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Wreck of the Lady Carol

The Lady Carol was a shrimp boat that went aground and sank just off the Freeport Harbor jetties.

I shot this photo in 1978, during my second year as managing editor of The Brazosport Facts, a small daily newspaper on the Texas Gulf Coast.

I can't remember exactly how we found out about the shipwreck, but someone called in a tip that a shrimp boat had gone down overnight and the wreck could still be seen from the beach. I told my photographer to run down and shoot it.

For some reason, he started making excuses and giving me reasons not to go. "You won't see much... it will be too far out... take too long to get down there..."

I was surprised by his reaction and told him to sit his lazy ass down and I would shoot it myself.

Glad I did. I enjoyed the drive through Freeport, the short wait at the swing bridge as a barge moved down the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, and the final trek through the soft sand out onto Bryan Beach.

The morning was beautiful with the sun yet to peek out above the rain clouds building up offshore. The sea was peaceful, quieter than I had ever experienced. Even the shorebirds were slow to wake up, paying me little mind as I drove down to the water's edge.

It was an easy shot, using Tri-X film and my favorite 135mm lens on the Pentax Spotmatic camera I carried as a correspondent in Vietnam. I ran the photo on Page One,

In a few days, the Lady Carol was no more, broken apart by the surf and disappearing beneath the waves.

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