Back in mid-January of 2014, Cindy and I made a mad dash for the Outer Banks of North Carolina, to see a rare irruption of snowy owls all the way down on Ocracoke Island. While we were successful in that venture, we saw other things of note there as well – including a rare Chesapeake Bay skipjack, the Wilma Lee. You can read all about Chesapeake skipjacks here, but most of the remaining examples of them are on static displays at museums – not actually floating in the water or even able to sail anymore.
Within a few weeks after I had published my image on my old blog, I received a commercial use inquiry from an Annapolis-based sailing publication, Spinsheet. We negotiated terms, came to an agreement, and within a month my photo was used as the title image for their article on the Wilma Lee – which was being used at the time as a tourboat for visitors and as a floating classroom for school children. The Wilma Lee was severely damaged by Hurricane Arthur some six months after I took my photo of her, and she has since changed hands again and is now berthed at the Annapolis Maritime Museum & Park in Maryland.
Photo info: The Chesapeake skipjack, Wilma Lee Ocracoke docks Ocracoke Island, North Carolina January 2014 Apple iPhone 5S
One morning in January many years ago, Cindy suggested – completely out of the blue – that we take a road trip down to the Outer Banks of North Carolina, and observe the snowy owl irruption that was taking place down there at the time. Now – mind you – Cindy is not one for the beach scene, so this suggestion was completely uncharacteristic of her. After picking my jaw off the floor, I readily agreed to the jaunt, and we had a fine time down there in the off-season – and actually saw one of the beautiful creatures from a distance.
This image was captured with an iPhone 5S, looking through a high-powered spotting scope.
Photo info: Snowy owl (Bubo scandiacus) Ocracoke Beach Ocracoke Island, North Carolina January 2014 Apple iPhone 5S
The Outer Banks of North Carolina have always been a special place for me. I’ve gone there every decade since my teens and have seen massive changes slowly take place over the years. Many fond memories remind me what interesting times I’ve had on the beaches of the wild Atlantic or in the calm waters of Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds, by myself or with companions. This is one of those times, when Cindy and I did a road trip down in the winter, and appreciated just how stark and empty the shoreline is during that time of year – especially with an ominous weather front bearing down on us.
Photo info: Beach on the Atlantic side Ocracoke Beach Ocracoke Island, North Carolina January 2014 Apple iPhone 5S