Hello to all,
This is a very sad post. I have lost an old love. It is a sad tale of a girl who sailed for many years on the high seas but was washed ashore during a storm. The "Girl" is a ship. Now a rusty old piece of metal washed on the shores of Kingston, Jamaica, but once was a majestic boat with a proud bow that cut through many a swell. She lived a hard life working on the high seas carrying cargo from port to port, and one day she came to rest just north of the Kingston light. Perhaps she didn't see the light, or perhaps she mistook the light for another ship. We are left to ponder.
I have had an affair with this old boat for quite some time, taking many pictures of her as she lay majestically and ominously in her final resting place just across from the Kingston airport. She has sat there for a very long time, her hull buried firmly in the sand, and her port side looking towards the sea where she lived her life. I went to check on her after the recent hurricane, and she was still there, but something was amiss. There were big chunks of her missing on her starboard side. At first I thought that it was from the storm, but then I realized something even more horrible. She was being dismantled one piece at a time.
You see folks, in Jamaica scrap metal has reached a very high price; so high in fact, that people are stealing manhole covers and storm grates and selling them for scrap. I nearly was a victim of a coverless manhole while there. Someone has decided to go at this old ship which I originally named "rusty" but then in order to find a prettier name changed it to "patina". They have started cutting her up bit by bit with torches and are carting her off in pieces weighing hundreds of pounds each. It is amazing how sturdily she is built. The ribs are massive, and the plating is at least an inch thick. She was certainly built to last, but alas all must fade in time.
I just love this old boat, and it was disheartening to see what has long been a part of the Kingston shoreline being cut up and sold for scrap. I know it sounds crazy, but I was a bit saddened to see the old girl go. However, I suddenly had a thought that brought a smile to my face. I thought, "Perhaps they are going to melt the metal down to make new sheets of steel that will be fashioned into another vessel, and she can once again sail the seas in spirit." That is what I will think in order to comfort myself as she is murdered slowly piece by piece and carried away.
I have taken many shots of her, the most recent is below. I will also try to post a shot of the Kingston light at sunset that I took the same day.
For those of you interested in photography, I shot this with a Nikon D80 and 18-200 VR lens. If you don't have one I highly recommend it. The vibration reduction works amazingly well. I zoomed all the way out to 18 and stood close to her hull in order to get the perspective and show height and depth. I shot at a very wide aperture to get the details of the hull to come out in the rapidly fading light. There was a lot of backlighting, not ideal for this shot, but I thought it would give a nice appearance to have the boat shadowed and the background light and airy with whispy clouds to give depth. Honestly it wasn't the best day to shoot, but it was the only shot I would have before she was completely dismantled. Next time I go to Kingston she will likely be gone.
I used HP image zone to convert the image to black and white and added a red filter to darken up the sky. No other manipulation was done.