Sunday, November 18, 2012

Casualty of Hurricane Sandy (Brianna Asaro)

Today Brianna of is bringing you a fantastic story about something so beautiful that will be lost forever. Read along and then go comment over at her place. (comments turned off here)

Photography is one of those mediums that can stir up feelings... We saw this in spades after 9/11 when raw images pulled at our hearts and made us relive it all over again. Images of destruction, terror, pain... but then within days we also had images of hope, survival and humanity. Not long after 9/11, photos of the twin towers popped up all over the place, reminding us of the beauty and symbol they once stood for. These are the photos that make me smile, force me to remember things fondly.

Hurricane Sandy hit with a vengeance. Her damage impact was wholly unexpected, and those of us in her path were left shocked, ravaged and longing for power, warm meals and hot showers. I live on the coast on Connecticut, flush up against the Long Island Sound. Just days before Sandy hit, I was doing a photo shoot and noticed a very large, amazingly beautiful and majestic tall ship making its way along the sound, heading towards the mouth and into the open seas. It's not entirely unusual to see these tall ships from time to time around these parts - we live next to Mystic Seaport, and an old working port that sports a variety of tall ships that they still use today. Little did I know I was capturing the last journey of an historical figure.

The night after the storm, most of us were left without power, and so of course we headed to the only restaurant in town that had it. The place was packed, and it was a surreal feeling to see the images of Hurricane Sandy amongst dozens of others. We were all getting some of our first glimpses of the destruction.

A news story came on talking about the HMS Bounty, a replica tall ship you might recognize from "Mutiny on the Bounty" with Marlon Brando or "Pirates of the Caribbean: Deadman's Chest" with Johnny Depp. They were talking about how this poor ship had sunk off the coast of North Carolina, having left from New London, CT just days before. Wait. What? Something in my brain clicked. After I left the restaurant with my husband, I rushed back to my computer to search for the photos I took a few days before. I compared my photos to photos of the HMS Bounty, and sure enough..... Oh. My. Word.

Turns out I had caught the final voyage of the HMS Bounty on my camera. Her final voyage with her crew... two of whom didn't survive the wreck. I can't describe to you what an eerie feeling it was to know I was probably the last person to have caught her on camera before she headed far out to see beyond the reach of a lens and perished in the swells of Hurricane Sandy. But after looking at the photos, I realized how incredible it was that I caught her with her sails up one last time. In all her glory, she is captured forever in these photos for her final leg.