Friday 28 September 2018

Ladysmith Harbour

My brother has an office in Ladysmith, about 30 minutes drive north of where I live. One sunny day in early September I caught a ride with him when he was on his way to work.  He would be at the office for two or three hours and I intended to use the time to visit the Ladysmith Art Gallery.  

Sadly, I timed my visit to the gallery badly.  They had just torn down one exhibit but not yet put up anything in its place.  I had time to fill and, since I had my camera with me, I decided to visit the waterfront instead.

Just across from the gallery, there are stairs down to the harbour.  They end near the marina where the pleasure boats are moored and where the heritage boat society annually hosts its wooden boat festival.  It's beautiful, but I've been there many times.

I wanted new images with lots of colour and line and texture in them - something maybe a little bit more gritty - so I elected to the follow the wooded trail that led from near the stairway towards the working side of the harbour.

Ladysmith is a small town but its harbour is quite busy.  There are fishing boats there, a boat yard, and facilities for loading barges.  Across the water on the Yellow Point side, there are log booms and boom boats. Tugs pull both barges and booms to their destinations. There are cranes for lifting boats in and out of the water at the boat yard, and other cranes for loading barges. There are breakwaters and wooden piers. There are people working all around you as you walk along the piers.  Lots and lots of wonderful things to catch the eye!

I had thought to walk along the top of the old stone breakwater, now alive with self-seeded wild grasses, flowers and trees. 
Unfortunately, I was greeted with this sign and had to alter my plans and go directly to the piers and wharves instead.  It turned out to be no great hardship.  There was a great deal to see. 

I won't burden you with a lot of narrative about my visit.  Instead I'll share some of my photos, with captions here and there where I feel they'd benefit from a bit of explanation. There aren't a lot of picture-postcard-y images here - many were taken with an eye to future drawings and paintings - but I hope you find them interesting even so.  

If you're viewing this post on a PC or a laptop, you should be able to click on the first image to view the pictures as a full screen slide show.  Enjoy.

This is a tugboat's winding gear.  It pays out or gathers in the cables used to tow barges.

Many tugs have these bumpers around their sterns.  They're made up of pieces of tire, cut, stacked, and bound together by cables running through them.  I like their texture and the pattern created by the repetition of shape.

The floats hanging from the back of this boat reminded me of party balloons. 

I'd never seen a boat in mid-air before. I stood and watched the crane lifting this one for quite some time.

My imagination is sparked by pieces of rusted metal.  I would like to be able to make sculptures from them.

This lovely vine wound itself through the chain link fence around the boat yard. Nature is resilient and pushes her green fingers into every space, no matter how busy or cluttered.  I love that.