If there is one word that could describe why we take to the water in boats, perhaps it is “escape.” We use our boats to escape from the rigors of the workaday world; we use them to escape the bounds of familiar surroundings; we use them to escape from the ordinary patterns of our lives. They transport us away from things and to things. Sometimes the two intersect. It’s not necessary to travel far to accomplish a successful escape. An afternoon on the bay can do the job. But where in the world would we go to really get away from it all? Where would we go to fully unwind and recharge surrounded by natural beauty and the restorative power of the sea and shore? We asked yachting photographer Onne van der Wal to send us his favorite images of the ultimate tropical waterborne escapes. Maybe his images will inspire you to plan a trip, or maybe you’ll just sit back and enjoy the views from his lens and dream.
Onne van der Wal got his start in marine photography nearly 30 years ago as a member of the Dutch Whitbread Round the World Race team sailing aboard Conny van Rietschoten’s famous entry, Flyer. The experience led to a long, successful career shooting marine themes. Today, he is one of the most admired and prolific photographers in the nautical world. He is one of only 42 sponsored Canon “Explorers of Light.” His work is published in sailing and travel magazines worldwide. His gallery and portfolio can be viewed at vanderwal.com.