Is is fitting that I captured images of the late Steve Jobs yacht Venus with my iPhone? Yes. Would he have been amused that posting them to Instagram later that day would cause an international stir? I am thinking not.
I took a vacation last week, sailing around the British Virgin Islands with my family and a few friends on a small rental sailboat from a great outfit called the Moorings in Tortola. On our last night out at sea, we anchored in the Norman Island Bight, famous as an ancient hideaway for pirates and rum runners. Captain Kidd hung out there, or so they say at the pub onshore.
In any case, I was snorkeling and enjoying the trade winds on our last day out when this extraordinary mega yacht anchored at the mouth of the harbor. It looked like something suitable for a villain in a Bond movie. Not really even like a ship — boxy, clear, highly structured. From a distance it appeared that the bow was square, like the whole thing was a floating Bauhaus inspired cube. More like something you would see in the Malibu hills than on the ocean. More like an Apple store.
When we got closer, we saw the huge bow deck littered with teak furniture and red cushions. The illusion of a box from afar was created by a polished chrome bowline that reflected the water. The whole boat was like a mirror, mirroring images that passed (like our tiny sailboat that looked positively trailer trash in comparison). The stern was open like a tin can, with a ziggurat of steps cascading down to the water. We circled peeking into what was clearly an exercise room with a huge shiny X that reminded me of the Mondrian Hotel in LA. Several crew members were in there, polishing the chrome, scrubbing the deck and rearranging the bicycle collection. There were paddle boards, a small umbrella, room for the launch which appeared to be elsewhere.
I posted these photos to Instagram right after I saw the ship. I could not resist, even though I try to keep my photo stream focused on fun things to do here in Woods Hole. Little did I imagine that these images would go viral the next day. First on Gizmodo, then Business Insider, Time Magazine, Cult of Mac, you name it.
So what does Steve Jobs’ mega yacht have to do with the Woods Hole Inn? Challenging question. I am a big fan of the iPhone, especially for photos, and I teach a seminar called “ten tips for great photos with your smart phone” with a session coming up next week. Not nothing, but not likely to get me the TED talk that might earn me an invite on this ship. Of course, there is always Captain Kidd. He hid out around here too, in amazing harbors like Tarpaulin Cove and Quicks Hole — equally beautiful places in summertime. (There is even a Captain Kidd restaurant right here in Woods Hole!) And we share the beautiful Atlantic waters as Cape Cod is the last stop on the East Coast for the Gulf Stream.
OK, maybe you are right — the connections between the Woods Hole Inn and Steve Jobs’ mega yacht Venus are tenuous at best. I doubt publishing these photos will help get me my dream invite on board, but I’ll keep you posted. I can only imagine the stir true inside shots might make. All rights reserved.