The photo below could be considered boring, but it is packed with fact and has the potential for fiction. That's what happens when you're on vacation with a camera, fertile imagination, and time to waste.
I watched this container ship arrive and anchor off the capital of Mauritius, Port Louis, which lies some miles to the south. A peninsula blocks the view of the city, but halo of its lights is visible at night.
I guessed that the ship would remain at anchor until port facilities permuted unloading. The cost of docking is high, so ships send as little time as possible in port. The name on the side--Hyundai--suggested a load of cars from Korea, but I doubted that the market was new cars was large. I guessed that this was advertising or that the company has a shipping division.
After the ship remained a few days, I began to wonder why. Ships usually kept moving as much as possible to maximise profit. Perhaps, the captain has a girlfriend in Mauritius and cooked up an excuse to remain. Or, a crew member landed in jail and had to be rescued from the judicial grip. All the time, the ship twisted at anchor at the mercy of the wind and currents. Bright lights at night informed one and all that it had not slipped away.
The second interesting aspect of this photo is the weather. The sky looks overcast, and it is in that direction. All other directions have blue sky. One must merely wait a short time for the weather to change in Mauritius. If one looks closely, it is obvious that rain is falling above the ship, but none reaches its deck. The water evaporates before falling too far from the clouds.
The side of the ship appears to be illuminated. It is. The sun is setting. The time is the same as that of the yesterday's sunset of the day. I had to turn my attention--and the camera--only slightly to have two very different impressions: grey and rain or blue sky and sunshine. Typical Mauritius.
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.