Friday, April 27, 2012

Meet John Guider

We get many transients here at Isle of Hope Marina in Georgia, moreso now at this time of year.  Being right on the ICW makes it a convenient place to stop.  We see all kinds of boats and meet all sorts of people.  The vast majority are regular folks in regular boats.   John Guider isn't a regular folk, and his boat isn't a regular boat, at least in the way he's using it.

First,  his boat. 

John's boat is a Chesapeake Light Craft design, a 14 1/2 foot Expedition Skerry, which is a cross between a rowing boat and a sailboat.  When the winds are favorable, John sails.  When not, he rows.

You're thinking, so what?  Lots of people row and sail.   Ah, but that's the rub.  John isn't out for a morning row.  John is doing the Great Loop, a circumnavigation of eastern North America.  

Ah, so he's crazy? 

No, not at all.  Well, no more so than you or I.

So he's running from the law?

No!  As I mentioned earlier, John is not a regular guy, and I mean that in a positive, flattering way.  John is an award winning photographer and writer.   What better way to photograph America than by boat?  And what better boat to get up close and personal than John's Skerry? 

Most people "do the loop" in a big rush.  They try to get it done in a year, which means a lot of rushing to get places.  John is doing his loop in sections, a couple of months at a time, and it will take him several years to complete the whole thing.  Meanwhile, he has plenty of time to gather material for his art.   And speaking of his art, you have to check out John's website,  The appropriate word for it is stunning.

I'm not going to give you the history of John's trip, nor a biography.  That's all on John's website.  Some basic info, though.  John is in his early 60s.  He's from Nashville, Tennessee.  He has a BS in mechanical engineering and modern physics from Vanderbilt University.  He's softspoken and articulate.  He's traveled the entire length of the Mississippi, all along the Gulf of Mexico, and as far north as Isle of Hope in motorless boats.  I'll tell you that you should spend some time studying his website if you have the least interest in art or photography. 

Isle of Hope Marina liveaboards had our first weekly potluck dinner last night, and John was there, accompanied by Isle of Hope's ambassador of goodwill and southern hospitality, Sammy.  I had a chance to talk with John a bit, and afterwards I chatted with Sammy, a wonderful photographer in his own right.   I asked Sammy if he had a chance to look at John's website and his work.   Sammy looked at me and without saying a word, and symbolically removed his ever present camera from around his neck and hung it on a hook. 

John's art can be purchased at Studio East Nashville.  You can also purchase John's book The River Inside at

Safe travels, John.   You've inspired me to work on my B&W photography.

I have a lot to learn.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for connecting me Johns blog Dave.

    Wow! What an artist. I'll be following his trip up the coast.

    Your blog is a daily fix and sharing stuff like this makes it even better.