This morning seemed iffy at best. There was a steady breeze, but a thick haze in the sky. The temp should have been a lovely 17 degrees Celsius, but it was so muggy you still felt sticky just walking to catch the bus. And there was no guarantee that by the time I'd gotten the kids out of the house, "watered" the dog, and caught my transfer downtown, that the naval ships, tall ship replica, and tugs that I was dying to photograph this morning, would still be in the harbour. There was also no guarantee that I'd come back with any images worth mentioning. Yet persevere I did, and when I arrived at the pier almost an hour later, they were all still docked and I'd have my pick of subjects and points of view.
Let me backtrack here a moment. It was a packed and busy weekend in the Hamilton Harbour over the last two days. The Pride of Baltimore II, a tall ship of historical significance was docked at the pier for the weekend, and further down at the industrial pier was the Canadian frigate the HMCS Montreal... both equally breathtaking for a land lubber like myself. And the crowds were insane. I caught wind that both vessels would be heading out of the harbour this morning, and decided to return today to catch whatever action I could in the camera. I rarely pass up an interesting opportunity to watch something like this, because you never know what kind of photographs you might return home with.
Today's image is a portrait... and I decided to start with it in my posts this week because it was not what I expected to come home with. Oh, I still got plenty of shots of the historical tall ship readying for it's journey to the next port in Montreal, and I got some quick shots of the frigate too, but the subject above is crucial to how the harbour functions and he was just leaning against his tug having a smoke and waiting to be called upon. Below is a shot of the Omni Richelieu, the tug he pilots through the harbour for much of the year.
"The Omni Richelieu"
(Harbour tug docked at the pier in the Hamilton Harbour)
Initially he did NOT look this friendly, but after chatting about his boat and his tasks for the day, he finally agreed to let me take his photo... and didn't he go and smile for me too! Just once. Told me I better use that one because he never smiles for anyone. So here it is. And he was one of my favorite shots of the whole morning.
It's my favorite part of being a photographer... even in locations where you pretty much know what to expect, you can still find hidden treasures. Or hidden smiles.