Capturing the Angry Sea

For all the research trips I have been on, none feel like my days in the coastal North Atlantic. My challenge on every trip had always been a way to capture the grandeur of the ocean. On a November trip, we were assailed by high winds and high seas. The trip was full of difficulties, but I managed to snap this picture while on the back deck. I braced myself against the ship as the waves rocked us and took several photos near the ship’s crane as the sea thrashed us. This photo has it all, the remnants of the waves that rolled over the deck, the angle of the ship, and the horizon high above in the picture. After this picture, I walked into an enclosed work area on the stern deck and a wave smashed into the hull. The water spilled over the covered workspace, inundating the deck where I been snapping pictures. Just a few seconds too late and I would have been soaked and chilled to the bone.

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The ship was the R/V Delaware II, a NOAA (National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration) research vessel. She was decommissioned a year or two after this photo. I had spent six cruises and a total of 96 days with the ship and her crew. I developed quite attachment to that rust bucket. Just so many stories to tell.

Also, if you check the Wikipedia page on ocean waves (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wind_wave) there is an older photo of the Delaware II in rough seas. I feel a swell of pride knowing that this humble vessel is even immortalized on Wikipedia. Not a bad fate for a research vessel.

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© 2018 C.J. Staryk. All Rights Reserved.

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