In 2009, I built my own 14 1/2' boat and launched it into the Cumberland River at my home in Nashville, TN. I rowed and sailed to the Gulf of Mexico, making photographs and writing as I camped along the riverbanks. In 2010, I spent 2 months back on the Gulf and made my way to Sarasota, FL in my motor-less craft. Now, I plan to continue my exploration of America's Great Loop by spending another 2 months traveling the Gulf and East coasts of our great country.
Going to sea in a boat smaller than many of the creatures I encounter, allows me to interact with my environment as an equal with the nature that surrounds me. Sailing out to the barrier islands and landing in remote places provides me with a vision of America few ever get to witness.
This journey challenges me on all levels, both physically, mentally and spiritually. The effort of rowing in extreme heat for two months at a time can be overwhelming. Dealing with the unpredictability of the weather and the concern of not ever knowing how the next night will be spent forces me to live in conditions we generally strive to avoid. To date, my survival has been challenged by water moccasins, bear, and an attack by an alligator, not to mention countless lightning strikes and numerous tornado warnings.
However, the rewards of this journey are equally as great. The beauty of nature is absolute and profound. I am continually reminded of the true gift we have been given just to exist in this lush, vibrant world. While traveling from Nashville and along the Gulf Coast, I have also been the recipient of amazing generosity. Whether by divine intervention or marvelous coincidence, someone has always been there to reach out to me during my times of most need. The kindness of strangers is the only reason I am still alive. The purpose of my Great Loop project is to seek funds to create a photography exhibit that tells this special story of America's waterways and the people who live there.
Years ago, Rachel Carson wrote about the rich and varied life that inhabited the marginal lands that form our nation's coastlines and estuaries. Her words related how important this fragile territory was to our own very survival. Now, with the advent of global warming, her message takes on an alarming immediacy. It is said that with the melting of the ice packs many of the places I have landed and photographed will be under water, gone forever within the next 50 years. I want the work I'm producing to be part of this dialog of our changing environment. I also want to share in words and in pictures the incredible beauty I have witnessed and the wonderful people I have met on this truly amazing adventure. The amount of your donations will help determine the audience I am able to reach. You can follow my continuing journey on my website:
Thank you for your support!
- (30 days)