I started Nautography two and a half years ago with little more than an iPhone, a background in sailing, and a dream.
About a year later, I bought my first "real" camera*, a bottom-of-the-line refurbished Nikon DSL.
A few months ago, I started getting instruction from pro photographers and using Lightroom/Photoshop to post-process my images.
And now I'm an on-the-water contributing photographer for Spinsheet Magazine, having provided their August cover and now with my first regatta shoot under my belt.
It seems that while my 'blog posting has been somewhat anemic and my sailing adventures have been somewhat lacking (at least this past year), my photography has really been taking off.
It's been a lot of work, I still have a lot to learn, and I haven't gotten here on my own. I want to thank everyone who has helped me along the way, with a few special shoutouts: Kat for her experience and patience, Jen for the opportunities and encouragement, Molly and Mary at Spinsheet for having complete faith in a rookie photographer, my folks for providing me more creative genes than I had realized, and most of all my lovely wife Sara for being fully supportive of me running headlong into a second career even though we just had a baby.
Somebody pinch me....
*I did buy a GoPro in there somewhere too, but it hasn't seen much use. Maybe I need to rectify that. Hmmmm.....
The tail end of 2016 was quite eventful for us in that we found out that we bought a sailboat and found out that we were having a baby. Earlier this spring, Sara & I decided that it would likely be best for us if we sold the boat; we wanted to be able to focus our attention on our new arrival and it didn't seem prudent, or good for the boat, to leave it sitting unused for a few years.
Yesterday, the sale was finalized, and Sara & I are no longer boat owners*. It was a hard decision, and I'll miss Bird, but it was absolutely the right thing to do. I wish her and her new owner many wonderful voyages!
I know it's been a while since I posted (big shock, right?) but I should have a few new posts up soon. I've been quiet, but I haven't been idle. ;^)
* Well, we do still own the dinghy. I mean, come on. We couldn't give up the dinghy! B^)
Around the middle of last December, I caught word through an Instagram post that a sailboat had run aground at Jonas Green Park in Annapolis. Being the curious sort, I stopped by after work the next day with my camera to catch a glimpse of the shipwreck.
By the looks of it, she was a Cal 22 in otherwise good condition aside from being aground. She was reasonably upright and her hatches were closed and her hull and rigging looked solid, but her engine and sails had been removed. I'm guessing she had been in storage on a mooring ball or at anchor somewhere and broken free.
I came back the following morning before work when the tide was considerably lower, and she was clearly heeling, almost to the point of her cabin windows being submerged.
I did what any concerned sailor should do and notified the proper authorities of her whereabouts and gave them her registration information from the hull. Under Maryland law, I couldn't legally attempt any kind of salvage operation until after a certain amount of time had passed without the owner claiming her, so for now I would have to be content to watch from shore.
That morning, in the light of day, I could see that she had been in the water for some time. Barnacles were growing over much of her hull, although oddly were absent from the lower portions. I can only guess that she was at leas partially buried in the sand, roughly upright, prior to arriving at Jonas Green. The tides in mid-December had been quite high, so it's entirely possible that she drifted there from a previous grounding.
As the weeks passed, I stopped by every so often to check on her. She was working her way further up the shore, so far that by early January you could touch her bow at low tide and not get your feet wet, and was no longer standing even close to upright at high tide. Shortly after her initial grounding, she had rolled over onto her port side instead of her starboard side.
By late January, she had settled enough onto her port side that she started taking on water. First in the cockpit, then eventually in the cabin. At this point, I realized that she was more than likely a total loss.
Around the time that Sara & I moved to Annapolis, we had purchased a dinghy. One Saturday, I got the bright idea to take that Dinghy to the park and see if I could read the boat's name off of her transom. It was cold, damp, and I was fighting the sniffles, but it was an opportunity I couldn't miss.
Although I never got a single clear picture that showed her name in its entirety (largely because of the placement of the outboard mount), I learned that her name was Thumbs Up. An oddly optimistic name for a boat stuck in such a pessimistic position.
After the flooding came the winter storms. By the first weekend in March, her mast had broken in two, and her rudder had broken off. The following weekend, her mast had fallen entirely off into the water. The elements were taking their toll on the poor boat.
After her mast had fallen off into the water, I took it upon myself to drag up what I could onto the shore. It wasn't much as the lower half of the mast and the boom were still connected to the hull by various lines and shrouds, but I wanted to make sure that the upper portion, which was free, didn't get buried or wash away.
I asked a passing DNR officer about the status of the boat, and he informed me that her owner was coming to salvage her the following week. I thanked him and went on my way, not quite believing that, after all this time, her owner had finally come for her.
On March 16th, I stopped by Jonas Green Park and Thumbs Up was nowhere to be seen. Her owner had finally come and gotten her. I was sad that I would no longer be able to photograph my favorite shipwreck, but also hopeful that she would get a proper salvage and sail the waters of the Severn River again.
2016 was a hell of a year for us, packed with new adventures and some painful losses. And, just like last year, I was too busy going and doing (and photographing!) to actually get as much 'blogging in as I would like to. So, I'd like to send 2016 off with a little tribute.
In January, we moved in with Sara's mom.
In March, I bought my first "real" camera.
In April, we took Sara's mom sailing in the Caribbean.
In May, we lost Sara's mom to cancer.
In June, I started volunteering with CRAB.
In August, we took our friend Jen sailing in Spain.
Later that month, we lost Sara's grandfather.
In September, we moved to Annapolis.
In October, we bought our first boat.
And, finally, in December, we were happy to announce that we'll be having a baby in June!
Happy New Year! May your 2017 be joyous and eventful!