The sky was pretty cloudy when I first went out, but by the time we arrived it was starting to clear up. There was still enough color left to get a few good photos. In this one, I like the way the light on the walk draws my eye to the bottom left and then the rail and the jetty lead to the sun rays coming up from below the horizon.
A little later, I noticed this boat speeding around the inlet, sometimes with flashing lights and a siren and wondered what was going on.
I should have realized what was happening before I saw this next boat coming out of the inlet:
This was pretty exciting for me. Many years ago, after college, I was in the Navy and served aboard a sub like this one. Just before I got out, I was stationed at the Naval Ordinance Test Unit at Cape Canaveral. After submarines go through refit, the Navy sends them down to NOTU for a missile test. They load a special dummy warhead missile and then test fire it down range from the Atlantic off the Cape. The tall mast behind the sail is added to transmit instrumentation data during launch while the sub is submerged.
We watched the boat turn south after leaving the inlet, and rushed to set up our cameras for a photo as it sailed under the sun.
Submarine sunrise: This is a unique Florida sunrise scene: The British Trident ballistic missile submarine HMS Vigilant leaves Port Canaveral, Florida just after dawn.
We hung around for a while after this to photograph shorebirds including Brown Pelicans, Gulls, Black Skimmers, Terns, and others. But the highlight of the trip for me was the sub. As a former submariner, it brought back a lot of memories and I really enjoyed the show. Quite a bonus for getting up early!
10/31/12 update: The HMS Vigilant successfully launched a Trident II D5 missile on 23 October.
Read more here (sorry, no longer available).
Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Now – go make some photos!
©2012, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved.