Friday, April 29, 2011

Ancient Mariners Sleep Deep . . .

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Way back in October of 2009, barely a year into this blogging adventure, I did two posts (which you can see here if you click and then scroll down the page to October 13th) about a pair of fishing vessels, the Pen an Dour and the Etoile du Berger, which had been tied up at a quai in the Morlaix, Brittany harbor, and left there to sleep the deep sleep of the abandoned, the forgotten, the neglected, the unwanted, the past. They had been painted green and red, but by then their once splendid paint had begun to peel and flake, like the skin of a bad sunburn case. Some months later I learned, to my regret, that they had been removed from the Morlaix harbor, and sent to a destination unknown, where they would surely finish their days.
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This past Monday, while out in Brittany again for a few days, la Grenouille wanted to go for a seaside walk, so we set out for a hike up a remote stretch of coast we hadn't ever walked before. After two hours of fairly strenuous, but glorious, walking, in unseasonably warm sunshine, on the outskirts of one of the tiny villages that dot the coastline in those parts, we came across another pair of red and green abandoned fishing ships. For a moment I thought we had found the final resting place of the two that had been towed out of the Morlaix River, but I quickly realized these were larger vessels, not the same ones at all.
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There was no good reason I should have found these two ancient mariners, the Kalinka (red) and the Etreom (green). We were simply out for a walk on a lovely Spring afternoon. But as you can well imagine, I'm not one to let an opportunity like that pass, and as I just happened to have my camera in my rucksack, while la Grenouille soaked up some sunrays while sitting on a stone wall, I scrambled down the embankment into the mud of the low tide flats there, and went to take a closer look. A much closer look. How could I resist ? The beauty of peeling layers of paint and rusting marine metalwork held me mesmerized for quite a little while. The photos below are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. I submit these for your consideration. More will follow, should you be so rash as to encourage me to further folly. Anchors aweigh !
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Immatriculations MX317516 and MX300088
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68 comments:

...louciao... said...

Oh, what orgiastic pleasures of rust and ruin!!! I almost feel the need for a cigarette after this ever-building intensity of eyeball titillation.

Virginia said...

Rusty,crusty, peely paint. J'adore!!!

And on another note, thank you dear Owen for your kind and heartfelt concerns for me and my family, but more importantly, the people of my state that have experienced such devastation. It becomes more horrific every hour as we find more and more that didn't survive the terrible winds and those that did survive but are now homeless.
V

Joanna said...

Oh, what fabulous photos. I adore the colours of the rusting peeling paint. The last one and the one with the numbers are letters are my two faves.

Catherine said...

beautiful pix - nice to see the rust and texture obsession is still going strong!!

Catherine said...

beautiful pix - nice to see the rust and texture obsession is still going strong!!

Catherine said...

beautiful pix - nice to see the rust and texture obsession is still going strong!!

Lena said...

I absolutely, positively adore these shots!!
The last one is my favourite... Colours are dreamy!!
I now want to change my whole flat decor because of it!! XXX

Céline said...

Magnifique !! Ces bateaux auraient pu s'échouer dans la cour de l'Hôtel A, qu'en penses-tu ? Et se raconter des histoires de vieilles planches et de rouille...
Je te souhaite un excellent week-end !
Bises

Jilly said...

Oh what a marvellous set of vibrant, wondrous photos. Love them all. Why is it that rust fascinates us all?

Steve said...

There are few of man's creations that are as simultaneously beautiful and as functional as a boat...

Marginalia said...

It's thirty lashes for the land lubbers who defaced these beauties with their nasty graffiti.

Owen said...

Dearest Lynne,
I can assure you that after a good long nearly eternal hour of peering at and leering into their every crevice, surface, protrusion and hidden chambers, of caressing their curves and contours, of coiling their ropes and chains, of mounting on board with great difficulty by hoisting myself up the sheer side to tumble over the railing into the warm embrace of her well weathered deck, to taste the forbidden flesh of her upper regions where trespassing was forbidden, of seating myself in the captain's chair whilst gazing at the distant ocean's horizon, imagining long gentle swaying bouyant journeys alight with the exuberance of the open sea and the salty, fishy, seaweedy odors of breaking waves where whales blow great jets of mighty steam toward the heavens before plunging back into the mysterious depths, of pushing the motor control to full speed ahead, unleashing the power of the engines under her stern, yes, yes, after all that, I too would have been ready for a cigarette, were I a smoker (which I am not), but as it were, I was oh most certainly in need of a cool shower and a complete change of clothing afterwards... and then a heavenly nap where bright colors of rust lit my eyelids from within...
:-)
;-)
:-)

Owen said...

Virginia,
Oodles and oodles of peeling paint and rust aplenty... I become insatiably gluttonous when faced with such riches for the soul...

Am simply relieved to hear you are ok, and even have electrical power with which to remain online, with such terrible devastation so nearby. I sincerely hope this was just one of Mother Nature's flukes, and not part of a worsening series. All warm wishes to you and yours...

Owen said...

Hi Joanna, very happy you could make it all the way from Haliburton Hill to the wilds of Brittany to take in and enjoy these scenes of harmonious decomposition. More to come...

Owen said...

Hi Catherine... three times beautiful pix ! three times as nice ! I suppose the passion for and obsession with rust and the textures of certain decaying creations of man is a deeply entrenched condition with me, likely to be a lifelong connection, until death us do part...
:-)

Owen said...

Dear Lena,
Absolutely, positively am floored with you enthusiasm; and I think you may well be onto something, an interior decorator could have a field day creating objects from sections of these treasure troves... If I were far wealthier than I am, I would try to buy carcasses like this, haul them into a warehouse out of the weather, and cut them up into manageable sized bits, converting them into works of art to fill a museum with, or who knows, maybe to sell at auction. Well, at least I have some photos to remember them by, before such a rich fine arts vulture might arrive to do as I've suggested here. Do you think a bank might give me a loan for such an enterprise ??? Hmmmm... may have to go ask if my bank has an art investment section that could be interested... Personnaly I think each plank could be worth a fortune... Ok, I admit, I'm a dreamer...

Owen said...

Bonjour Céline,
Par Hôtel A, tu veux dire l'Hôtel A à Paris ? Sinon où ? En tout cas, je suis entièrement d'accord que ces bateaux devraient s'échouer quelque part mieux protegée que là où ils sont... c'est presque criminel de les laisser dehors comme ça, ballottés par les marées, les orages, le gel, usés par le vent, le soleil, la pluie, la rosée des nuits brétonnes... ah, je les sauverais si je pourrais...

bicocacolors said...

absolutely stunning!!!!
inspiring me a lot!!!
thanks and happy weekend

Owen said...

Hi Jilly,
Really good question... why does rust fascinate us so ?

Perhaps a sense of wonder at the fact that something that seems so permanent and strong, like worked iron, could fall victim to the elements and the passage of time, slowly crumbling back into the earth from which it was mined before being forged... And such will be our own fate one day... ?

Or something else entirely ?

If any one else cares to take a stab at that question ?

Owen said...

Steve, you've hit the proverbial rusty maritime nail right smack on the head, an action for which you are quite talented. And I'm doubly lucky you could stop by on this most festive of days in England !

Owen said...

Marginalia, can't agree more, and perhaps the culprit could be keelhauled after the lashing, for good measure ? To finish we could have a replica of the graffiti branded on their forehead ? No punishment too severe for defacing such a work of scenic art.

linda said...

Fabulous Photos!!! What glorious color and texture. This is my first visit here, thank you Clytie!
I will be back often to see your amazing work.

Owen said...

Hola Elena, am very happy if you enjoyed these and found some inspiration in them, I cannot tell you how much I dream of finding subject matter like these beautiful boats to photograph, and what a dream come true it is when it happens... certainly not every day. A wonderful weekend to you too...

BrandNewStudio said...

Amazing
good creations:)

...louciao... said...

oooooooooooh. you just shivered me timbers!!!

Owen said...

Linda, thanks a million, and welcome, always nice to see new faces stopping by, thanks to the dynamics of the blogosphere, sort of like having a brick and mortar gallery, and wondering who might wander in off the street purely by chance on any given day... And there's lots of material in the archives here to peruse at your leisure... enjoy...

Owen said...

Brand new ex skizo, many thanks !

Owen said...

Lou-ciao, I was wondering what that incredible creaking and groaning noise was ! Thanks for letting me know, at first I thought it was the beginnings of an earthquake !

Now where's that Saj been of late ??? As soon as she gets here we can open up a delicious chablis with the starters...
:-)

Mary Ann said...

They're all beautiful, of course, but I'm partial to the final three.

Owen said...

Hi Mary Ann, well, we'll wrap them up then and off you go, they'll look wonderful on a wall at home...
:-)
Wishing you a fine weekend in Beirut; with plenty of time out and about...

Pastelle said...

Un monde de textures colorées, comme des tableaux de maître... ♥

James said...

They are absolutely beautiful and aged to perfection! I love the colors and the rust. Great stuff!

The Sagittarian said...

I think rsuty old has beens are much better than the bright and shiny newbies anyday, don't you? Great pix, Bro.

Nevine said...

Hmmm... I do love those rusty boats. Nothing like rust to bring a zing to just about any old slumbering vessel, is there?

Have a great weekend, Owen.

Nevine

ρομπερτ said...

Reaching ones destination makes time stand still indeed.

Thank you for this exercise of and for the mind. Please have you all a good weekend ahead.

daily athens

Stickup Artist said...

It doesn't get much better than this! Look at those colors. It seems as if I'm looking at an artist's palette after an explosion of creativity in the studio, which of course, I am! What a great find and a great eye for the richness of the scene both all encompassing and in the gloriously delicious details!

mythopolis said...

I get the feeling I am not going to look that good when they beach me! Wonderful!

Owen said...

Bonjour Pastelle !
C'est exactement ce que je pensais, que ces scènes de rouille mériteraient d'être transformées en grand tableaux... Bon, "de maitre" c'est peut-être un peu fort, sauf si on qualifie le titre en maitre-chercheur de rouille...?
:-)

Owen said...

Hi James, you would have had a field day for sure... many thanks ! It must not be easy to create a perfectly aged boat like this, the owners have clearly been patient for many years...

Owen said...

Hey Saj !
Absolutely ! I'm with you, for the rusty has beens any day. The stuff that's getting made new these days, whether it be boats, cars, houses, factories, even cemeteries, just does not have the appeal of the craftsmanship that existed 50 or more years ago, and which seems to have pretty much vanished today...

Care for a glass of white wine while we chat about the good old days ? Where'd that sister Lynne get to ???

Hope your shakers are getting fewer and farther between...

Owen said...

Hi Nevine,
Rust is Mother Nature performing alchemy, transforming common matter into pure gold...

A fine weekend to you too !

Congrats again on getting published !

Owen said...

Robert, Now with time standing still at their destination, they can contemplate eternity in a state of total tranquility...

Gwen Buchanan said...

the beauty of time and of course you capturing it!

Owen said...

Dear Stickup,
You are so right, it doesn't get much better than this, a thoroughly sensual, sensory experience, like slipping into another dimension for a while. And the details, the delicious details, they just went on and on... I was getting as close as I could while still being able to focus the lens; colors galore, the sort of colors I love best, colors of decomposition in progress...

A fine weekend for you !

Owen said...

Ah Myth, I hope you won't be getting beached anytime soon !
:-)

Nadege said...

Owen, I can always count on you to show beauty where someone else would find disaster.
Brittany is a pretty special place.

Owen said...

Hello Gwen... old ships, like some fine wines, only get better with time...

Elisa said...

I am a littlellittle bit of jealous for your fine objects you take photos ;)) I like these rustic things soooo much! Spring is finally here in northern Finland, but we have stillso cold nights. BUT the light has come back, and I love it ;) Have a nice day, Owen!

Owen said...

Hi Nadege, for sure, Brittany is full of splendor... and snatching beauty from the jaws of impending disaster is a noble quest, I guess, sort of like searching for the Holy Grail...

Owen said...

Hi Elisa... very rusty and rustic indeed !

There must be some well weathered boats along Finland's long coastline and hundreds of islands ? I was just looking at the map, I may have to come take a look...

Am happy to hear things are warming up ! Have a great weekend...

...louciao... said...

BrO,
Best not to mention "e----q----s around Sister Saj. She seems a bit shaky these days. But I'm sure she's on board for that Chablis you're waving about. Just what have you got for starters? Please don't say oysters!

Owen said...

Lou,
I think we'll skip starters and go straight to dessert... la Grenouille made a lemon meringue pie which just finished cooling down to the point where it can be sampled... No oysters on the horizon...
:-)

babbler said...

Owen, I applaud you for sliding up the peeling side of the boat, it must have been rather rough on the dermis, but well worth the photographs, instantly some of my favorites, the colors are extraordinary! Sliding down the side of the boat, mantle first, you saw some very nice sights along the way, like the letter a.....for which you get another "A" for effort, and two extra succulent spinach leaves for danger pay while getting these marvelous photographs!!
With lots of goo, Love from your friends Mrs. and Mr. Slug of the Yaquina Bay in Oregon.
PS - I am inspired to go out and find some nice old tractors in a springtime field to photograph! We happen to have a few laying around. :)

Peter said...

Real masterpieces to be hanging a wall some of thes photos! Knowing you a little, I imagine how exited you must have been! ... and I guess that La Grenouille had the time to get a real nice tan! :-)

The Sagittarian said...

Thank goodness, I am NOT an oyster fan at all...scallops and crayfish oh yes but no oysters. I do happen to adore lemon meringue Pie too so if there's any left I'll have a slice of that too...and my glass is half full so top me up bar keep!

Springman said...

I am honored to be the 54th reflection. I could gush, but then I'd be like everyone else. Yet is impossible not to participate in the hyperboyle just a little!
I would hang that last photo on my wall and look at it all day. Is it the rudder? I can not remember the last time I've enjoyed such fascinating color. Thank you for following your calling and I love your labels!
"A ship is safe in harbor, but that is not what ships are for."
Author Disputed!

Owen said...

Dear Mrs Slug, am positively beaming over your message here... yes, sliding up that vertical surface was no picnic, especially as I was trying to keep contact with it to a minimum so as not leave any marks... but it was well worth the sweat ! And yes, yes, yes, do go out to get some photos of the tractors in the neighborhood, Mr Toad loves old rusty tractors; in fact, you can see a little proof of that here :

http://magiclanternshowen.blogspot.com/search/label/Tractor

Very best to all you slugs out there in the wild west of slugland !

Owen said...

Hi Peter... excited is massive understatement, I was ecstatic, and for sure, la grenouille had so much time in the sun that finally by the time I left the boats and returned to the car, she was already there waiting for me... For some things like these old ships, you just can't wait, because you never know if they'll still be there the next time you go back to look for them... so best to get to work right away !

Owen said...

Dear Saj, ok, we'll hold the oysters... There must be some scallops around here somewhere...
:-)

Owen said...

Hello Springman !
Good, good, you are are right, gushing will never do; and right again, the last photo is indeed the rudder, on the green ship, the Etreom. The colors in underneath the stern there were phenomenal, between the corroding metals and sea algae growth, just knocked my socks off. I had to go to great lengths to get that close, but it was well worth it. Guess these two won't be leaving harbor anytime soon, but maybe they've earned a rest...

Le Journal de Chrys said...

Un superbe travail d'exploration des textures, des failles, des usures!!!!

Nathalie said...

D'accord avec Peter, certaines de tes photos sont à accrocher au mur!
MX317516 et MX300088 c'est immatriculation Morlaix... je reviens d'une île où les bateaux s'appellent RU .... :-)
Je n'en ai pas vu de rouillés mais il faut dire que j'ai trainé dans les cirques plus que dans les ports :-)

Nathalie said...

And thanks for the link to anchors aweigh, from which I also followed links to just deserts and bated breath. It truly opens a can of words (yeah yeah, I meant worms dear Mr. Toad).

K'line Bloom said...

De la rouille, des peintures écaillées, délavées, craquelées qui finissent par se fondre les unes aux autres...j'aime beaucoup ces textures qui racontent une histoire et le temps qui passe. Le regret de ne pouvoir les toucher...
Bises cher Owen, amitiés

Karine A. said...

Je suis tout à fait d'accord, ces clichés de rouille sont ABSOLUMENT extraordinaires!
Comme quoi, les artistes sont de piètres copieurs de dame nature.

Lulu Sorcière said...

Certes la Bretagne est magnifique, mais ta mise en photos est extraordinaire, bravo !!!
Bises !

Sar@h said...

Tiens, moi aussi je suis allée retourner autour l'autre jour.
Mon regard est différent, je n'ai pas encore publié les photos.

Sar@h said...

Ceux qui étaient au port de Morlaix, ont été détruits :
http://sarah-perso.blogspot.com/2010/10/weekend-reflections-10.html