Sailor, photographer and author Carleton Mitchell died at his home in Key Biscayne, Fla. on July 16, 2007. He was 96.
A self-taught photographer, Mitchell used a camera to illustrate his magazine stories, many of which ran in National Geographic, Sports Illustrated and Yachting. During World War II he served in the Navy as a combat photographer and after the war sailed widely in the Caribbean. He documented his passages in his book Islands to Windward (1948). In 1950 he published Yachtsman’s Camera and in 1953, Passage East.
As a sailor Mitchell was best known for his three Newport Bermuda Race victories,1956, 1958, and 1960 aboard Finisterre, his 38-foot Sparkman & Stephens designed yawl. Finisterre was so well designed that it set the standard for offshore cruising yachts of the time. In his 2006 chronicle of the Bermuda Race, A Berth to Bermuda, John Rousmaniere said, “His innovation, with the assistance of yacht designers, was to be able to make a wide boat competitive in racing as well as roomy for cruising.”
Mitchell donated his manuscripts, logs, and more than 20,000 images to the Mystic Seaport where they are archived in the Carleton Mitchell Collection