GULF SHORES, AL; March 6, 2020 – It was 68° F, there was no ice on the water, but it felt as if there could have been. Young folks were down at the edge of the shoreline, a few wading, some playing volleyball, many just lying in the sun, determined to get a tan before the end of their vacations. But elderly folks sheltered themselves from the northerly wind behind a public building, soaking up the sun’s warmth, glad for the reprieve of shoveling snow back home.
Frigid north winds blew the tops off two to three-foot waves rolling onto the beach, and brought record cold temperatures to the Gulf Coast last night. Sandpipers, Seagulls and Pelicans didn’t seem to be adversly affected by the cold, but there were precious few humans anywhere near the beach.
We were here first. There’s plenty of room; do you have to sit so close? Or maybe the story is: Come! Join us we’ll all have a good time. But more likely it’s, “How’s the water, Mabel? What does George have in his hands?
I’ve often read that “great photos always tell a story.” But I don’t think a single photo can ever tell a complete story. Stories have a beginning, middle and end. A single photo can only capture a small fraction of the story. Without context, this is simply a photo of a group of people at a beach with a vast ocean of water in the background. Are they family? Friends? Recent acquaintances? Are they stranded on a desert island? What is the story?
Took a drive down to Gulf Shores this morning to capture some photos for my Alamy collection. Surprisingly, it wasn’t overcrowded. A beautiful day, just right for being on the beach.
Along the Bon Secour River, which flows into Mobile Bay in southern Alabama, there is a large fleet of deserted shrimp boats. Some are huge, some rather small, but they all have been abandoned. Hurricanes or tropical storms have severly damaged most of them. Speculation is that they are too damaged to repair (repairs will cost more than the boat is worth). Other possible reasons are that the shrimp fishery is too depleted and competition too intense, the boats have paid for themselves and owners are no longer interested in the grueling work of shrimping, but then who knows.
Regardless, The Alabama Abandoned and Derelict Vessel Fund, established June 2018 and managed by the Secretary of the Alabama State Law Enforcement Agency, is for payment of the seizure, removal, transportation, preservation, storage, advertisement, appraisal, and disposal of a derelict vessel. Effective June 1, 2018 Act 2018-179 relating to derelict and abandoned vessels, authorizes the removal of a vessel from the waters of Alabama under certain conditions by a law enforcement officer or a private property owner. Previously, a property owner was responsible for legal fees, and litigation required to remove a derelict vessel from his dock. The costs were prohibitive.