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Posts Tagged ‘boats’

IN THE FIELD: It’s all About Boats

August 9, 2013 34 comments

lr_dhphotosite_Lobsterboat_2

Whenever I see boats in the water, I have this insatiable longing to be around them.

I’m pretty sure this passion for boats began when I was eight years old. That summer, my mother bought me a wooden toy sailboat made by Star Yachts in Birkenhead England. I would tie the end of a spool of kite string to the bow, take it to the ocean’s edge and let it sail into the waves towards some far away land across the sea.

When the boat was well on its way across the Atlantic and I only had a few feet of string left on the spool, I would give a tug on the string and turn the boat towards me. After it made it’s way back to the shallows I would turn it out to sea and repeat the process again. And again…all day long. The little yellow sailboat brought me many hours of joy.

A few years later I progressed to other things that float such as canoes and kayaks. And I even learned how to sail a big person’s sailboat.

I love boats of any size, shape, or construction, but my true passion is wooden boats. In fact, owning a wooden boat has been a dream of mine for many years. So I built one. Well…actually two…although, they are on a much smaller scale than full size.

This is a 1/12 scale model of a typical Maine Lobster Boat. I built everything you see in the photo. The dock, buoys, skiff, lobster traps, and the lobster boat itself, are all made of wood. The vessel is radio controlled and I can pretend I am at the helm and control speed, direction, and various lighting systems I installed.

Even though I built this boat several years ago, she looks as good now as she did when I first launched her. And whenever I need a boating fix, all I have to do is look up to the shelf above me, and there in her cradle sits the Maiden Marie.

We may live a few hours from the sea, but my pride and joy, the Maiden Marie, will take me in my dreams anywhere I want to venture. I suppose I’m still a little boy at heart.

IN THE FIELD: Have A Great Weekend!

September 7, 2012 33 comments

Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing

— absolutely nothing —

half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.

-Kenneth Grahame -Wind in The Willows

Sailboat with a full spinnaker photographed on the Chesapeake Bay, Maryland

IN THE FIELD: Oh, to Be A Kid Again

August 31, 2012 18 comments

Back in the day I took a boat trip down the Intercoastal Waterway from Maryland to Florida. This photo was taken when we were in the Albemarle Sound, North Carolina. It is the largest freshwater sound in North America, roughly 50 – 60 miles across.

I was head cook on this voyage, and normally when I was down below preparing meals, the guys went easy on me. After all, it was up to me to feed them. On this particular afternoon lunch detail, something was a little different. Judging by the sounds of the engines and the pounding of the boat on the waves, I knew we were moving along at a good clip. Ripping across large bodies of water like this at full throttle can make food prep a challenge.

I heard conversations from up on deck which explained a few things.

“Dad, can we head over this way?” “How about over here?” “Can I turn the boat real hard and make it lean?”

“Ok Son, just go easy. Uncle David is down below trying to make us lunch.”

I came up from my station below decks with a pot of steaming shrimp we had bought fresh a few hours before. And there was my eight year old nephew at the helm, kneeling on the seat with the biggest grin I have ever seen on his face.

In fact, we got some pretty amazing looks and smiles from other boaters as the young boater zoomed past them…at a safe distance of course.

Well, that novice boater who had the smile from ear to ear while running the boat has grown up to be a fine young man. He is getting married in a few weeks and he still gets that big Cheshire grin whenever we bring up stories of boating and running at full throttle.

IN THE FIELD: Dream Big

August 22, 2012 22 comments

I have been around boats of all sizes and modes of power most of my life. Storage and/or a place to moor a boat have always been my challenge in ownership. So, in order to satisfy the need to have a vessel to take out on the water, we settled for a 14 foot canoe. It has served us well over the years and brought plenty of enjoyment paddling and fishing the local lakes and waterways.

My ultimate boat to own would be a 21 foot wooden gaff rigged sloop. Or a 34 foot lobster boat style picnic boat. Come to think of it, any boat would do. Even something like the ship pictured here. She is just slightly larger than my ultimate dream boat, but she would do in a pinch.

If you’re gonna dream, dream big!

She is the CVN 72 USS Abraham Lincoln. I photographed her while she was in the Newport News Shipbuilding Yard in Newport News, Virgina.

IN THE FIELD: Sailing School

July 18, 2012 26 comments

Some of our favorite places to visit in Maine are the small quiet harbors away from the tourist areas.

One of our recent stops was a place named Sorrento Harbor. It is a small cove where both working boats and pleasure boats share the same anchorage. We arrived at the waters edge in late afternoon, just as the sun was beginning to cast a golden glow.

I was taking some shots of the boats in the water when a small school bus pulled into the parking lot. A dozen children and two adults got off the bus and walked out to the end of the floating dock which is just out of view in this photo. They paired up and got into several dinghies and rowed out to small sailboats moored throughout the cove. We heard the adults give some instructions to the children and they began to navigate their vessels around the obstacle course of the anchored boats.

Apparently this was the last class of the school day for these kids. How cool is that!

 

IN THE FIELD: Out To Sea

June 27, 2012 22 comments

A number of years ago I was invited to take a trip down the Intercoastal Waterway (ICW), located on the eastern coast of the United States. The Intercoastal is comprised of waterways including rivers, bays and sounds that are inter-connected with locks and canals, and in some locations the open ocean.

My wife’s brother had been a sailor for years and he always wanted to make this voyage. Since he was moving to the Gulf Coast of Florida, this was the perfect time to cast off the dock lines and shove off. And I got to be first mate, cook, assistant navigator, and deck hand.

We met many interesting people along the way who were all heading south for various reasons. A number of folks were sailing the ICW and retiring to points south, and others were making the trip just because they could.

Some individuals were in sailboats or small powerboats and others were in mega-sized yachts. Our boat was 33 feet long which was adequate for the trip. Although, we felt rather puny compared to the military vessels, freighters, and cruise ships we passed by.

We ate and slept onboard, except for one night when we found a marina that served family style meals. We met up with a lot of the boaters we had been seeing along the way, and hung out together for hours telling stories about experiences and sights of our adventure.

The journey started in the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland, and 11 days and close to 1200 nautical miles later, we pulled up to the dock in Florida.

This is an ocean going tugboat I photographed in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay, which is really like a small ocean. I was especially drawn to the the colorful paint on the boat with the background of blue sky and water.