Secrets At Sea: Day 2 Black And White Photo Challenge

Next week, Hubby and I will celebrate our 9th wedding anniversary.  Bitterly cold on our wedding day, we didn’t mind because one week later, we climbed onboard the cruise ship Arcadia, and with full steam ahead,  sailed out of Barbados for our ‘Taster Tour’ of six Caribbean islands.

Amongst the many photographs I took during our travels, succeeding in getting the view in this particular photo took some patience, and (not a secret to some, I know) I am not the most patient person in the world.

View of Starboard Deck onboard the Arcadia Cruise Ship somewhere in the Caribbean (c) Sherri Matthews

View of Starboard Deck onboard the Arcadia Cruise Ship somewhere in the Caribbean March 2006
(c) Sherri Matthews

It was darn near impossible to get any shots without somebody appearing at just the wrong moment. So annoying when that happens isn’t it? But on this particular day, my patience paid off as I managed to capture just the angle I wanted.

Something about this deck with the deep brown of the mahogany benches intrigued me, reminding me of the Titanic, the story of which both horrifies and enthralls me to this day.  In fact, I would say that it is a secret obsession of mine.

So much so, that as we crossed the Bay of Biscay on the way home, the ship creaking and groaning as it lurched through the rough seas, Hubby and I were about the only ones seen out of our cabins.

Of course, that might have been thanks to my secret cure for seasickness, discovered by pure chance: a pint of Stella and a greasy burger.  It works a treat, no kidding.

Even so, I nurtured secret fears: I grew ever concerned as the ship listed from side to side on that wild, grey ocean, that we would end up if not like those poor folk onboard the Titanic, then upside down like those others in  The Poseidon Adventure.

Maybe I watch too many films.

Today I’m tagging friends:

Tom at Beyond the Sphere for the Tell 5 Secrets Blog Hop.  Tom’s stories are out of this world, in more ways than one.  Can’t wait to see what secrets he has lurking back at the mansion.

Marie at iwalkalone.co.uk for the B&W 5 Day Photo Challenge.  Marie shares beautiful photos on her blog as she takes us along on her walks through English town and country.

Perfect timing this challenge, as it means I can also enter this photo for Jude’s fun and easy Bench Photo Challenge, details here.  This month’s theme is wooden benches and she invites one and all to take part.

And I’ll be here again tomorrow with Day 3 of the B&W Challenge & Secrets Blog Hop.
See you then!

About Sherri Matthews

Sherri has been writing full time since 2011. Currently working on her memoir, 'Stranger in a White Dress', she has been published in a variety of national magazines, websites and three anthologies. Sherri raised her three, now adult children, in California for twenty years and today, lives in England’s West Country with her hubby, Aspie youngest, two cats, a grumpy bunny and a family of Chinese Button Quails. She keeps out of mischief blogging, gardening, walking by the sea and snapping endless photographs. Her garden robin muse vists regularly.
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86 Responses to Secrets At Sea: Day 2 Black And White Photo Challenge

  1. jennypellett says:

    Great pic, I think Jude will approve!
    I can’t get past you stuffing your face with a greasy burger washed down with a pint of Stella. Class.

    Like

  2. cardamone5 says:

    I love your photo, and your cure for seasickness. Awesome!

    Like

  3. You’re tough, Sherri! A beer and a greasy burger would have be hanging over the railing for sure. 🙂 Great photo! I’m glad you waited it out. xo

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Haha 😀 Hope I haven’t made you ill reading this post Jill!! The thing is, I rarely drink lager, and then only a swift half on a hot summer’s day. And while I do enjoy a nice burger now and then (but my faves are In-N-Out and they aren’t sold here :-() I can count on one hand the number of times I eat them in a year. So my seasickness cure came as a total surprise! All I cared about was that it worked, and why, I have no idea 🙂 Glad you liked the photo, hubby says he’s got it as his wallpaper on his computer at work 🙂 xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Ah, I went on the Queen Mary 2 back in… 2006?? Wonderful experience. It was a Transatlantic Crossing, so the same journey as the Titanic! I remember on board they told you when we were going by the area the ship hit the iceberg. I shan’t lie, I did find myself getting unnerved! Maybe all the lost souls in the sea still linger… Anyway, I have the most magical moment of my life aboard the QM2, and it shall stay with me forever.

    Congratulations for next week, by the way, for you and your husband’s anniversary 🙂 May you be blessed with many more, dear Sherri P.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Wow, what a terrific experience and so lovely that you have that magical moment to treasure in your heart forever 🙂 I would love to do that crossing. But I can well imagine how that must have felt when you approached the actual sight of the sinking…
      And thank you for your congratulations and kind wishes dear Jenny Jen Jen…and will be over to catch up with you shortly… 🙂

      Like

  5. TanGental says:

    Not sure about boats any more than horses, if I’m being honest. I kind of like land beneath my feet. Sort of directly if you know what I mean. I do understand the mystery of the photo – a touch Marie Celeste and a smidgen of the Sargasso Sea here – where have all those people gone… Spooky

    Like

  6. rgemom says:

    What a beautiful photo! Definitely worth the patience. And thanks for the seasickness cure. I’ll have to try that next time as I usually end up room-bound by day three.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Oh dear…sorry to hear that. Hubby and I were quite sure we would be okay, having never suffered any kind of seasickness before, but neither had we ever traveled out at sea on a cruise ship before either! I have no idea why the lager and burger worked, but it did and I hope it works for you too! And thank you, so glad you liked the photo 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Once, when everyone else was confined downstairs being horribly sea-sick, my aged aunt, at the grand age of 76, was found hanging over the rails of a ferry in the Cook Strait in rough weather [we crossed on the tail of a hurricane] crying out “Oh, the elements, the wild, wild elements!” with a look of pure joy on her face. Now that was living in the moment!

    Congratulations on your upcoming anniversary to the lovely man in the plane. It makes my heart warm and fuzzy to think you have found contentment and safety at last!

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Oh Pauline, what a fabulous story, what a woman! That truly is living in the moment, thank you so much for sharing it with me 🙂 Mind you, that sounds like one hairy crossing, you were both very brave to begin with travelling on the tail of a hurricane across the waters!! I admire you both greatly! And thank you too for your lovely, kind wishes and sentiments, you warm my heart with your kindness 🙂

      Like

  8. Great shot. Love it. (I’m also one of those who hates when someone steps into my picture–photobomb!) 😉 Happy Anniversary!

    Like

  9. Willow-Marie says:

    I love the pic- am imagining the secrets shared on the benches.
    P.S. being patient is over rated! 😉

    Like

  10. Tom Merriman says:

    Happy Anniversary to you both, Mr and Mrs Sherri!
    I’ve found the opposite with regards to Stella and seasickness, though Sherri… although that may have been to the ‘pint’ being plural… I couldn’t possibly nowadays!
    I was on a cruise many years ago, and remember that lurching feeling well. And the Poseidon Adventure feeling as well, for that matter – the ship broke down whilst we were in the middle of the ocean. I could hear the captain trying to start the engine… fun, but frightening!

    Like

    • Tom Merriman says:

      Oh, and thank you for the nomination… I shall have a look-see to see what I can come up with.

      Like

    • Sherri says:

      Thanks so much Tom! Seems to the party season doesn’t it? We didn’t plan it that way…just sort of happened, as these things do 😉
      Ahh…well, I think your ‘plural pints’ just might have had something to do with it! And for the record, I rarely drink lager, much less a whole pint! Much prefer wine, a G&T and of course, bubbly. But not necessarily all at once 😛
      Oh Tom, that does sound terrifying! I would have rushed over to the ifeboats in a heartbeat, wimp that I am. Glad you were safe and returned to dry shores…I assume anyway….unless you are not actually Tom at all… o_O

      Like

      • Tom Merriman says:

        Haha! No, I’m me. Well, I was when I last checked, anyway!
        I don’t touch lager nowadays either. Wine for me.
        The funny thing about the broken-down ship was, in my mind, everyone would be making their way to the life rafts themselves in the same way I was, clutching onto the hand rails. I reached the deck to discover everyone tucking into their cornflakes. It was an ‘if you can’t beat them, join them’ moment, so very soon I was at the buffet helping myself as well. All thoughts of the Poseidon Adventure dissipated…

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Sherri love the black and white it really sets the mood.

    Like

  12. Heyjude says:

    Got here at last! And what a beautiful bench photo for me – lovely in black and white too with all those lines and crisp contrasts. Did you like cruising then Sherri? Would you do it again? (And happy anniversary, I hope you have a wonderful, warm day 🙂 )
    Jude xx

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Yay! Oh I’m so glad you like this photo Jude, I imagined your tutorial guidance as I sharpened it here and there and had a little play 😉 Thanks so much too for your kind wishes 🙂 As for cruising, this is the one and only time we have ever done one and you ask an interesting question. It was expensive as we had a nice size room with a large balcony which really made it, and I wouldn’t want to go again unless we had that. Spoilt aren’t I? We had always wanted to go to the Caribbean and we love the water. But the seasickness (even though neither of us had ever suffered before, but then again we had never been on a cruise ship out at sea before either, so had no reference point) made it difficult. We had all that lovely food but the dining room was above the engine and every evening the reverberation from it made me distinctly queasy. Then again, if the opportunity presented and money allowed, then I’m sure we wouldn’t turn it down 😉 xx

      Like

      • Heyjude says:

        I crossed the Indian Ocean from India to South Africa on a cruise ship and I was very ill with ‘delhi belly’ the entire crossing so looked on with longing at the tables piled high with food as I ate plain boiled rice 😦 On the last night there was a feast AND also a terrible storm. Everyone was sea-sick, even crew members and the dining-room deserted. Four of us grabbed plates of turkey sandwiches and bottle of beer and sat outside on top overlooking the swimming pool watching the waves crash over the sides and washing cars and cargo into the ocean. I’ll never forget that journey, but I guess not all cruise ships are like that 😉

        Like

      • Sherri says:

        Oh Jude, that’s awful, poor you 😦 But what a story you tell! You have certainly had some amazing adventures! I remember it getting so rough on our ship crossing the Bay of Biscay that the swimming pools were all closed due to all the sloshing, but I didn’t see any cars or cargo getting washed overboard. Yikes, good job you had that beer to drink to take the edge off. I think I would have been absolutely petrified! Looks like we both discovered that booze and grub took our minds off the wild seas 😉 😛

        Like

  13. Cecilia says:

    The photo is absolutely great. I creates an intense mood, congratulations.

    Like

  14. Happy anniversary, Sherri, to both of you and many, many more. Have a fabulous time! Your photo is postcard perfect. ❤ ❤ ❤

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Thanks so much Tess! Will be low key, it being in the week, but will be sure to have a bottle of bubbly on hand… 🙂 And glad you like the photo, I admit to being rather proud of it, truth be told 🙂 ❤ ❤ ❤

      Like

  15. Congratulations to you both on your nine years, Sherri. Great photo. I can just imagine you standing there glowering at anyone who had the audacity to walk out on deck when you were trying to take a photo. 😀

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Thanks so much Sylvia! Haha, yes, I was determined to get this shot and I had several opportunities ruined. How dare anyone else walk along that deck? Honesly, the cheek of some people… 😀 😉 xx

      Like

  16. You must have been very patient with this picture, Sherri. It’s excellent!

    Like

  17. Mabel Kwong says:

    Brilliant work with the photo, Sherri. Have to agree with you that looks a bit like the Titanic, a movie which I don’t really like to watch because it’s so sad. I don’t drink beer, so if I ever do get motion sickness I hope that a greasy burger or fries will make me feel better. Glad to know we have the same taste in food. If we ever go out for a meal together, we will certainly have a good time 🙂 Have a good weekend, Sherri ❤

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Thanks so much Mabel! So glad you like it! It captured such an evocative moment I thought, even in its original colour form, which I think I might post at the end of the challenge, so you and others can see how it looked, what do you think? And yes, the Titanic movie is very sad indeed…but at the time, I watched it several times as I was totally hooked on the story. I love the original B&W film too, A Night to Remember, a true British classic. The strange thing is, I rarely drink lager and then only a swift half! And although I do enjoy burgers, I rarely eat them. But when I do, I really enjoy them. So whyI found my cure for seasickness with them remains a complete mystery! But yes, we certainly would have a great time Mabel…what a fantastic thought! Thank you, you have a good weekend too…and maybe enjoy a nice, juicy burger but no beer 😀 ❤ 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  18. The first thing I thought of when I saw your stark and stunning photo was the Titanic which is also an obsession of mine. Your cure for sea sickness is unique and I do wonder about the story behind the discovery. 🙂 Enjoying this latest challenge of yours and as always appreciate your skills! xoxoxo

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      It really has that feel doesn’t it? The Arcadia is part of the British P&O Cruise Ship Line and is designed in the ‘old school’ British fashion, which explains why it has this kind of turn of the century look, despite it being ultra modern! Haha…I will tell you about my seasickness cure, my friend, when we speak, a strange story indeed 😀 So glad you are enjoying this latest (and last for a while!) challenge…and I’m thrilled that we share a Titanic obsession 🙂 ❤ xo

      Like

  19. Amy says:

    Great B&W image, Sherri! yep, worth the patience. 🙂

    Like

  20. Rachel M says:

    My niece is obsessed with the Titanic. She knows the names of children who died on it and even went on the commemorative sailing a few years ago. It was an entire ship filled with Titanic obsessives!

    Love the pic!

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Thanks Rachel! And I would have loved to have gone on that commemoriative trip with all those Titanic obsessives! Tell your niece I’m very jealous 😀

      Like

  21. I love your cure for seasickness, Sherri. Who would have guessed that a pint of Stella and a greasy beef burger would do the trick?

    I must have watched ‘Titanic’ at least ten times now. I also like the older version ‘A Night to Remember’. Although we all know what is going to happen, I still can not miss these movies when they appear on TV.

    Your photo ls excellent. Black and white brings out so much details of that deck, and I’m glad you stood your ground and managed to get the shot without anybody appearing in it. Well done!

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Haha 😀 Who would have guessed indeed Hugh? Especially as I rarely drink lager and although I do enjoy burgers, I don’t eat those very often either! So go figure! It was very strange indeed, but it worked and that’s the main thing! Oh I’m so with you on those films, I watched Titanic seven times when it came out and who knows how many times on, back then, video. And yes, I adore A Night to Remember, a true British classic isn’t it? I love those films and like you, can’t miss them 🙂 I’m thrilled you like the photo. I’m not a professional photographer by any means, but I’ve always enjoyed taking photos everywhere I go. The kids used to get annoyed with me but they are pleased now that I have so many of their growing up years 🙂 Haha, yes, I was determined to get that shot Hugh, and I wasn’t going to give up!! So thank you very much for that 😀

      Like

      • Photography has only become an interest to me since joining WordPress, Sherri. I was invited to participate in a challenge a few months after I started my blog, and now I’m hooked. Best of thing of all is because I take all my photos on my iPhone, it goes just about everywhere with me now. However, the hard drive on my computer is gradually getting filled up with photos because I don’t want to delete anything just in case I need that shot!

        Like

      • Sherri says:

        Wonderful it is Hugh, just wonderful 🙂

        Like

  22. Superb photo. I understand your frustration totally as I always like to take photos that make it look as though I was the only person there. Sometimes difficult as well you know. What a wonderful honeymoon. Have you got plans for your ninth? 🙂

    Like

  23. Seyi sandra says:

    Love your ‘patient’ shot, it came out great, hope you and hubby would celebrate big next week. I’ve missed reading your posts and blogging! Writing new books has sucked me in! I’ll be back to check more of your deeply satisfying posts!
    Much love to you dear Sherri. 🙂 🙂

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Hi Seyi, how lovely to see you again, and I have missed you!! Ahh…so kind of you to check in on me when you are so busy writing your new books, but how exciting that you are writing. This will be my last challenge for some time, as although I have been writing, nothing like as much as I want to. That will change from next week…*she says optimistically,* ha! 😀 Thank you so much, glad you liked the ‘patient’ shot 🙂 We hope a little getaway the following weekend 🙂 Much love to you too dear Seyi, looking forward to catching up 🙂

      Like

  24. restlessjo says:

    What a shot! I haven’t found one good enough for ‘wooden’ yet 😦 And a superb black and white at that 🙂

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Thanks Jo 😀 I do like how it looks in B&W, I’m having fun with this now, but it’s a lot of work blogging every day isn’t it? I could never do this normally! I just know you’ll find something perfect for ‘wooden’…and I look forward to seeing it 🙂

      Like

      • restlessjo says:

        I found I could cope just doing one shots, Sherri, but then the comments come and you start to sink 🙂 I’m answering comments/visiting now when I would so much rather be writing. Should be better at juggling by now. Have a lovely weekend!

        Liked by 1 person

  25. Charli Mills says:

    You have a good eye for what looks good in B&W. I’m glad you were patient and waited for the right shot! The Titanic is one of those stories that haunts many. Some day I want to visit the 121 graves of Titanic victims buried in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Cheers to your seasickness remedy! It’s Friday night tomorrow. I might have to go find a boat!

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Thanks Charli! I am pleased with how this photo came out in B&W. Patience is definitely a virtue, but one I need more of 😉 Yes, I feel just the same as you about the Titanic and would love to visit the graves. I remember standing on that deck and when at last I was the only one there for those moments, I tried to imagine what it must have been like that night on board…
      Haha, well…I have no idea how it worked but it did! Friday night is soon upon us…hope you’ve found that boat 😀

      Like

  26. The problem with coming in so late is there are so many comments to read before I write. I love reading them all. I’ve always wanted to take a cruise but afraid to go out farther than I can swim. 🙂
    I am impressed with that photo. It says so much and you can use it so many ways. I never think to take pictures. Congrats on the anniversary and I wish you many, many more.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      You are never too late Marlene, it is a such a pleasure when you visit whatever the time or day. But I’m glad you enjoy reading the comments too 🙂 I’m not sure if we’ll ever go on a cruise again. Expensive for one thing, and the seasickness for another. Still, at least I know the cure, haha 😀 Thank you so much for your compliment of the photo, I’m thrilled you like it, and also for your lovely anniversary wishes. I’ve always loved to take photos but never thought in a million years that one day I would end up sharing any of them outside of family, never mind on a blog!

      Liked by 1 person

  27. Happy anniversary! The cruise sounds like a lot of fun, but when I think of that much water under me, well…lets just say I prefer dry land!

    Like

  28. Oh, dear. You brought back a memory from my childhood of travelling through the Bay of Biscay on a cruise ship and getting caught in a Force 10 storm just after eating too many cream cakes. I don’t need to tell you the rest of the story as I’m sure you can guess what happened next D:

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Oh dear, you poor, poor thing. And no you don’t need to Sarah, as I have a very vivid imagination so let’s just say, we’ll leave it that… 😦 😛 o_O

      Like

  29. Happy anniversary, Sherri! I can see you now trying to take the photo 🙂 Hugs for you for your week!!

    Like

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  35. Norah says:

    Well I’m pleased you didn’t end up like the passengers on those fateful ships; and that you got the photo you wanted. It is rather lovely. I don’t think I care much for the sound of your sea sickness remedy! But I don’t care much for the thought of sea sickness either. You have had some good things to celebrate – wedding anniversary (congratulations) and hub’s birthday. What a fun month!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Yes, me too Norah! The thought of my seasickness remedy makes me feel queasy, way too heavy and not what I normally eat and drink at all! Go figure…such a strange experience, the whole thing! It has been a fun month and always good to have these excuses to celebrate. So glad you enjoyed the photo, thanks so much Norah 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Norah says:

        I’m pleased you enjoyed the month. A new one is just about to begin. I hope you enjoy it too! Any special celebrations this month?

        Liked by 1 person

        • Sherri says:

          Things quieten down for us in April thankfully, other than my brother’s birthday at the end of the month. It’ s nice for hubby to have a four day weekend coming up for Easter, but we plan to catch up with some decorating and gardening if we can, weather permitting of course! I hope you have nice Easter plans Norah?

          Like

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  37. Denise says:

    I love architectural shots in b&w. Isn’t it funny how the things we don’t see (people) are the things that made the shot so difficult?

    Liked by 1 person

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