" SpiritofSaltSpring:BC:Canada:GulfIslands:SaltSpring:Salt Spring:

April 03, 2008

A Passion for Shipspotting


-from Prospect Point, Stanley Park, April 2008

Enthusiasm really is contagious. I have a friend named Neil. I met Neil in a coffee shop about 13 years ago. We've done a lot of walking and talking, some cycling, even camping once, and we've been friends ever since.

One of Neil's passions is shipspotting. When you walk around the Stanley Park seawall with Neil, those freighters in the harbour aren't just big, big boats (blasphemy, sorry Neil), they have a history, an owner, a personality. He knows when they leave and what country they are registered in and who owns them. He knows what flag is flying and what type of cargo they're carrying. He knows where they're going next. He passes the binoculars to you and describes in detail why that particular ship is unique.

I swear he's a walking small business. I see walking tours for tourists. I see a blog. I see photography specializing in ships. In my mind, I've got three full time jobs lined up for Neil (heck, he needs to start advertising for staff already) and he hasn't even retired yet. I'm not sure why he's still working at his day job really! There's no time to waste on that old thing. Been there. Done that. So over it.

As a result of this passion he spends a lot of time at Prospect Point and he's beginning to amass quite the photo album of ship photos.

Today, he dropped by after an afternoon of shipspotting and I continued with my pitch for how he could supplement his retirement income by setting up a blog dedicated solely to shipspotting. It's perfect, I say. It's a highly focused topic. It's got ready-made content that's forever being refreshed every time a ship comes in and out of the harbour. You know there's already an international interest in the topic because of the number of people on Shipspotting.com. All you have to do is post a photo a day or on some consistent schedule and voila, soon you will have 15,000 people reading your blog because they will have found out about it from shipspotting.com. Maybe then you could get advertising and you're finally doing what you love and making money too.

"What about if I want to take a few days off?" he asks. "That's a pretty big commitment," he says. "What if I only want to do a Saturday blog?"

Let's just say, I'm not sure I've convinced him yet. Until I do you can still learn a lot more about what's coming in and out of Vancouver's harbour by looking at his photos and reading what he has to say.

1 comment:

Meesh said...

Ha! I think this shipspotting could easily become a very addictive hobby. If Neil does start a blog, what would he call it? The Shipping News? Oh, right, that's already been used. Darn that E. Annie Proulx!
Great idea!
Meesh