monster engine. Sails on a pump out boat is great.
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Old 25-07-2011, 16:02   #4
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Re: What the . . . ?

I believe those are fisherman being transported via the mother ship to the reef off of Belize. They launch the dinghies in the early morning, fish all day, and then return to the mother ship in the evening. After eating their evening meal from a common rice and fish pot they string out the dinghys behind the mother ship and each person sleeps in their own dinghy.
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Old 25-07-2011, 16:04   #5
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Re: What the . . . ?

Definitely strange... I think I count 7 heads aboard, but 4 dinghies and something blue on the port side (which might be another dinghy? stack of dinghies?) Then there are the unexplained buckets o' somethin'. The mother ship and sail remind me of old pictures from the Bahamas, especially that skipjack-like bow, except the 'sprit may not be a sprit.

I think I'll go out on a limb and say the crew are engaged in reef work, probably in a conservation role. I don't think it can be skin diving work because the dinghies are not the right style for a good dive platform.
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Old 27-07-2011, 14:58   #6
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And the Winner Is . . .

From today's 'Lectronic Latitude comes word that the results of their little contest are in . . . they actually received a correct answer within minutes from a reader who happens to be located where the shot was taken: Belize.

* * *

"And the Winner is . . .

"July 27, 2011 – Latitude 38 World Headquarters

"On Monday we challenged readers to explain the photo below: 1) Why do these sailors have so many dinghies piled on their decks? 2) Where are they? 3) What is their profession? The first correct answer came in just a few minutes after we posted the story.



"Some thought these were dinghy theives, others thought they were shuttling dinghies for a junior program.
© 2011 Lynn Ringseis

"As Cliff Wilson explained, the little boats are seen aboard their mother ship, and are used to go fishing for fish, conch or lobster. 'Each cayuga (not 'dinghy') is operated by one fisherman who ties it to his waist while fishing. They get dropped off in the morning, then picked up in the afternoon.' But wait a minute . . ."

* * *

To read the entire results article, especially the incorrect (but brilliantly observed) guesses, go to:

And the Winner is . . .

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Old 27-07-2011, 15:21   #7
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Re: What the . . . ?

We have sailed in Belize several times and we see these boats at the islands at the edge of the barrier reef. They are fishermen who spend their days on these boats to return to the rain forest after they fish all day and then sell their fish to the sailors in the boats and the fishmongers in the village. We have seen as many as 10 people aboard these small boats. They bring fish to the boats and sell it for a very low price. You do have to be wary though because they are notorious for selling lobster to the "non-locals" when it is out of season and I have even been told that they work with the local authorities who will then issue you a ticket and you have to pay large fines for possessing out of season lobster.
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