Monday, 28 December 2015

Nautical and Maritime Photography 2015

This post will include all of my favourite maritime related photos from the last year including general shipping and boating, and should be my last "2015 in review" posting on the blog. Some photos may appear more because they lead into a bad pun or joke than with any particular quality of the image itself.

Case in point would be this image of Gotland Carolina, and the words "Super Ice" on the hull, which may have been a forecast of our winter to come.

Gotland Carolina.
Very soon we were into a harsh winter with lots of snow, ice, and cold temperatures as this image of the pilot boats attests. The sea smoke in the background usually appears when the temperatures reach -17 degrees Celsius or below.

Halifax pilot boats partly covered in ice and snow. A crewmember with a hammer is removing some of the ice.
Sea smoke often makes for interesting photography, assuming ships are actually coming and going, and that the camera battery doesn't die in the cold.

Chebucto Pilot passing George's Island.
Oceanex Sanderling.
I have also discovered a new vantage point near the waterfront that provides slightly elevated views, from the top of a nearby parking structure. It's great, as long as you don't mind the 8 flights of stairs. It was from there that I took the following image.

BW Leopard.
It was so cold, in fact, that even some of the ships were blowing their noses:

OOCL Vancouver.
As the sun starts to rise earlier in the morning during the later winter and spring, I can be guaranteed some nice dawn skies on my morning commute at some point during the season.

Algoma Dartmouth.
East Coast.
As always, the ferry can provide some interesting views of harbour shipping when the timing is just right. It was good to get some photos of the ACL ships, some of which have already gone to scrap, as their new fleet comes on line. We have yet to see any of the latter yet, but the former were still going fairly strong this year, like Atlantic Companion below.

Atlantic Companion.
Tokyo Express.
OOCL Vancouver.
Northern Debonair.
Tugs Atlantic Willow and Atlantic Larch.
Atlantic Condor.
Shooting from futher up the harbour means you need to have George's or McNab's Islands (or both) in the shot (or worse, Dartmouth and the refinery, which rarely improves an image). The next image makes use of the lighthouses of both islands.

Ocean Cygnus.
The boardwalk down by Bishop's Landing can be a good vantage point to catch ships going into the Halterm piers.

Tidewater's Jones Tide.
Photographing from the south end of the waterfront, you can also capture ships with only the horizon behind them, somewhat disguising the fact that most of my photos are taken from the shore.

OOCL Southampton.
Helene J.
When April and May roll around, we get two new sets of visitors: the herring fleet and the cruise ships. I also like to use the former to make abstract photographs, frequently focusing on the reflections at the waterline.

Herring boat reflections.

Morning Star.
Veendam approaching the cruise ship terminal.
The small cruise ship Pearl Mist was actually built in Halifax a number of years ago, although it was a fairly troubled birth. She made several visits to Halifax this year, as well as other ports like Lunenburg.

Pearl Mist.
Fog in the harbour frequently makes for interesting photos, and helps to hide the opposite shore of the harbour.

Woodside I.
Pilot boat.
OOCL Vancouver.
Macao Strait.
In May, RMS Queen Mary II was in Halifax for her cruise commemorating the 175th anniversary of the voyage of Cunard's first ship, Britannia. After leaving the cruise ship terminal on her departure, she cruised up the harbour on the Dartmouth side and then back down the Halifax waterfront. She was escorted out by HMCS MONTREAL.

RMS Queen Mary II.
MONTREAL trailing QM2.
QM2 is lit up as she approaches Chebucto Head.
Queen Mary 2 made several other stops in Halifax during the 2015 season.

Bluenose II (Mk.2) finally completed her complete rebuild and was ready to sail, although she did have several issues with her steering that cancelled a few cruises during the summer. In July, she paid her first visit to Halifax. Although officially called Bluenose II, she is a complete rebuild to a new design, and the old ship went to the chipper. I therefore frequently add the entirely unofficial Mk.2 to her name to distinguish her from her predecessor.

Bluenose II (Mk.2).
Upon her return to Lunenburg, Bluenose II escorted in the replica French frigate L'Hermione (with Part II here), which was on a tour of the eastern seaboard after sailing over from France. Lunenburg was the latter's only Canadian port of call.

Bluenose II leading L'Hermione into Lunenburg.
L'Hermione firing her cannon.
Framing ships can be difficult, but sometimes you can actually use the hulls of other ships for this purpose, as in this image of Nolhanava framed by Queen Mary 2.

Theodore Too continues to greet cruise ships upon their arrival in Halifax.

Theodore Too and Saga Sapphire.
Caribbean Princess.
Celebrity Summit.
As always, the Canadian Coast Guard was active during the year. Early in January, two of the new Hero class inshore patrol boats departed Halifax and headed for the west coast via the Panama Canal.

CCG Ships Captain Goddard M.S.M. and M. Charles M.B.
CCGS M. Charles M.B.
CCGS Cape Roger.
CCGS Sir William Alexander.

CCGS Spray and Macao Strait.
I had the opportunity to capture progress on two separate wooden boat building enterprises this year, one in Lunenburg and one in Halifax. 

In Lunenburg, the Blue Dream project is building a new schooner from scratch in the former Smith & Rhuland shed, the same structure in which both Bluenose and Bluenose II (Mk.1) were built (Bluenose II (Mk.2) was built in a temporary structure nearby). 

In Halifax, at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, the schooner Hebridee II is undergoing a more-or-less complete rebuild

Hebridee II.
Hebridee II.
On that note, of a rebirth of sorts, it seems appropriate to end this recap of my 2015 nautical images and wish everyone a happy and productive 2016!

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