Saturday Photo Hunt – Nautical

Nautical:: related to or associated with seamen, navigation, or ships
A challenging category for me this week — not because I don’t have any photographs that would fit the theme, but because I have too many.

My dad, my husband, and my brother-in-law were sailors in the United States Navy.

My father-in-law was a merchant mariner during WWII.

My son Nick is a 2005 graduate of the United States Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, a LT JG in the United States Navy Reserves, and holds a Coast Guard license as a Chief Mate in the merchant marine industry.

I’ve lived all my life in a state that is surrounded on three sides by water, and boats of various sizes frequently navigate the river that runs through our little town.

Most of my archived “nautical” photos are stored on cd’s, so to narrow my choices I opted to only resource those photos I could quickly identify in my current hard drive.

3rd class midshipmen at Kings Point (sophomores) spend approximately 100 days at sea in addition to their academic studies back at the academy. (During their 2nd class or junior year they complete the required 330 sea days necessary for graduation). Nick’s 3rd class year at sea was on a container ship that sailed from Charleston to various ports around the Mediterranean Sea. During the three round-trip voyages on that ship, he was able to visit Egypt, Israel, Turkey, Italy and Spain.

We caught up with the ship just before Christmas that year as it was sailing into Charleston. The top left photo was taken from the beach as Nick’s ship was entering Charleston Harbor. The other three photos were taken while the boat was docked. The mechanics and logistics of unloading and loading container ships was fascinating to watch.

Each Kings Point graduating class designs their class ring and this was the Class of 2005 design. In addition to the typical nautical symbols found on most Kings Point rings, the class of 2005 included images of the Twin Towers. On a clear day the towers were visible from the Academy Waterfront, and September 11, 2001, was a particularly clear day. Midshipmen from the class of 2002-2005 watched in horror as the towers burned and were later called upon to participate in rescue and relief efforts at Ground Zero. Nick was one of only 18 Plebes (freshmen) chosen to participate in that effort and was recognized with the others at graduation. The class of 2005 honored the towers on their ring – as the last class at Kings Point to see them on the horizon.

This public dock is conveniently located within easy walking distance of the post office and a grocery store, which is why it is rare to not find several sailboats docked here all the time.

…and a sailboat at sunset at a public dock on the opposite shore of that same river.

“Fair Winds and Following Seas”… to all my photohunt friends and a great big thanks to TNChick, for hosting the Saturday Photo Hunt every week. For “nautical” photos from other Photo Hunt participants be sure to click on the Photo Hunter Banner or the Technorati PhotoHunt tag below. The theme for next week’s Photo Hunt is: warm.

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