Photo Feature: FPSO arrival

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First images taken of SeaRose from our shore

When I worked in the agency world, at CCL Milestone, our company had the contract to document in photos and video all of the project milestones, large and small, for the White Rose project. One of the biggest was the arrival in Marystown in April 2004 of the SeaRose FPSO, for further installation and commissioning work at the Kiewit facility in Mortier Bay.

For this event, we deployed two teams of still and video shooters, who were stationed on both sides of the long channel that leads into Mortier Bay. There might have been better vantage points further out, on the edge of Placentia Bay, but it was an exceptionally foggy day. The channel was narrow, so our teams set up where they had the best chance of seeing the vessel through the fog as it sailed past.

With both teams in place, I decided to seek out another back-up vantage point, since I also had a camera. I drove further out the road to Beau Bois, hiked up a hill, treaded through a swamp and emerged from the woods to the sight of the FPSO emerging from the haze. The fog was lifting right on cue, and I was able to capture this sequence of the SeaRose, as it sailed past and into the channel, where the other teams were ready to start shooting (they also captured some amazing shots). I captured the third and fourth images from the bottom from one of the team's vantage points inside the channel, before leaving for Beau Bois.

My favorite photos are those with the orange growth on the rocks. It creates an interesting contrast with the other colours, which were muted by the fog. (I could have removed this haze and brightened the shots in Photoshop, but that would have changed the reality of the moment. The truth is, it was this gray and drab.)

Whilst shooting, I glanced to my right and saw a lady sitting on the rocks (second last photo), also watching the show. It occurred to me that we were the first people on shore to witness the vessel's arrival. I spoke to her afterward and learned that she owned the land upon which I had trespassed to get out here. We stayed in touch long enough to exchange some of the photos captured that day.

After the vessel had bypassed our shooters, we drove into Marystown for some shots of the vessel as it came into the wider Mortier Bay. The SeaRose's arrival was a big deal in town a dramatic sight but also the reason the place was booming economically so everyone was out watching. I trespassed again, this time on someone's deck, for the last photo.

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  • Roger
    July 27, 2010 - 14:53

    There is a lot of Korean Steel in the White Rose, It is my hope that we can build the next FPSO ship like this beauty for Canada right here in Atlantic Canada.
    I need 1,000 Megawatts of low cost clean electricity to Run the Steel Plants and the Shipyard to build these and other large ships, like tankers and bulk carriers, for service in Newfoundland and Canadian waters and the Rest of This World ofcourse ! Built in Atlantic Canada!