Photographing in Deltaville

Since we got to Deltaville on Friday, I have been working diligently to connect with women in the maritime industries for my new project. Everyone I have met has been extremely supportive and cooperative, helping me network with others, even their competition in the community. It seems like there is plenty of work to go around, as transient boaters nearly triple the size of this small, sleepy town every spring. The thirteen marinas cater to everyone from weekend boaters to megayacht types.

Yesterday afternoon I walked down to Nauti Nells consignment shop to make an image of her amidst her backyard of anchors, heads, and line. “I am hoping for a hurricane”, she said, half joking, when I asked her about all of the gear she had in stock. “That is when we sell the most anchors and lines”. We chatted for a bit about her inventory, which is corralled haphazardly in a fenced in yard with an air stream camper buttressing one side. As Nell coiled some anchor chain, her salty husband, Captain Crunch, assisted me by holding a low-slung branch out of the frame.

After I got the shot I was looking for outside, we moved inside the store, where boat gadgets and gizmos cascade off shelves and onto the floor, with piles of used sails and foul weather gear punctuating the electronics. As I set up my last shot, I mentioned that I had walked two miles to photograph her today. She immediately offered to drive me back to the dock. Without hesitation, I accepted her offer and called Jeff, who was at West Marine just down the road, getting some advice about our new chartplotter.

When we sat down in her Suburu, I asked if there was a store on the way that we could pick up some gallons of water. She asked if we needed anything else and whisked us off to the supermarket down the street. Excited by the opportunity to reprovision, and not have to carry everything miles back to the boat on foot, we quickly filled our cart with fresh veggies, eggs, water, canned goods, and paper supplies. We dashed around the small grocery like contestants on the game show Supermarket Sweep.

Nell laughed as we packed up the back of her car and headed back to the dock. She, like many of the women who I met, had cruised in the past, and understood what a help it is to cruisers to offer rides for provisioning. When she was in her 20’s, she cruised from Florida through the Panama Canal to the Galapagos and Hawaii. She also raised her first child aboard their boat for a couple of years. I wish I had more time to hear her sea stories. Surely, she has much knowledge to share that could benefit newbie sailors, like myself.

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