Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Nautical Art - part 1

I am a sailor. Having been born on the biggest island of the U.S. eastern seaboard seems to have deposited a certain amount of 'salt' in my blood. While I have lived in the dry areas of Texas, Colorado, & Arizona there was always an underlying call to the water. To quote a favorite character, "There is nothing, absolutely nothing half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats." And that is the point of focus with the visual journey forthcoming - a passion for all things nautical.

"The Adventuress" above, is image #1 in this series. It was nothing short of delightful to cross paths with the 136 foot, gaff rigged, schooner Adventuress as she ghosted across Haro Straits between the western shores of Canada & the U.S.A. Built in 1913, and recently restored, she is listed as a National Historic Landmark (see link below).

The photograph above; "Trawler", image #2, has been in my collection many years. Taken in 1999, on a foggy day, during a late September cruise through British Columbia's Desolation Sound, it has ghosted back & forth through both my basement darkroom and my digital darkroom. I was never satisfied with the results, until recently that is. This, the final edition of the rendering process of this photo, has finally captured the image my eye 'saw' on the misty day of the photograph. This may be the longest period of time I have had an image on the drafting table. And in the end - I really enjoy the results. See link below for Desolation Sound.

Image #3 entitled "Pilothouse" is a photographed created in 2001. Anchored in a cove off the norwest shore of Matia Island in the Pacific NW San Juan Islands this home-built, wooden classic caught my eye as the afternoon summer sun settled over Sucia Island (in the background). It's one of those shots I wish I knew who the owner is so I could give him or her a copy. See link below for Matia Island State Park.

There are times when the world is yours...
When a single breath fills your existence. A time when the whisper of wavelets curling on a clean, gravel shoal is your sound track. I love those moments and so does the subject on this beach on the west side of Clark Island in the San Juan Island group. Photo #4, above, is titled "Beach Time".

Photograph #5 is titled after the name of the sailing vessel, "Grace". Owned and piloted by my dear friend Marjean, the SV Grace is a 1965 Islander seen here motorsailing her way across the Strait of Georgia north of Nanamio B.C. I recall that when this photo came out of the can I danced around delighted in how that magical light had been captured on film. Now having undergone scanning and a very light rendering there is an even greater feel of the mysteries of crossing a large body of water on a small boat.

"Into the Mists" above, rendered photograph #6 is another of those rare shots that happen if you are in the right place at the right time and ready to engage a camera. This vessel was crossing my path as I solo sailed across the sometimes notorious Strait of Juan de Fuca. As we came close to crossing the skipper of this boat turned parallel to my course and soon vanished into the mists. With nearly 20 miles of open water in front of us not to mention a busy shipping traffic lane, I wondered if he was lost, or disoriented. Not once did I hear a fog horn from this vessel.

A visual break from the vessels, this landscape, above, on the southern point of Clark Island with Lummi Island in looming dark in the background and Mount Baker and the Cascade Range in the left quarter of the photo. Represents a classic San Juan Island view. It is #7 of this series.

I'll close this series with a piece entitled "Gull in Flight". A photograph taken from the deck of a good friend's custom pilothouse motorsailor Chak Chak. On an early spring cruise several years ago.

So ends the first series of Nautical Art on the Firewater Images site. Hope you enjoyed the show and will check in later for more.

The sailing vessel Adventuress:

Desolation Sound B.C. Canada:
Matia Island State Park:

Clark Island State Park:

Strait of Georgia:


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  2. Love the pictures and descriptions! Thank you John for sharing all these wonderful moments in your life.

  3. Very nice, John. I especially enjoyed the misty swirl of fog in a couple of the pics. Such hint of mystery and adventure!