Monday, March 14, 2011
A couple of summers ago in Amsterdam I met a photographer that had some great photos of Antarctica. Antarctica is one of my dream trips and he told me he had gone by sailboat. Now that would be a dream trip. They do a couple of trips a year there from the tip of South America. When I called the trips were full for that season but was told I could go on the last trip which went to Antarctica then on to Cape Town instead of returning to South America. He said it would take 55 days to Cape Town and gave me the website to see pictures. The pictures showed the boat covered with ice as it sailed the southern ocean. It would have been a great trip but 55 days in a cold and stormy sea.
So we are sitting in a restaurant on Cape Town harbor and I see a Sailboat going into dry dock right out front. It took a minute for the boats name, Europa, to sink in. It was the boat from the Antarctica trips.
One thing about photography is that the best places to photograph from are always off limits like the fenced off dry docks of Cape Town. It's even worse when you need to get in with a large camera and tripod.
The nice thing was that there was a hole in the fence at the dry dock. In dry dock the boat is 20-30 feet above the water and you are walking on large beams out over the water. I was able to photograph the Europa from all angles and at the back they were changing one of the large bronze props and the workers were even nice enough to move some of the scaffolding so I could get a better view. At one point a very official person came over, this usually means you are out of here. He asked me if I was photographing for the harbor or the boat owner. I guess harbor was the right answer as he just left me alone. Wasn't so lucky the next day, the Europa was back floating and another boat had taken it's place. This time some one called the police, when I showed them the map that said marine museum they pointed out that it was on the other side of the fence. If I ever get to do my Antarctica trip I will bring the Europa's owner some good photos.