WB Ocean Rescue Tryouts

Today over 40 people showed up to try out for one of limited spots on the Wrightsville Beach Ocean Rescue staff. Each person is trying to join a group that is well known as one of the best trained squads (physically and technically) in the country. The tryouts consist of a timed ½ mile swim/1 mile run followed by both an active and passive rescue. When Ocean Rescue director Dave Baker says, “do not stop swimming” and “if you have to puke, do not stop running” he means it.

People line up to sign in at 8am.

The Coasties take up position in case they are needed and monitor the swimmers.

The hopefuls are told what is expected of them.

Head Lifeguard Jremeny Owens explains the swim/run to the candidates.

Dave gives them one last pep talk before the competition begins.

The participants charge in!

Some surge ahead while others fall.

The first task is to round Crystal Pier before heading to a buoy at the water tower.

Guards watch from the beach in case anyone needs assistance.

After you exit the water it's back down the beach for a mile run.

A guard gives a quick lesson on rescue technique before the active rescue.

Dave and a group of guards who play the victims talk over their strategy of how much they can struggle during the active rescue.

Participants head out to save their victims who are screaming and thrashing just outside the sandbar.

Cruisers don't go well in the soft sand :)

Dave demonstrates the proper technique for the passive rescue.

Now that you've been half drowned by a "victim" in the active rescue it's time to drag some dead weight up the beach to the high tide line.

They make it extra fun by adding a little water weight to their wetsuits.

The guards all chat at the end of the tryouts getting ready to conduct final interviews.

Interviews are pretty relaxed, language skills, prior experience, a few jokes, check, check, and check.

It's all over around noon, the guards all pitch in and get their truck and PWC out of the soft stuff.


Music Downtown

So I decided it would be fun to take some pictures of live music downtown, mostly because Michelle thought it would be a good idea. Special thanks goes out to Michelle and Ian for putting in a good word, and Hell's Kitchen and Sixteen Taps for letting me shoot photos in their bars. Also to Gypsy Fire and Will West for letting me take photos of them.

Check out their pages if you get a chance.

The Bands
Gypsy Fire
Will West

The Bars
Hell’s Kitchen
Sixteen Taps

Getting shots was actually really challenging, especially since I hate flashes for the most part. Just got to figure them out is all.

Hells Kitchen

Will West

Good Music, BAD projector screen! Hah, I was so annoyed with having a large white bar in the photos.

Will again.

Across the street at Sixteen Taps

Gypsy Fire

Yeh... err... you see what i was trying to do here.


Downtown Wilmington

So I drove around all day trying to find the best angle to shoot downtown as a whole. A lot of legwork later and I got a few decent shots. Even made some nice panos with photostitch. I'll definitely be going back to get more sometime.

Cool old tug on the Cape Fear.

Downtown just before sunset.


Water Housing Gets Wet!

So I got my SPL water housing last Wednesday. I finally had a chance to swim out with it for the fist time today! Plenty of water droplets :( but the worst ones photoshoped out. Apparently the "spit method" does not work on domes. Anyways here are the best six shots I got today. Drool away! Can't wait to swim it out in some good sized waves.

Looking through the tube

Gotta love light in the lip

Time to stall out and pull in... if you can fit.

Bottom Turn

Movin down the line

Andrew carves an open face.


Surreal Downtown

I was lucky enough to take part in the Final Cut Film Festival this weekend. After we were finished I went back downtown and took some photos. The first two are locations we actually used in the film, and the last two are not. It was cloudy so all my skies were blown out. However, a little sky replacement, and a few other effects in some cases made the shots become pretty surreal. Definitely over the top, but fun anyway. I'll post a link to the film when it's online.