Pictures of Empty Sea

to view the wholly perfect horizon around you in full 360 degrees, nothing but water as far as you can see, with your own self at the perfect centre of it

Just sea, and sky, and horizon - the beauty of an empty sea

Just sea, and sky, and horizon – the beauty of an empty sea

This set of photos comes to you by request – your request.

Every week, sometimes as often as every day, a particular phrase pop up in my search referrer logs (the bit in my stats which tells me what people were searching for on Google or other search engines which led them to click through to this site).

“pictures of empty sea” or sometimes just “empty sea”

Several people a week, over the last three years, a steady stream from around the world, adds up to quite a few views over the years, and all looking for empty sea.

This blog is actually the first result presented on Google for “images of empty sea” and the second for the text phrase “empty sea”.

This all stems from a post I wrote almost five years ago, talking about a particular scene in a book I had just completed writing, then known as “Somewhere Down The Crazy River” but since published as “Shiprocked – Life On The Waves With Radio Caroline”.

The post contained a shot of the view from the Caroline ship – nothing but the horizon and empty sea. And it’s that picture which has brought people here. But since so many people come to look for it, and the sea is, and always has been, my lover, I’ve decided to share a few more of the intimate pictures taken during our many trysts.

It's not all sunshine - a classic grey sky, grey sea, so often the view.

It’s not all sunshine – a classic grey sky, grey sea, so often the view.

As always, you can click on any picture for a bigger version. All pictures taken of the North Sea (or its daughter the Waddenzzee ) off the English and Dutch coasts, unless otherwise specified, during my stints on Radio Caroline and Radio Seagull.

Let's look through . .the round window. Whatt do we see . . the empty sea.

Let’s look through . .the round window. What do we see?  . . the empty sea.

When I went to work on the offshore radio ships, people kept asking if life was boring. After all, the sea was the sea, and was always the same they reasoned.

Boring? When the view through the porthole is never the same two days in a row? The sea is a mistress of infinite moods.

Blue sky, blue sea, an unlimited horizon on the Atlantic.

Blue sky, blue sea, an unlimited horizon on the Atlantic.

Evening falls on the Waddenzee

Evening falls on the Waddenzee

A cold wind, and a lumpy sea - slight to moderate in nautical terms.

A cold wind, and a lumpy sea – slight to moderate in nautical terms.

The almost dreamlike quality of the sea pounded and smoothed by a torrential downpour - photographed through a porthole at eye-level to my bunk - what a gorgeous way to wake up!

The almost dreamlike quality of the sea pounded and smoothed by a torrential downpour – photographed through a porthole at eye-level to my bunk – what a gorgeous way to wake up!

The sun is about to rise over an empty sea

The sun is about to rise over an empty sea

Sunrise 2

Sunrise 2

Sunrise complete - 5.26AM in early June.

Sunrise complete – 5.26AM in early June.

The pink tinge of sunrise on the waters of the Waddenzee

The pink tinge of sunrise on the waters of the Waddenzee

So, those are the “empty sea photos.

Below I include a couple more, where the sea is not quite empty, but which I feel are similarly beautiful.

For some reason this photo brings back the most intense memories of the "feel" of being at sea - grey skies, moderate sea, and a fishing boat just glimpsed through a spray-streaked porthole. I can almost hear the wind moaning in the superstructure . .

For some reason this photo brings back the most intense memories of the “feel” of being at sea – grey skies, moderate sea, and a fishing boat just glimpsed through a spray-streaked porthole. I can almost hear the wind moaning in the superstructure . .

4.55AM, I've been on watch overnight, and am just about to make another round of the ship and check anchor chain in the pre-dawn light.

4.55AM, I’ve been on watch overnight, and am just about to make another round of the ship and check anchor chain in the pre-dawn light.

A little later, and the sun is risen.

A little later, and the sun is risen.

Wonderful experiences and a great life. The radio was exciting, but the sea was always breathtaking.

Always my lover, I’m not sure if I possess her soul, or she mine.

A beautiful and lonely place to live and work

A beautiful and lonely place to live and work

I hope you enjoyed these as much as I did.

Steve

 


Dreamy Seagull Pics

On board the Radio Seagull / Waddenzee ship, our weather has gone from this breezy Sunday . .

 

Click on any picture for a bigger version.

. . to this gorgeous balmy Tuesday

with smooth sea and windless sky, the view to the horizon has a dreamlike quality.

I'm in the top bunk in "Cabin A" and I have my own porthole right behind my pillow.

How about this view first thing in the morning?

But we're here for the radio too. This is a shot where I tried to see if I could get our radio tower to fill the maximum amout of space in the frame, without cutting any off.

Hey, these are just some guys I was close to. Pretty supportive too.

If you’re wondering where the studio, tx and people shots are . . . they’re coming later in the week.

Steve

 


Night Watch

A sequence of shots taken as I stood the overnight anchor watch on the Radio Seagull / Radio Waddenzee ship off the Dutch coast on Fri/Sat 3rd/4th June 2011.

They show:

Sunset over the Waddenze

Screenshot of us in location southwest of the uninhabited island of Griend.

The first pre-dawn lightening of the sky at 0336.

Fully light by 0500

Zoom shot of the low-lying island of Griend at Dawn

Sunrise.

A privilege to be here to enjoy such nights and see these sights. Steve.

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Ferries In The Mist

I was down at my favorite location in Dublin docklands, the Great South Wall, walking my friends Oran and Sarah and their three dogs on Friday evening.

It had been an exceptionally sunny day, and within seconds of our arrival a wall of sea mist came rolling in towards us, blanketing the bottom of the Pigeon House towers, blotting our view of the bay, and muffling and distorting the sounds of nearby shipping.

The Pigeon House surrounded by sea mist

The almost invisible Ulysses creeps through the fog, outbound from Dublin Port.

We watched the Irish Ferries Ulysses creep out of the port at quarter speed, a grey mass almost impossible to perceive against a swirling grey background, sounding its foghorn every minute as it shared the narrow channel with a cargo ferry creeping in the other direction.

A new twist on one of my most loved places.

Steve


Home By the Sea (almost)

Feeling relaxed in the Phantom studio on a Sunday afternoon

It’s funny how places grow on you. For a long time after Phantom went legal, I missed the cosy intimacy  of our pirate-era studios in Wexford Street, the classic pirate-type location up flights of stairs in an old building. Looking out the old studio window you could see the bustling street below, a giant neon sign flashed “Eat!”  “Eat!”  “Eat!” all night long, and the studio was just the right size, with everything within easy reach.

Our current day mansion on North Wall Quay seemed soulless by comparison, although it offered the luxury of space and all mod cons. Not the prettiest building in Docklands, it stood on a section of quayside that could be pretty bleak in winter.

But the river . . and the ships. They won me over.

Not since my Caroline days had i been able to to glance out the studio window and see cargo ships passing by, tugs and navy vessels, or watch the ever-changing moods of light and water.

Studio with a view

I’ve fallen in love with the building now every bit as much as the old one, and am totally at home in my (almost) floating studio.

The days of the radio ships are past now, but I’m still spinning music by sparkling salt water, and I love it.

Steve

Not quite the prettiest building in Docklands . . . we have the middle floor.

But step outside, and smell the salty morning air.


Dead Cool

(Note: this piece was originally written back in 2008 when I was still working on the final edits ofthe book which was originally published as Shiprocked – Life On The Waves With Radio Caroline.  It is referred to here by my earlier intended title, and the excerpt quoted in fact never made it into the published version for reasons for space).

I’m back from my week long retreat down the southwest, where I spent my time lazing, writing, and thinking (in pretty much that order). Back presenting Random Access on Phantom 105.2. And counting myself lucky to be alive.

Not because of anything that happened to me during the week, but because, like a good writer, I was trying to please my editor, and ended up stirring up some sleeping dogs from the recesses of memory.

When I say editor, Sarah (from the wonderful Seven Towers Agency) is actually my agent, but she is going through an editing process with me on the book, Somewhere Down The Crazy River, as part of the preparation for marketing it to potentially interested publishers. It’s an interesting process for me, having someone with no detailed background knowledge of offshore pirate radio reading the text, and giving me the thoughts and comments that hopefully future readers would raise with the current version. Some minor typos corrected, comments on the flow and occasional suggestions for rearrangement of paragraphs, and gentle prods to include background information when certain sections rely too much on my own instinctive knowledge of how it was back then.

Amongst the material I had to examine or rewrite while on holiday was a section which takes place in high summer, on board the Radio Caroline ship Ross Revenge in 1987. Sarah had inserted a note asking what we were doing in our off-air free time, stuck out on a ship in International Waters, on the hottest days of the year.

I’d written a lot about surviving the storms of winter, and about the many mays of keeping amused on stormy nights, and the various crisis, adventures, friendships and rows that made life at sea spark. But the hot days of June . . . racking my brains I thought about the sunbathing – not all that interesting – and then it came to me, something I had totally forgotten over the years: the swimming!

This far out at sea there would be no room for mistakes, and swimming sessions were strictly a group rather than a solitary activity, with two people watching over the side, and safety buoys deployed and attached to the ship by ropes. Tidal streams in the Knock Deep were strong, and we had no rescue craft to go after anyone who was swept away, so swimming was restricted to about half an hour either side of the turn of the tide, when the current was slack. Swimmers stayed close to the ship at all times, never further away than we could throw a life buoy. Mostly we would swim up and down along the side of the ship, the more adventurous going as far forward as the anchor, or occasionally doing a complete circuit of the ship if they were strong swimmers. The watchers on deck would move around to stay with the swimmers at all times.

The first time I ever ventured into the water was both an exhilarating, and profoundly scary experience. The water was cold, and there was nothing underfoot – no bottom to touch, as we were in about 30-40 foot of water in the middle of the Knock Deep. The ship beside me was my only safety, and had precious few things to grip onto at the waterline anyway. There was nothing else in sight as far as the eye could see. Even in calm conditions, gentle swells would lift me up and down unexpectedly. At first I just clung to the side of the ship and enjoyed the feeling of being in the water with the safety of still being attached, but after a while I became more adventurous and was able to let go, and start swimming forwards, careful not to stray more than a few yards distant as I swam alongside. Going forwards, I had a pleasant surprise when I came level to the part of the ship where the generator room was located, as the cooling water outlet was discharging lovely warm water into the sea at that point (the generators used sea water cooling, drawing in cold sea water on the port side of the ship, running it through the cooling system to discharge hot on the starboard side).

The swimming sessions were enormous fun, and always seemed too short, though it was always with a sense of relief that I would climb the rope ladder and find myself safely back on board again.

View from the Ross Revenge - an empty sea

View from the Ross Revenge – an empty sea

Sigh.

Radio Caroline was a wonderful time in my life, the broadcasting was fun, the life exciting, and in general we were very responsible citizens, observing shipping regulations and responsible technical standards of operation for the radio station, but there were times too when we tempted fate, jumping from ship to ship as supply boats came alongside, climbing masts for repairs – and getting off our ship, miles out at sea, and swimming happily despite the fact that there was no rescue if we got into difficulties.

Maybe I’m older and less adventurous now, perhaps I’ve lost the spark, but I like to think that I’m simply a little wiser. Some of the things I have written about in the book, done without a second thought twenty years ago make my hair stand on end now.

Amazing also that I had so completely forgotten this activity – that’s the purpose of a good editor when you are writing – they don’t ever write a word for you, but they push and they prod and they question to bring more colour and depth (in this case literally) to the writing.

Steve