Looking across Prinsengracht © 1997 the archive of light <    >

At first two and then three crewmen tried to manhandle the bow away from the bridge. I was confident that they'd eventually get the boat aligned, but after a lot of calls back and forth between the crew and the pilot, it became clear that they were having a very hard time making the turn. Even with three men working the bow and the steering assistance from the propeller and rudder, it still took more than twenty minutes for them to get the barge positioned properly.

When I took the first couple photographs in this series, I had no idea that anything was wrong with what they were doing. I couldn't imagine that they'd take almost half an hour from the time they first came into view until they finally motored on up Reguliersgracht. Far from it. I figured these shots might make a nice triptych of their maritime skills like the three shots I have of a drawbridge over a canal. In the first shot the drawbridge is down, in the second it is raised, and in the third a canal boat is passing under the opened bridge.