Jul 21, 2016

On the Fence about Boundaries

Visitors are reminded that sandstone cliffs can give way and the drop offs are extremely high into treacherous currents    ©2016 Kristina Hockley

This post is going to explore boundaries because I think it's a topic that needs to be discussed. Traversing a boundary means so many things depending on your perspective and the motivation to cross them can be so compelling. As a culture we like to keep each other safe and rationally we understand that when we put our own life at risk we are also potentially putting others at risk because we have all agreed that society will attempt to assist another in distress. We also value freedom and adventure. We enjoy photographs, stories, and videos of people who have survived to tell the tales. So do you play it safe or leap across?
a slight step forward or sideways and your content changes. moving to include or take away © 2016 Kristina Hockley

As a landscape and travel photography freelance artist I cross boundaries all the time. Both mentors and my instincts have told me that to capture the most compelling images you have to be willing to move into the best possible perspective and this drama often exists beyond the safe lines that society has set.

Recently, I joined my local fire and rescue volunteer team and gained a new perspective and getting to know the crew has caused me to hesitate at boundaries where I didn't before. This time I stop and actually look at the fence, read the sign, consider its placing, and wonder what events led to this warning to be posted. The first tragic search result in Google is of a teen who was never recovered after she fell off one of Cape Kiwanda's cliffs into what is called the 'Punchbowl'. Two local fire and rescue volunteers had a close call trying to recover her. This teen like the people in the photo below believed it couldn't happen to them. I, the photographer of these images, up there bearing witness to not just the landscapes but to the people in the landscapes who like me are crossing over to witness the beauty of this amazing world from sometimes less safe perches.

two enjoy a view of a sea stack, named Chief Kiawanda Rock © 2016 Kristina Hockley

How far would humans have developed and progressed if we hadn't taken risks? What makes one person more qualified for an adventure than the next? Is the culture, going to give permission to venture out and possibly make mistakes in the hopes that we gain more than we lose. Are we willing to risk our own lives to help those brave people when things go wrong? When do we draw the line and say if you cross this we won't be helping you if things go south? Recently two men fell off a California cliff while playing the new craze Pokemon Go. One man fell 75 to 100 feet. As firefighters rescued the man, they found the second man unconscious 50 feet down the bluff, said Battalion Chief Robbie Ford of the Encinitas Fire Department. Both were taken to area trauma centers and suffered moderate injuries, he said.

Adults playing a video game where they cut a fence and step through to catch a fictional character, I personally, draw the line there. I would never ask anyone to risk their life rescuing a fellow citizen whose irresponsible life choice led them to this predicament. Both the examples I gave though were people outside taking risks but deriving pleasure and aren't we all here to enjoy life however we do that?
Looking west over the Pacific at Cape Kiwanda. Sandstone cliffs © 2016 Kristina Hockley
I believe it is more that as a society we ask that if you are going to step over a boundary we ask that you do so with attention, deliberation, and respect. Keep your wits about you, be aware of why the boundary exists, know your own limitations, be prepared with the right equipment and clothing, tell people where you are going and when you'll be back, and accept that this risk might be your last so you better appreciate what you are doing or don't bother.

Hand written clothes pins on the fence line at Cape Kiwanda © 2016 Kristina Hockley

Jul 14, 2016

Men at Forty ~ A Portrait at Icicle Creek

Men at forty
Learn to close softly
The doors to rooms they
   will not be
Coming back to.
Donald Justice, Men at Forty

Icicle Creek originates at Josephine Lake near the crest of the Cascade range and flows generally east to join the Wenatchee River near Leavenworth. The creeks name comes from the Indian word na-sik-elt, meaning narrow canyon.

47°43′7″N 121°3′3″W


Jul 11, 2016

The Pacific City Dory

We went to Pacific City Oregon to surf but there was so much more to offer in Cape Kiwanda Natural Park! I'll begin with the Pacific City Dory boats as the sight of these boats throwing themselves through the shore breaks and onto the beach was quiet remarkable. They have quite a history and I took a photo of the dedication wall in the harbor parking lot and wrote it out so you can read up about the Dory if you are interested. Just scroll down this post for that and a video if you'd like to see the action.

For more than a century, boats have gone to sea from this sandy beach and shelter of Cape Kiwanda. There is no other harbor, port, or fishing fleet anywhere in the world exactly like this. It’s truly unique how it evolved.

The dory’s origins came from the turn of the 20th century surf dories and Nestucca River gill net boats that sold their fish tot he salmon cannery established in 1887 near the mouth of the river.

After 1927 commercial fishing was only allowed in the open ocean. Since the Nestucca had a shallow dangerous bar accessible only at flood tide. a new larger surf boat was needed to be launched in the lee of cape Kiwanda. 

This larger dory was called a “double ender” because it was a pointed at both ends. It had two sets of oars, able to be rowed through the Pacific surf and out to sea. Later double enders had a motor well near the stern. There, small outboard motors were installed after negotiating the surf, for sighing during the day and then removed when rowing back to the beach.

Once outboard motors became powerful enough and more reliable the modern “square stern” dory was born. The Modern Pacific City dory is open hulled and flat bottomed and is pushed or rowed into the Pacific surf until deep enough to drop the outboard motor and then powered through the surf into the open ocean. Even with modern motors, many doormen still for through the surf just as the fathers and grandfathers did before using motors. 

When ocean conditions allow, Pacific City dories fish the waters off of Cape Kiwanda, laughing from and sliding back up the beach in the lee of the cape. Many doormen trailer these rugged marine plywood and fiberglass dories to Oregon ports  from Brookings to Astoria fishing for Chinook and Coho salmon, Dungeness crab, Albacore tuna and various rock fish.
The dory fleet is renowned for it’s incredible safety record. Doormen are often the first responders to distress calls and other marine emergencies . In 100+ only six known dorymen have lost their lives at sea, making the Pacific City dory and the men and women in sail them some of the best mariners  in the marine environment. The success of the Pacific City dory belongs to the stalwart and visionary doormen and women who recognized now versatile  it could become.

In 1996, a Dorymen’s Association was founded . It’s a non profit organization with the primary mission to preserve and protect the historic traditions given to them by the pioneers of the fleet. The association supports Oregon’s public beach laws and regulations and works with local, state, and federal agencies.

The Pacific City Dorymen’s Association welcomes you to the Home of the Dory fleet. to all who come this way, may you find enjoyment here.