FolkestoneJack's Tracks

Messing about in boats

Posted in Bulgaria, Kardzhali, Most by folkestonejack on May 16, 2016

The afternoon promised the tantalising, if somewhat unsettling, prospect of a session photographing 46.03 and our three coach train from boats. It was easy to sign up for this months ahead of the trip, but now that the moment had arrived I wondered quite what we had let ourselves in for…

After arriving at the familiar territory of Sredna Arda we followed some steps down to a small jetty at the edge of the Studen Kladenets reservoir where we found a collection of small boats and a motley crew of boatmen awaiting us.

The convoy en route

The convoy en route

We nervously clambered aboard our fleet, with around six to eight photographers per boat, then set off across the water to the first of two spots where we would attempt to form a photographic line. The theory was sound but the practice was rather more chaotic!

Our small boat was rocking madly in the choppy waters from the off and this only seemed to get worse as the crews attempted to tie the ships together by rope. Soon the boats were drifting in the way of each other or floating too far away from the ideal shot.

A photograph of photographers photographing our train!

A photograph of photographers photographing our train!

Inevitably, the moment a run started the boats became wildly unstable as photographers moved around to try and get a decent shot. It was a miracle that we avoided dunking any photographers into the cold waters, though some might argue that was precisely what we needed to bring us to our senses!

Sometimes it seemed that the boatmen were a little too enthusiastic in their rivalry, trying to out do each other in their attempts to give their photographers the best view. At one point we were slap bang in everyone’s shot until our captain was cajoled into re-starting his engine and falling back into line.

It was a wonderful opportunity to take some different shots in the spectacularly photogenic rugged landscape of the Eastern Rhodopes, but I think we were all a little relieved when we motored to a small pebble beach and clambered off onto dry land. We walked along the beach and up the line to find our train taking on water at Spirka Zvezdelina.

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