The Nydia


I shot this on a whim at my Shrimp Boat Show reception at the Maritime Museum in Biloxi to show some of the curious guests how I do all of my work. I bracket (take 3 exposures of every shot and then blend them) and was able to then show then on my camera LCD the different details from the 3 random shots I would be able to use with the process that would not have otherwise been available with a single shot. I had no intention of doing anything else other than that in camera demo with them until today when I gave it a run and liked the results!
The Nydia was built at a shipyard on Biloxi’s back bay around 1898. Wood bought it in 1904, and raced it in Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana.
In the 1950s, a youthful Ralph Wood Pringle joined a short list of mariners allowed to take the helm of Albert Baldwin Wood's beloved sailboat, the Nydia.
"She was very fast and a lot of fun," said Pringle, reflecting on his turn with the late-1800s sloop in the Mississippi Sound.
"She was balanced perfectly," the Diamondhead, Miss., resident recalled. "You would hold the tiller and there would be no pressure on it. He had the mast raked just right, tilted just a little aft."
Pringle a great-nephew of Wood, the brilliant general superintendent of the New Orleans Sewerage & Water Board during the 1940s and 1950s -- recently wrested the Nydia from Wood's alma mater, Tulane University. He and others have secured a new, high-profile home for the nautical treasure on the Mississippi Gulf Coast: the Maritime & Seafood Industry Museum in Biloxi.
The Nydia "is the only known Johnson boat left," said Robin Krohn David, executive director of the museum, scheduled to be rebuilt on Beach Boulevard between Kuhn and Oak streets by the end of 2011. "It represents the ultimate in boat-building skills, a pure example of Biloxi boat building."
Alongside Biloxi's Back Bay, the Nydia was constructed of cypress and steam-bent oak at the Johnson Shipyard owned by William N. Johnson, a native of the city with a reputation for fabricating fast boats.