Thursday, November 5, 2015
USCG Cutter "Alder" retrieving the Hat Point bell buoy
Last night as we were driving home after an afternoon in the woods we were treated to a rare sight. The United States Coast Guard Cutter "Alder" was pulling the Hat Point Bell Buoy for the season. Indeed, this happens every year, which doesn't exactly count as "rare", but usually they pull it in the 3rd week or so of October and usually during the day. This time the sun had already set and they were retrieving the buoy during the "blue hour" that occurs after sunset. It was cool to see the ship lit up not only with the navigational lights but also all the work lights as the crew pulled the buoy from the reef between Hat Point and Pete's Island.
The ship was roughly a mile away so in order to make this shot I had to use my Tamron 150-600mm lens set to 600mm, not an easy feat in such low light conditions. I mounted the lens on my tripod, set the camera to an ISO setting of 3200, set the aperture to f/8 in aperture-priority mode, set the timer to release the shutter 5 seconds after pressing the shutter button, then made this shot. The exposure time was 2 seconds, and thankfully the conditions were calm enough that the boat did not move at all during those 2 seconds so I was able to get a nice, sharp image.