Two years ago, after living in the Ocean State for 25 years, I learned how to sail. I took sailing classes at the Community Boating Center in Providence I was immediately hooked. I sailed with friends in Providence and also started crewing with the Alden fleet in Sakonnet during their summer Saturday races.
The original Alden “Sakonnet Class” was built in 1939. In the 1930’s it was common to have a class of sailboats designed and built for the unique sailing conditions of a yacht club. RI native John Alden designed and built the Sakonnet Class with a heavy wooden hull, deep keel and high freeboard to make them fun and stable for the big swells around Sakonnet Point.
The constant care and maintenance required of these classic wooden sailboats is a labor of love. Over this winter I’ve been documenting the restoration work of the “Cutty Wow,” taking place at Mt Hope Boatworks in Newport. The work is being overseen by Jim Titus, and Alden master craftsman, Jeff Szala.
Chet Kason is pictured here rebuilding the deck of the boat.
Watch this space for more of the Alden story.
In between snowstorms we took a drive to Little Compton. The ocean looks different in every season. The sun and the water were putting on a light show. I love that bright strip of light on the horizon. It reminds me of the flash from a welder’s torch, it almost hurts to look right at it.
Our dog Sam enjoying two of his favorite things – snow and the beach.
Many times nature has a way of blowing our minds and reminding us who is the real artist. Just as we are ready to curse the frigid cold air stinging our exposed skin it is as if the person upstairs waves a wand in our direction and makes us stop and see something he has created.
The other morning my entire car was covered in a thin layer of frost that looked like an intricate tapestry. Instead of reaching for the ice scraper I went back inside to grab the camera and 105mm Macro lens. A little challenging to photograph, I felt like I was documenting someone else’s drawing or artwork.
Later I researched that “Fern Frost,” as it is called, is not that uncommon and is formed when the right amount of moisture passes along a very cold surface like metal or glass. Yet another reason to love winter.
Some of my favorite shoots during the year are the Gamm Theatre poster photoshoots. It is fun to work such a talented crew including art director, production manager, costume artist and of course the actors. Last month we made the poster photo in the studio. Macbeth will open March 6th.
Jessica Hill, production manager and Tony Estrella as Macbeth
The classic fake blood recipe
A few days in Truro and it is easy to become obsessed with all the small summer shacks or “cottages”. There seem to be thousands of them, some tucked away in woods others right along the main roads and many right on the beach. Small is beautiful and even boarded up many of these cottages sit up proud of their simple architecture.
Days Cottages a perhaps the most famous. 23 identical monopoly like houses line a strip of sand along route 6a. I remember first seeing them as a kid from the back seat of our family Chevrolet which would be loaded with 4 or 5 bicycles hanging over the trunk as we drove to explore the bike pathes in Provincetown.
The month of December started with a trip into the newest Narragansett Bay Commission CSO tunnel being made under Providence. Part of the Phase 2 construction. A few years ago I was documenting Phase 1: a 3 mile long 30′ wide tunnel under downtown Providence that took 7 years to build.
Phase 1 Breakthrough Day: The Construction Crew Poses for a Photograph Infront of the 30′ Head of the Boring Machine
It has been called the biggest construction project in the city that no sees. “Rome was not built in a day” comes to mind.
The Phase 2 construction is a series of smaller tunnels being built to feed the larger main tunnel. One of the new sections follows the Woonasquatucket River through Olneyville and the Valley Street section of Providence. We are in a steel cage being dropped 205ft . Once inside we walk about a 1/4 mile in the tunnel through solid rock. Water is constantly dripping from overhead. It is seeping out of the rock. In many places it literally flows out of the rock.
We are lowered in a steel cage 175 feet
VIP tour with Governor Chafee (left) and Ray Marshall the Executive Director of the Narragansett Bay Commission
This section is a 1/4 mile long.
Blasting away. Small holes are drilled to hold dynamite.