I remember what I was doing on March 6th, 1987. My brother hadn’t long moved out of home, I hadn’t long got back from Basic Training with the Territorial Army and the crippling snows had nearly all gone.
My brother and I went to a bar that had a lock-in and when we walked in, there was silence from everyone, with just the noise of the newsreader on the radio. I thought he was telling a story from the descriptions he was giving. I said to my brother something along the lines of it being quite a vivid description and wouldn’t mind it being a film so we could watch it. That’s when one of the other patrons said it wasn’t a story. It was real, and then the full horror of it started to sink in.
A ferry had left the Belgian port of Zeebrugge bound for Dover, It was the Herald of Free Enterprise. A red and white Townsend Thoreson ship, one that was referred to as a RoRo – Roll On – Roll Off.
As it left the port, the doors were not closed properly and a wave entered the bottom level of the ship and caused it to list and it was in trouble.
Just ninety seconds later – One and a half minutes. Less time than it takes to boil an egg. Less time than it takes most people to use the toilet. Less time than a commercial break on the TV. 193 people were dead.
Last week, there was a warship docked in the harbour. It was only there for a few days, and I believe people were allowed to go and photograph it. I never went as I couldn’t make it that far. However, I did manage to get some shots of it when it was leaving in the rough seas. I would hate to be one of the crew on that day.
The largest wooden ship, the Götheborg, was docked in Dover over the weekend. It came in firing its cannons, and after it docked, it was opened to the public to go on and visit. I didn’t want to miss out on this golden opportunity, so on Sunday, I went for a visit. The stairs are pretty steep, and I knew I couldn’t manage them all, so I had a choice, I could either go up the ladder to the top and look at the view of the harbour from up there, or I could go downstairs to the galley, where the cannons are. Naturally I chose the cannons.
When the ship left, it fired the guns again, but it was raining heavily with a low cloud so the photos didn’t come out too well. I have cleaned them up as best as I could, and you can just about see the smoke from the guns. It really is a magnificent piece of art.
This is a replica of the original Götheborg which sank off Sweden in 1745. This one was started in 1995, and the hull went in the water in 2003. It was christened in 2004 and made it’s maiden voyage in 2005.
Okay, so it is not all dark, but most of them are. The lamp was originally going to be the Photo of the Week this week, but something better came along. I tried something different with the moon photo and it seemed to have worked. I normally have my shutter speed set to 1/2000 or something like that. This time, I went for 1/30 of a second, and it came out quite well I think. As for the clouds, it looked like a bird coming out of an egg, and I always like to play with clouds to see how they look when auto-toned.
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