Monday, September 5, 2011

The raft people #5 They reach the sea at last.

When I started this model adventure series it was a chance to try out my new mini camera,( a Samsung T 70. ) I had become hooked on the possibilities of model photography earlier with a series I had done with a paper model canoe and its two paddlers and thought that a raft and modeling clay characters sailing on my pond would be fun to try. By combining a real photo of an imaginary scene with some photoshopping touch-ups I had developed a photo technique for storytelling in picture form.( Hang on, isn`t that movies?)

The raft people sailed on the pond ( a large lake to them) and then lived through an icy winter, - even ice sailing through a blizzard. With Spring, they dismantled their raft and built two narrow ones for following the stream to the sea. We met them last, portaging around a waterfall.

The scene opens with the raft reassembled and sailing along a long sandy shoreline. They sight a sailing ship that dwarfs their own raft ( the ‘Monshulu’, see Eric Newby`s ‘The last Grain Race’) and sail hard to catch up. They surge alongside and find the ship is in difficulties, trapped in shoaling waters. Before they know it the ship is broadside in the surf and the raft, which draws little water, can be of assistance even though waves are sweeping their decks. The dinghy is launched to carry a line to the Monshulu, but, alas, it fills with water and the paddler is lost ( raft people do not float).

An anchor is eventually carried out to deeper water, the ship is warped off and saved, but the three raft survivors have some difficult decisions to make. To carry on along this unfamiliar coastline with only three crewmembers or ship their raft as deck cargo on a voyage across the ocean. Will they struggle on or will they eventually sell the raft in Japan as raw logs?