Gun Cay

Gun Cay

During the early 90’s, on a sailing trip from South Florida, in a very very small sailboat, (did I say very, very small sailboat), myself and two friends set out for the island of Bimini in the Bahamas. Our intention was to spend a week of living as drunken sailors, eating all the lobster and conch that we could scuba dive for, along with smuggling a sailboat load of beer into Bimini. Beer is a commodity on small inhabited tropical islands, and it is worth its weight in rum. So we set sail south, across Florida bay, hooked around Marathon, then northeast through The Florida Straits and into the Bahama Islands. Along our way we encountered a tropical depression that stood directly in our path. The storm’s direction was SSW and our direction, NNE of course! So the adventure began!
This stained glass piece shown here, and the view were on the island of Gun Cay. The panorama was quite accidental but a very profound moment during this trip. The time-period was two months post hurricane Andrew, in the early 90’s. Andrew had passed through the Bahamas, then into South Florida. Both places were devastated, especially Homestead, Fl. Gun Cay was home to a small government building or barracks, a lighthouse, as well as a very tall radio transmission tower which had been blown over and laid on the ground from one side of the island to the other, lengthwise. The island was uninhabited at this time. We explored what was left of the rickety buildings with the lighthouse being the biggest challenge, followed by the empty barracks. As I passed a partial wall and the only window that still existed, I paused to take in a beautiful scape. It was quite serene after seeing all the damage and devastation from home as well as the islands we were hopping from day to day. The coconut palms were all laying on the ground next to the radio tower, I could only imagine the beautiful vista that existed prior to hurricane Andrew. In my mind I was able put it all back together .
Years later while I was constructing this picture, I added in the two Dolphin. I had an encounter with them during the tropical depression as we sailed through the Florida straits on our trek. It was while on my three hour shift sitting on the high side of our very heeled over small craft, that a small pod of dolphin popped up in the pitch black of night. I could hear them, and occasionally catch a glimpse of them when the lightning flashed and cracked. I think they wanted to see what kind of nut jobs were out in 3000 feet of water sailing in a small boat with a 40 knot headwind. To this day I am amazed at how much of a comforting and calming effect they offered my spirit during that very ominous storm. And all the while I was thinking “this is where dopey guys go when they disappear in the Bermuda Triangle.”
“Gun Cay” is my interpretation of the three dimensional plants, the standing Coconut Palm, the Dolphin, looking out the barracks window, contained in a 28″x24″ window frame from the early 1800’s, with a porclan latch, around 1000 pieces of glass with correct texture, and the correct articulation of this island with respect to the Florida coast as sunset approaches.




1 Comment

  1. Mike Lancaster

    great story…great art work.

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