Island Queen Ballet. Photography and Text by Keith R Wahl
The Oak Bluffs Variation
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There are a few vessels that have been in my life that I have a genuine fondness for. One is the M/V Island Queen from Falmouth, Massachusetts. It is one of the ferries that has a seasonal daily run to Oak Bluffs on Martha's Vineyard.
My association with the Island Queen actually starts with its predecessor. My father sailed on that vessel when he was putting in time for his own Captain's license. My father was also involved in surveying the vessel, so I acquired intimate knowledge. I was but a child at this point.
When the "new" vessel as photographed was first put on paper, I was there. I was there for the keel laying at Blount Marine in Warren, RI. I was there as a youngster at the launching in 1974. When they came up with the idea of night time Cape Cod Canal cruises, I rode along. In time, when I applied to test for a Captain's license, the Island Queen was on my log sheets. Her primary skipper at the time served as a reference as well. I also went on to work with subsidiaries of Blount Marine.
But there was another aspect that the Island Queen started for me. That is photography. This is the second time in my lifetime that I have photographed this sequence. The first was more than forty years ago when I was eleven years old.
On a daily basis, the Island Queen does a little turn around ballet. This occurs backing out of the pier in Falmouth, MA (where I took the above mentioned photos). The second is here in Oak Bluffs where the vessel comes about in less than its own length. It is all done by engaging thrusters and backing down on one set of engines and coming ahead on the opposite set. And it is so well practiced that it is another part of the day for the officers and crew. But I always appreciate the ship handling show whether aboard or shoreside.
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Keywords: Ferry, Harbor, Keith R Wahl, M/V Island Queen, Made From RI Gallery, Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, Oak Bluffs, Photography, Seascape, Ship, storytelling, Waterfront
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