Sunday, February 2, 2014

And Now For Something Completely Different...

As I said in my lead in post for today, I was looking for the Philip R. Clarke and here she is.  I know that I've answered this question before but I'm sure there are a few people who ask why I like to take pictures of ships.  Sometimes it seems like this blog exclusively devoted to ships but then I do mix it up on occasion.
 Ships play an important role in history.  If you ever look at the cradles of civilization, they are usually located near a river or the sea.  Back in the day, the river represented the most reliable form of transportation.  It was an easy way to move goods from one place to another.  The river also provided the important moisture so that we could start growing crops.  It was only a matter of time before we started fighting over the rivers.
 Many people credit the Roman domination to their use of roads.  That only tells part of the story.  The Roman Navy was nothing to be trifled with either.  It wasn't until the Romans had complete control of the Mediterranean that the empire started to flourish.   The Clarke here can carry a little over 25,000 tons of cargo.  Imagine how many trucks or train cars that represents.  It is still much more efficient to carry goods by the water.
 So history plays an important reason for why I like to take pictures of ships but that's not all.  Just take a look at this picture for a second.  Look at how calm it looks.
 You have the ship, the water and the ice.  The ship is a steamship and therefore is relatively quiet.  She's not zipping along and just sort of calmly doing her thing.  I have to admire that.
 Even with the icebreaker in the picture, it is still a pretty calming scene (at least for me).
 And the icebreaker passes by to help other ships.
 So then I moved from Algonac, to the Algonac State Park.  There were actually a few people there.  It is pretty amazing how popular shipwatching is around here.  It will be relatively peaceful as the ship is approaching and then a flourish of activity as the ship passes and then they move.
 A shot of her pilothouse.  I don't care how many pictures I take of ships, I can never get tired of the classic laker look.  In this picture she looks like a happy ship.
 A shot of her deckhouse.  Look at the curves on her stern.  Compare that to the relative boxiness of the Mackinaw.
 A shot of her stack.
 And she is moving quite a deal of water.
 She moved enough water to where the ice on the shore was breaking up.
 Then I took the show to Marine City.  I like the lines in Marine City but I think there are better places on the river for boatwatching.  You can't get the head shot here for one thing.  But this is pretty close.
 I kind of liked the reflection in the water.
 So I pulled the camera back a bit to get more of it.  You can see her bow stripe in the water.  If the water were even calmer, the reflection would be better.
 Then I had to switch lenses.
 I kind of wish I had a little wider angle.
 Another shot as she pulls away.
 One other reason why I like shooting on the lakes is that you mostly see Canadian or American flags on the ships.  Yes, we get our share of salties but those don't dominate the national flags.  I think that is a good thing.
I'm guessin that will be my last ship shot of the season.  And honestly, I don't think I could have asked for a better one.

Weather cooperating, I will be lighthousing tomorrow.

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