DAY SAIL TO CAT ISLAND, JULY 27, 1902
In this self portrait Vail (left) is holding a string that is attached to the shutter in his camera that is mounted on his wooden tri-pod. One of his friends (with back to camera) also has a camera mounted on a trip-pod, and is taking his self-portrait while photographing Vail making a his self-portrait. It's worth noting that they all reported for work the next day with painful sunburns- they hadn't anticipated the harsh reflection of the sun off the calm waters while becalmed waiting for a favorable wind to take them home.
Willis Vail's entry in his daily journal of his sail out to Cat Island with three co-workers in the summer of 1902. The 'company sailboat' is a 16" gaff rigged cat boat for recreational day sailing. Cat Island is about 8 miles south of Gulfport harbor, and is still a favored destination by local day sailors even today.