blue skies and rainbows on a sunny monday

This is the Esperanza, the fastest and biggest ship in Greenpeace’s fleet. It’s currently moored at the north end of Lake Union. The colorful rainbow on the bow of the ship caught our attention from a distance, it was our exciting discovery of the day. Adam and I were on our way to the Arboretum, but I couldn’t resist a detour to get a closer look. I got some interesting shots as we sidled up next to the big boat, but I didn’t get as close to the rainbow design as I wanted for a comp I had in mind. There was water trickling out of the bilge in the front, I wasn’t going to take any chances on getting hosed.  I’m careful when we’re nosing around the shipyards, sometimes it’s okay to go in for a closer look as long as we’re not obviously trespassing on private property in a busy area.  It’s a good practice to watch your head around big boats just sitting around: I’m sure on the rare occasion, tools or ship parts fall overboard. If any lifts or cranes are in operation, I steer clear.

I intended for us to be on the water for just a couple hours but our outing took up most of the day. The Esperanza was moored next to the Seattle Police harbor patrol. From there we headed eastward past Gas Works Park through the Ship Canal, all the way to the Arboretum. The houseboats on Portage Bay seemed much more interesting than usual, I wished the light wasn’t so harsh while we were there because I wanted to stop and shoot a little. More than the light, though, we had to move along because I promised Adam some gummy worms in the park. At a pretty low bank in the Arboretum we got out of the boat to have a snack and lay in the grass and rest. Adam showed me how he could hang upside down on a tree branch. We peed in the bushes together.

Grandpa Toot? Adam thought it was funny when I gently bumped our bow (on purpose) into the bow of this big tug. Grandpa Toot looks like he hasn’t put his dentures in yet, haha! It used to crack me up when I’d catch my Grandma Donat without her teeth in. It wasn’t a secret she wore dentures, if you spent the night at her house you were bound to see her without them right before bedtime or first thing in the morning. She would talk kind of funny and her kisses were different without her teeth in. But some times she didn’t want to be caught with them out. Geez: Periodically I’d sneak a peek into Grandma’s little green denture container just for the slightly macabre thrill. I get the shivers just thinking about it!

For this outing, I brought along my old 10-20 mm lens. You can get some pretty cool shots on boats like this tug by using the distortion of the lens, but the problem is you have to get pretty close to your subject to maximize the effect. If the water is calm, it’s not a big deal. But if some wavy swells from passing boats start pushing you around, I get a little spooked bumping around against hulks like this one. I imagine a tugboat captain with a wooden leg coming out to yell at us get ‘way from me boat ye recreational scalawags! I use me boat for workin’, not foolin’ ’round in the drink!

Ashore in the Arboretum:

I’ve got to remember this spot for putting in with my boat, it’s only a few minutes from our house. Very protected, still water.

These tugs, by way of San Francisco, were getting new paint jobs. Why did they bring them all the way up to Seattle? Have the tugs been sold and the next step in the painting process is to blot out the names on the sterns?

Going nose-to-nose with Grandpa Toot:

The Mud Cat!

One thought on “blue skies and rainbows on a sunny monday

  1. Great post, Jason. Adam looks quite comfy in the kayak! I bet he is really enjoying the up close perspective of seeing those big boats and tugs. I wasn’t sure what I enjoyed best about your Esperanza shot—the colorful Greenpeace ship or Adam’s super awesome Spiderman life jacket! Ha!
    I sure miss my wide angle… My 10-22mm only works on a crop sensor body and Donna has laid claim to my “hand-me down” Rebel. Seeing these shots makes me want to pull them both back out.

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