14 October 2013

Morning glory

Back in my seafaring days, it was always a pleasure to me to see the sun rise and the dawn of a new day.
We can watch it hundreds of times in a seaman's lifetime, but each event is always a diferent and singular one. Maybe it's a particular cloud formation, or just the colour of the sky or a unique interaction between sea and sky. The fact is this astronomical phenomena is prone to endless variations.
So, I really miss my days as a Chief Mate, when, as a responsible Officer for the nautical watches between the 0400 and the 0800's of the morning, I had countless opportunities to see the sun rising over the ocean.
Now, as a Harbour Pilot, I still have plenty of those moments. Mostly during the cruise ships season, like now. When I have to wake up at 0400 in the morning a be in the port at 0500.
When the weather is perfect, with calm seas and gentle breezes, it's really a pleasure to work in this profession.
In the pictures:
The cruise ship Celebrity Eclipse (IMO nº 9404314) proceeding astern, for berthing on Pontinha's key nº2, on the past Friday and...
...the Aida Stella (IMO nº9601132) alongside the key nº3 of Pontinha breakwater, today, around 0730 LT.
Both pictures taken with the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT3 waterproof and shockproof compact digital camera. The upper picture with the camera resting over a bollard and the Aida's one using the small Manfrotto 709B Digi travel tripod. I find this camera quite useful to my professional life, particularly due to both characteristics written above. Although automatic, It can be, somehow, customizable to a certain level and, thus, allowing a minimum control over the exposure factors. The Auto ISO, used together with the Minimum Shutter Speed and the Image Stabilizer mode, allows for some sharp handheld pictures in less favourable conditions of light and weather, situations that I find quite often while at work.
Sadly, it doesn't allow for RAW files, leaving us to work with just JPEG's (although with a maximum resolution of 12Mp, in the 4:3 format - reduced to 10 Mp in the usual "academic" 3:2). Plenty of resolution, I guess, for detailed digital processing, if needed. 
Post-processing of the JPEG files with the Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, ver. 4.1.