Sure, there can be a downside to military service: Violent, agonising death; captivity, torture and inconvenient hours. You've got to be smart about who you pick your fights with, but if my nephew's anything to go by, the other stuff is worth joining up for. He's a Sub Lieutenant in the RNZN, training to be the Tactical Officer on Sea Sprite helicopters. Travel, excitement, and an organisation that's best interest is served by helping you perform at your very best. I don't know too many corporates that make such a binding commitment to their staff. I've seen my nephew grow from an ordinary Kiwi kid into a man who's focussed, hard working and full of life. He's pretty much changed my opinion of the whole military service thing. So I decided to take the family down to visit the HMNZS Hawea while it was in port yesterday as part of its commissioning cruise.
She's a tidy little Protector-class vessel, and her job will be to enforce our 200 mile economic zone. That's a lot of fish to look out for. Things were a little hectic on open day and I didn't want to turn a family outing into another of Dad's photo missions, so I decided to go back this morning and see if I could get a nice shot in the morning light - glassy water, fiery sky, jolly jack tars in the rigging etc. Unfortunately the weather didn't cooperate. The sky was dull and I suspect even the sailor on watch was below with a cup of something warm. Still, I took my shot and managed to make something pretty of the ship's lights on the water. Tripod of course, 30 seconds at f/10, 200 ISO on timer release and using the mirror lock function. My Induro tripod is pretty solid, but for windy conditions like this morning, its also got a nifty little hook on the centre column to hang a bag from for a little extra stability.
Good luck in your struggle against fish-stealing eco-bandits, crew. That's a just war if ever there was one. Gotta love this country, we're pretty smart about who we pick a fight with.