Tanker in waiting

Tanker in waiting - 2009

Tanker in waiting - 2009

The oil tankers often lurk offshore waiting for their turn at the spigot. This one was empty, riding high, eager for its fill. He chose the calm lee of the island, hovering there in the fading and hazy light of a cloudy evening.

17 Comments on “Tanker in waiting

  1. This made me think about depth perception and the story of the person who’d lived their whole life in the jungle and was taken out to a great plain.
    He asked what those small animals were. He was told they were elephants. He just laughed and said they were too small to be elephants. As the vehicle he was in drove closer to the elephants: as the elephants got bigger, so did the man’s eyes.

    I have an uncle who’s probably seen the ocean twice in his life: he’d probably think oil tankers were just small boats.

  2. For sure, planetross… they look so small and harmless. This one was probably a full 2 miles offshore. But if you are in a small sailboat and one is bearing down on you at 20 knots, 2 miles is only 6 minutes – a blink of an eye in a slow boat when you are trying to get out of his way! I much prefer to look at them from shore where they can’t get at me. Again, just like the elephants!

  3. Whenever I see them ” lurking ” as you say, I’m reminded of the Valdese.
    I like the way you’ve bisected your image so that the weight of the tanker in the water is offset by the amount of sky and cloud above.

    It was recently pointed out to me that you can tell when they’re full or empty by how high or low they sit in the water.
    As a non boater, and mostly terrestrial being, I never realized that.

  4. Hi Bonnie. Yes, lurking is the right word, and as I described to planetross, they can be a fearful thing — short staffed and probably not watching for a tiny sailboat — coming straight at you out in mid-ocean.

    This was at Sandy Point after we had just seen 40 baby turtles struggle up out of the sand (no photos allowed). A real contrast between the big and the small.

  5. As soon as I saw this shot, I thought of my recent trip to Newcastle (in NSW Australia) which is the largest coal exporting harbour in the world. From the shoreline of in the city we could see 37 ships all lined up waiting to be loaded.

    It was quite the site and I wanted to photograph it but of course they were too spread out and they would’ve looked like specks in a panorama.

    You’ve inspied me to do a post about it.

  6. Pingback: All The Dumb Things » Blog Archive » Exporting coal also exports pollution. Newcastle, NSW, Australia

  7. Oh, I love this one, Don! Reminds me of my childhood summers watching vessels pass through the Cape Cod Canal. Many many tankers and one time I was sailing in a 12 foot catboat and a submarine appeared. Scared the bejaysus out of me and what a large wake a submarine has!! Anyway, this is lovely and as usual Bon Bon has pinpointed why.

  8. Thanks for the pingback, razzbuffnik! For more on the subject of coal mining and other extractive industries and a beautiful photo of coal ships check out his recent post on All the Dumb things

    Thanks, Pat. I never saw a submarine on the water. I’ll bet it scared the bejaysus out of you!!

  9. Fantastic. I love images of technology mixed in with nature. Nice description too. The ships captain probably wanted a good nights sleep so he parked on the leeward side of the island.

  10. photos4u2c – Thanks! The contrast between technology/industry and nature is always fascinating. I’m sure this was a nice comfortable spot to wait.

  11. Wow, I really love this one. And I’m not the least interested in boats, either, so take it as a HUGE compliment!!

  12. I love your work Don. Very creative and I can sense the island feel in what I’ve seen. Very dramatic and fun! Thanks for stopping by my place and leaving a wonderful comment!

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