MANY YEARS AGO
okay, I was volunteered — to be honorary Ship’s Photographer. People liked my snaps. What they didn’t know was that I owned a Yashica Electro 35—I didn’t know an f-stop from a bus stop myself but had no compunctions about taking the credit for my clever camera’s shots—after all, somebody had to hold the blasted thing while it worked its magic, no? But the ship’s camera was an Olympus … how could anyone refuse?
almost cost me my life when the Z-boat flipped as we were doing the white-water bit trying to cross the reef into one of the Tokelaus. Upside down in a boiling sea and festooned with lenses and junk, I still had time to regret accepting the honour. Atafu Island, I think; it also drove home the message that one should never be complacent where the sea is concerned.
WHEN YOU LOOK AT A PHOTO
you aren’t involved really involved. You cannot smell what’s happening and even better, you can’t feel it. Sometimes there are strong forces at work—
—and when the old tub is rolling forty you hang on and sneak your snap with one hand as she’s coming back upright. All good clean fun and “sure beats wurkin’~!” (I often felt sorry for the guys in the galley, running around collecting all the fried eggs off the deck after a good roll—how do you pick up a few hundred slithery fried eggs?)
TO NOT DIGRESS
not far from home is a beach. For thousands of years the rivers and streams have been washing soil and silt and sand and gravel and gold, rubies, garnets etc down out of the Longwoods onto Gemstone Beach.
go there often and prowl up and down (tide permitting) with eyes locked a few inches ahead of mobile toes. It can be very addictive, sometimes with unexpected consequences—
—and now The Spouse knows why I kept telling her “Never turn your back on the sea!”.
(I discovered something about soggy women on the way home—they never stop dripping …)