Monday, June 28, 2010

Picture of the Week, 6/28/10

Picture of the Week, 6/28/10: Seeing how this week we have our first named tropical storm, Alex, I thought I would mark the occasion by posting an image shot during Hurricane Hugo. For those who may not remember the specifics, Hugo reached category 5 status in September of 1989 and struck various Caribbean islands and eventually made it's way into South Carolina leaving in its wake a massive path of destruction.

I happened to be on my father's sports fishing boat in St. Thomas of the U.S. Virgin Islands when Hugo formed. Along with the boat's captain and the two fishing mates the four of us decided to confront the storm off Virgin Gorda in the BVI. It was a crap shoot deciding where to actually go and fortunately for us we made the right decision. Other boats decided the would stay in St. Thomas or go east to the island of Culebra or even Puerto Rico.

In Virgin Gorda we found a small bay lined with mangroves where we threw out all the anchors we had and tied all the ropes we could to the mangroves. At about 4 a.m. we were hit with winds of 110 mph that continued for a very long 8 hours. We could see boats around us loosing anchorage and being rag-dolled by the fierce winds; some did not make it. Fortunately for us the mangroves held our lines tight and help ease the strain on the anchors. We suffered some minor damage but nothing compared to the fate of so many others. Those that stayed in St. Thomas or ventured east took the brunt of the category 4 and 5 winds; the destruction was devastating.

I took this photograph at about 6 a.m. during the worst of the storm. I was able to walk out on the cockpit of the boat and snap several images with an amphibious Nikonis camera. Once back in the salon of the boat I removed the film from the camera and placed in a waterproof bag in case we sunk; the one thing I did not want to loose was that film!

So now we are back in hurricane season and while I don't wish one to hit anywhere near populated areas if one does and it finds me in the vicinity I'll be sure to have a camera ready--and some waterproof bags!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Picture of the Week, 6/22/10

6/22/10: (Because of recent trips to the Bahamas and South Carolina Picture of the Week has been on hold . . . we now resume.)

Great Isaac is a tiny rock island in the Bahamas with a lighthouse and a few abandoned buildings. The closest inhabited island to Great Isaac is Bimini, which lies 22 miles to the south. Flocks of terns and sea gulls, besides small reptiles, are the only living species on the island. The surrounding waters are beautiful and full of fish, perfect for diving and spear fishing.

In between diving I took a swim to the island and scrambled up the sea urchin filled rocks along the shore and to the top of the island where the lighthouse sat. There I came across a small abandoned warehouse and framed an image with my camera looking out a doorway. At the moment I was prepared to snap the shutter a tern came flying right towards the opened doorway; apparently this building was its home.

We both surprised each other but somehow I managed to press the shutter release and keep the camera framed and in-focus. It was an image that was not planned but simply by being prepared and having tons of luck on my side I captured a rather fleeting moment to the say the least!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Picture of the Week, 6/7/10

6/7/10: A quick summation of this week's Picture of the Week. I'll be joining these boys in the Bahamas for the rest of the week and there's a good chance that by the time you read this I've already dove in and I'm hunting for lobsters!

I am going to try my best to keep posting PoW over the next couple of months but I can't promise. Summer is here and I've got me a new pair of 'traveling shoes' to wear-in. Any one tired of all the BS the world keeps throwing at us is welcome to join me. Just look for the ball headed Cuban chewing on some tender lobster and drinking another cold one-- viva 'Cuba-Libre'! (w/ lime of course.)