Sunday, January 2, 2011

EX-USS Kittiwake, USN retired submarine tender

 It looks like I will indeed be going up in the helicopter for the sinking of the Kittiwake, which will definitely be very exciting!  This is a momentous occasion for the diving and tourism industry here.  I can tell you that being a resident photographer since 1983, I am pretty pumped about this new photo opportunity.  I shot over 1,200 frames from the helicopter just on the Christmas arrival aerials.  Imagine what I'll shoot on sinking day!  Here are a few frames of the interior from the air as well as clean-up day on the dock Saturday.
As interesting as the Kittiwake may be right now, the real value is in experiencing how it looked newly sunk so that we can appreciate seeing it change over the next 20 or 30 years, God willing we have long lives. It'll be fascinating to observe who moves in and when.  Of course, if the first fish is a lionfish, it won't live very long!  I've already been fortunate to watch the Carrie Lee, Oro Verde and Doc Polson mature. Of those, the Carrie Lee and Doc Polson have had the most astounding rate of growth on them and became very colorfully photogenic within 10 years, continuing to amaze even more so each year.   Sadly, we've collectively fished out the vast majority of the big groupers, snappers and barracudas that once inhabited all of our wrecks.  I expect this wreck to do at least as well on the sessile organisms and perhaps attract or raise up the biggest fish we have left.  Just a theory.  This ship is way bigger than any others before it at 250' long! It is the first shipwreck since the Balboa, in George Town Harbor, on which divers at each end will be beyond visibility of the other.   The pilothouse will only be 15'-20' under the surface... it's gonna be awesome! It's very size will make it a serious challenge to photograph well, which always makes great photos seem all the more rewarding.  Time to put the brain into gear!
Click on images to see details!

1 comment:

Robert said...

I served onboard the USS KITTIWAKE for 2 years. The pictures bring back a lot of memories.