I don’t know why, but I’ve always had a fascination with ships, marinas and harbors. This is pretty hard to explain, especially given the fact that I grew up in the west Texas desert of El Paso. But the first time that I saw oceangoing boats and ships, I was awestruck. Take me to a coastal marina, and I can walk around for hours and hours studying the various vessels — the lines, the geometry, the colors, and the contrasting shapes.
Perhaps this is due to the engineer in me as I have always been fascinated with mathematics and geometry. Perhaps this is due to the artist in me as I love to figure out how to use various shapes, textures and colors to tell a story through a photograph. Perhaps this is due to my roots as my ancestors sailed to the New England coast from Great Britain immediately following the Mayflower. My father grew up in coastal Massachusetts and spent his high school years in Toledo on Lake Erie. Who knows, maybe the sea is in my soul.
So I have decided to put together a photo essay of the collection of images I have taken over the last several years of the various harbors and marinas that I have visited in my excursions to the Northwest coast of the United States. I will caption each photograph, but I mostly want to let the pictures tell the story. Enjoy the tour.
This first set of photos was taken on a trip I made to Bellingham, Washington back in the summer of 2007.
In 2008 we took a trip south out of Bellingham down along the southern Washington coast. The weather that day was horrible, but here is a shot.
In 2009, I took my wife to Poulsbo, Washington as part of our annual trek to Bellingham and Seattle. Poulsbo lies on the Kitsap peninsula, and is the main point of access to the Olympic peninsula. Poulsbo is a very charming little town, and if you are a boat person, this is the place to be. It is easy access to Puget Sound as well as an easy journey up the Hood Canal out to the open ocean. These photos were taken in the late afternoon.
In 2011 I was able to spend some considerable time photographing the areas around Port Townsend, Washington. Port Townsend lies at the northeastern end of the Olympic Peninsula. It was of major strategic importance at the end of the 1800’s up into the mid 1900’s, and there are forts and old naval gun installations all along that part of the coast. Port Townsend lies right at the northern mouth of the entrance toward Puget Sound. Of all of the places I have visited over the years along the Oregon and Washington coasts, Port Townsend is my favorite spot. The views are just breathtaking; the town is really charming, and the marinas are gorgeous.
In 2015 I was lucky enough to have some time explore around Seattle between client meetings. I had not visited the Chittenden Locks in many years, so I decided that this was the time to do it. The Chittenden Locks were officially opened in 1917 and connect Puget Sound with Lake Union and Lake Washington in Seattle. The locks were named after Major Hiram M Chittenden, the Chief Engineer on the project for the US Army Corps of Engineers. Today the locks serve numerous commercial and private vessels coming into and out of the Lake Union and Puget Sound. The lock system also contains a fish ladder enabling salmon to swim up into Lake Union from Puget Sound.
About a month ago I was in Oregon and Washington visiting my clients up there again. I took these phtotos as I was heading up toward the Washington coast from Portland, Oregon.
Westport, Washington lies at the mouth of Gray’s Harbor about one-third of the way north along the Washington coast. This sleepy little town is home to the Gray’s Harbor Lighthouse as well as a very large marina for both commercial fishing vessels and pleasure craft. The beaches here are very beautiful; much more open and less rugged than farther north up on the Olympic Peninsula.