Crossing the Sea in a Science Fictional State of Mind

It’s been too long since the product of my remarkable genius for photography has graced this blog.  Or, to put it another – and more accurate – way, it’s been a while since I demonstrated here that my photographic skills approximate those of an ape who knows to point the black box at something pretty and press the button.

So, last weekend I spent quite a few hours trundling back and forth across the North Sea in a ship.  I found it all a somewhat science fictional experience, if looked at the right way.

There was the mildly tacky hedonism of the hordes of exuberant young folk, of all European nationalities, surging from bar to bar to buffet in search of slightly transgressive pleasures (i.e. smoking, drinking and … well, we all know what the number one priority of young folk of a certain age is, right?).  Something slightly decadent about the whole scene, especially since we were all imprisoned in this enormous floating machine.  A bit like something from the twilight of a creatively spent world.

And the actual twilight produced its own strange visions.

A sky crossed by the trails of aircraft, with great ships jostling on the horizon:

and forests of turbines, beyond the sight of land:

Then Holland greets you with this vision of industrial architecture and steam plumes, like a better-lit version of Bladerunner:

But it was those offshore turbines that gave the most eerie impression.  Engineering marvels that seem to belong in some big budget movie rather than the mundane world.

Conclusions?  I have none, except that our day to day lives contain strangeness we should perhaps stop and stare at more often.  Oh, and that we live in a present that would look like the fever dream – perhaps even nightmare – of a diseased mind to the vast majority of humanity that lived and died before any of us were born.  Oh the second, and offshore wind farms: love ’em or loathe ’em, they’re undeniably … striking.

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