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Ireland

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Dora and I recently travelled to Ireland to participate in two photo workshops hosted by John Dunne and Athena Carey. Our workshops included locations in County Kerry and the Wild Atlantic Way as well as Ireland's Copper Coast. We were joined by friends and fellow photographers Tony Gouge, Kevin Crays, RJ Wilner, Dick Tarr, Nick and Sarah Bridges, and Nancy Crays. The workshops were everything we expected and more. John and Athena looked after us, guided us through numerous locations and photographic opportunities, and adapted to weather conditions as Hurricane Ophelia made her presence known during the workshops. We would take another workshop from them without hesitation. 

 

This year was the 75th annual running of Aiken Trials, which took place on Saturday March 18. This event is always well produced and attended. The Aiken Training Track makes for a neat venue. Tickets can be obtained for infield and outfield parking. Front row reserved parking gets you a parking spot next to the rail where you can watch the races. Spectators bring folding chairs, ice chests, and barbeques. The tailgate parties will rival any football tailgate party. Events like this are always attended by other photographers and it is a good time to meet new friends. There were a number of special events this, such as a bi-plane flyover, Miss South Carolina, and one of the Wells Fargo stagecoaches. 

We recently returned from Aiken, SC. One of the events we go to Aiken for is the Civil War reenactment of the Battle of Aiken. The war was essentially over, however; this was an important battle to the south. Sherman's forces had completed its march through Georgia and was turning their attention to South Carolina. Confederate soldiers engaged the Union army in Aiken and managed to score a minor victory, saving Aiken from destruction. 

Dora and I were stationed at the U.S. Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba for four years, beginning in 1973. Our daughter, Karen, was born there. Cuba was under an economic embargo by the United States and so we were restricted to the base. Diplomatic relations with Cuba were severed in 1961 by President Eisenhower. The U.S. embassy in Havana was closed and Guantanamo Bay was isolated. We could take R&R trips to Haiti, Puerto Rico, San Juan, and other Caribbean locations but we never got to know any of Cuba, save what we experienced on the base. Over the years we would catch a glimpse through some story in a magazine or newspaper but we never thought the opportunity to return would present itself. Fast forward 54 years to August 14, 2015 when Secretary of State, John Kerry, travelled to Havana to reopen the embassy. Suddenly Americans could once again visit the beautiful island of Cuba. 

Recently Dora and I took our C22 on a two week cruise along the Florida Pan Handle. The article has been published on the Catalina 22 National Sailing Association web page. Click here to read the article.

Friend and fellow photographer Steve Rich and I try to get together at least once a year for a great adventure of exploration, adventure, and photography. This year took us in to the Great Smokey Mountains National Park where we visited Pigeon Forge, Cades Cove, and Roaring Fork.

My images can be seen in the image gallery at the end of this article. You can also visit my Facebook and Flickr pages by using the social links in the top right of the web page.

To see Steve's images you can go to his Flicker page by clicking here or his Facebook page by clicking here.

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