The first photographs I ever made, with my Dad’s guidance, were of tugboats and barges moored at piers along the Manhattan side of the East River in New York. I loved the deep rumbling sound of their diesel engines and most of all, the piercing “toot” of the tugboat whistles. I watched as teams of powerful tugs nudged huge vessels into piers on the Manhattan and Brooklyn shores and wondered what it would be like to take a trip on a tug.
It was a perfect cloudy day for roaming the Gloucester Marine Railways on Rocky Neck in Gloucester looking for patterns, textures, and shapes. Here is the oldest continuously operating shipyard in the USA, and to my eyes it is full of character and life.
Three giant wind turbines are being erected in Gloucester, MA. Reaching 492 freet from the tower base to the top of the rotor, the turbines will be among the highest in the Northeast. Two turbines will power public buildings in the city of Gloucester, which is expected to save at least $11 million in electricity bills over the next 25 years.
I have a client who engages me to photograph temporary bridges over highways and waterways. No doubt you have seen some of these projects; bare steel structures that stand for months or even years while new crossings are built or old bridges repaired. On this day I hired a single engine plane and a pilot to fly over the Merrimack River in Lowell, Massachusetts.
© Paul Mozell 2012 The Highlander Sea, a 154 foot long wooden schooner is being repaired at the Gloucester Marine Railways. Originally christened “The Pilot” after The Boston Pilots Association it was launched in Essex, MA in 1924. The boat changed hands a number of times and most recently has been cruising the Great Lakes with up to 10 passengers enjoying the schooner’s luxury accommodations. A number of planks in its hull are being replaced by a small crew of skilled workers at the Marine Railway. This facility has been in operation since Lincoln was president, according to John Hinckley, who is seen here hammering caulking material between the planks. If you have ever wanted to own a grand sailing vessel here is your chance. This boat is on the market for a $2 million dollars. The schooner Adventure built in 1926 and the gill-net fishing boat Phyllis A. launched in 1925 are current neighbors in the boat yard. If you are in the neighborhood of Rocky Neck in a couple of weeks you may be lucky enough to see the Highlander Sea slide back down the railway into the harbor. Click images for a larger view.
This morning I wandered down to the State Pier in Gloucester, MA with a camera and one lens, hoping to find some photographs of fishermen. I spoke to one lobsterman who said that it hardly pays to go out these days.
Along with swimming in a clear New England pond or the chilly Atlantic the other great joy of summer is fresh veggies. I never miss the summer harvest at Verrill Farm in Concord, MA where my favorite crops include the sweetest corn, most buttery potatoes, and most colorful and diverse tomatoes to be found in the Boston area.
I have the utmost respect for workers who risk their necks to build and maintain homes and offices for the rest of us. This was a beautiful day in Wakefield, MA to be doing just about anything.
In the 1970’s I was a volunteer deckhand, folksinger, and event organizer on sloop Clearwater. This photograph was made during one of many short sails on the Hudson River and New York Harbor.