Here’s my entry for Nancy Merrill’s Photo A Week Challenge “Look Up”
As we prepare for the Spring sailing season, I’ve had some time to look through some older images. This one is from October 2016 when my husband and I made a weekend cruise aboard our Catalina 22, Seanachai. Part of the passage took us through Wappoo Creek and I experienced the opening of the Burnet R. Maybank drawbridge from a new perspective. We posted a YouTube video of the first leg of the trip, including the opening of the bridge.
Burnet R. Maybank bascule bridge opens for boat traffic. 35mm, f6.3, 1/250
At it’s center, the bridge has a clearance of 33 feet. The masthead to the waterline of our boat is just over 29 feet. Technically, we could motor under the bridge, and we did–about three months later–as captured in the photo below. The captain’s steady hand guided us under the center of the bridge, while I looked up.
Masthead clearance less than 3 feet under a closed Brunet R. Maybank bascule bridge! 55mm, f 6.3, 1/1000
“Lady in the Lake” by Mark Cline 35mm f 5.6 1/250
When you embark on a 5-night, 6-day sailing adventure along the Gulf Coast of Florida, you expect to see the sugar sand beaches and blue green water of the Gulf of Mexico. What you don’t expect to find is the likeness of a 108-foot woman skinny dipping in a marina. She’s my entry for Cee’s Odd Ball Challenge this week.
In 2012, George Barber, billionaire art patron and owner of the marina, commissioned Mark Cline, a self-taught sculptor, to design this unusual floating lady. Already well known for the whimsical creations formed in his Enchanted Castle Studios, the Virginia artist built the fiberglass sculpture, inserted giant styrofoam blocks inside her head and knees and gently splashed her in a pond at the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum in Birmingham, AL. Later, she was trucked down the the Alabama gulf coast and placed in the corner of the Barber Marina, where she could greet all the visiting crews. Mark Cline christened her “Country Girl Skinny Dipping,” but locals call her “Lady in the Lake.”
My husband and I had a chance to see her when we took our Catalina 22 “Seanachai” on the 20th Annual C-22 Northern Gulf Coast Cruise (NGCC). A YouTube video series highlights our adventures, this episode includes our visit to Barber Marina.
Seanachai “The Storyteller” at Barber Marina, Elberta AL May 10, 2017
Mallard Drake on Marina Dock f/6.3 1/500, ISO 250, 35mm
After a spring daysail aboard Seanachai, we came upon this mallard drake standing at the edge of the marina dock. Camera at the ready, I took a few steps toward him. Truthfully, I expected he would fly away at any moment. Instead, I was able to get close enough to cast a shadow over him, which toned down the highlights from the setting sun, and revealed the detail in his feathers. For several minutes he stood his ground, looked me right in the lens, and commenced to recite some sort of duck manifesto while I happily snapped this image–my entry for Cee’s Fun Foto Challege: Duck Duck Goose.
close enough to cast a shadow!
Summertime temps this year have been hovering in the mid- 90s, which makes for an uncomfortable time aboard Seanachai. One day, we’ll sail with a proper bimini top, until then, we’ve adopted an idea from The $tingy Sailor for a “poor man’s bimini”.
The boom tent is easy to install and stows away compactly in the cabin. We’ve motored with the boom tent installed, but mostly we use it when we’re at the dock. It makes the cockpit about 10-15 degrees cooler–just what the captain ordered to make the sundowners more enjoyable!
Here’s a video I made detailing how it works.
NOAA R/V Joe Ferguson f/6.3 1/1000s, ISO 280, 55-200@200mm
September is a month of anniversaries for me in many ways, and in a solemn way, for the United States.
Aboard Seanachai for our wedding anniversary cruise, my husband and I made a two-day trip along the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) from Charleston, SC to the Limehouse Bridge on John’s Island.
I photographed lots of watercraft along the way, but this image of the Research Vessel Joe Ferguson is particularly significant. She was apparently having some maintenance completed at Ross Marine boatyard on John’s Island when I snapped this picture. Not the best photo technically, but the story makes it special.
According to the website, the vessel was obtained by Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary in July 2008. She provides a platform for research, rescue, training and educational operations for researchers connected with NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries.
The boat is named for Joe Ferguson, who was the former director of the National Geographic Society Education and Outreach Program. Ferguson was killed on September 11, 2001 when the plane carrying him was hijacked and flown into the Pentagon. He was traveling with National Geographic Society staffer Anne Judge, and three teacher-student pairs on an educational trip to the Channel Islands of California. The team was planning to participate in a Sustainable Seas Expedition. The teacher-student pairs were: teacher James Debeuneure and student Rodney Dickens; teacher Sarah Clark and student Asia Cottom, teacher Hilda Taylor and student Bernard Brown. All of the star students were 11-year old sixth graders.
That I would learn about these outstanding people and their work within days of the anniversary of their deaths makes this September profoundly memorable.
Through the Rigging f7.1, ISO 100, 1/400s, 35mm
The San Francisco, CA firm Donald MacDonald Architects, was charged with creating a design for a new bridge across the Cooper River near Charleston, SC. The goal, they said, was to create a timeless landmark that pays homage to the historic city and compliments the harbor and waterfront park. Across the landscape, the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge “evokes a sail motif over the river.” It opened to the public in July 2005.
A sailboat framed through the rigging of our C-22 Seanachai, with the landmark bridge behind emphasizes the architect’s theme and is my entry for this week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge: Frame
Aboard Seanachai on August 22, we were on the Cooper River, passing under the Ravenel Bridge around 5 PM. Suddenly, we saw this small airplane making several close passes around the bridge and later, over Drum Island. At first I thought it must be a photographer, but it seemed incredible that the pilot would be making so many passes. We watched the plane, a Thrush S2R-T34, make big swooping curves around the iconic bridge, then drop down for a low pass over the trees. It was not until we were home again and some investigation revealed that the plane was likely spraying for mosquitos in the city and the island. (The photos clearly show the sprayer attachment.) Local news reports from a previous treatment noted drivers on the bridge were terrified at the sight of the plane. According to other reports, the low flying airplanes deliver specially modified chemicals to eliminate mosquitoes in areas of stagnate water. Although it’s the first time I saw it, this kind of delivery system has been used in this area for at least six years. This fighter plane was merely turning around over the river so as to continue making passes across the land–doing battle with the mosquitoes!
This area under construction. Looking forward to posting photos and videos of adventures aboard Seanachai, our 1986 Catalina 22.