The Silver Dart Flies Again

When the average person is asked about the accomplishments of Alexander Graham Bell he or she will probably lift up a cell phone. However in Canada he is known for his accomplishments with voice transmissin and providing the very first heavier-than-air air machine to ever fly in this country.  For over thirty years Bell spent his  summers in Baddeck, Nova Scotia, with his wife and family but he brought his work with him. This included the world’s first hydrofoil and an airplane built under his direction by the Aerial experimental Association in Hammondsport, New York.

In 1909, after successful tests in the U.S., Bell had his craft, dubbed The Silver Dart, disassembeld, crated and shipped to Nova Scotia for trials here. When assembeld the aircraft had a wingspan of 14.9 meters and weighed in at 390 kilograms including the pilot, who had to be careful about his weight.

On February 28th, the aircraft was dragged to the ice of Bras D’Or Lake by a team of horses. The plane was constructed of wood with a silk fabric covering over the wings and powered by a Curtiss, water-cooled engine that developed 40 horsepower. This engine sat on the back of the plane and the propellorwas desgned to push the craft.

The next day,  February 23rd, J.A.D. McCurdy, an engineer who worked with Bell, made history by piloting the first powered airplane a British subject within the British Empire.

If you fast-forward 100 years there is a former-Canadian astronaut, Bjarni Tryggvason, who just finsihed the trials of a modern Silver Dart.  Closely modeled after the original airplane Tryggvason got his version a few meters off the ground at a test run in Hamilton, Ontario. Now the “pilot to the stars” is packing up his craft and shipping it to Baddeck, Nova Scotia, to fly this crude machine into the very airspace where McCurdy thrilled Bell and a host of Canadian and foreign onlookers.

Kat Gurholt – The Best Photographer in Nova Scotia

Judging by the title you’d have to say I was stretching things a bit. I mean everyone thinks that they know the “best” photographer in Nova Scotia. And Sherman Hines would probably have a few things to say about my ravings.

Sherman Hines is about the best scenic photographer in the world. For years he has honed his craft so that almost every standard depiction of Peggy’s Cove and the Bluenose schooner is either Sherman’s or a knock-off of his shooting style.

In that regard Kat Gurholt does a great Sherman. Not only does she get the shot and the lighting in the Sherm style she adds a few of her own spins like “messin’ with the fog” and switching to black-and-white. Kat released a coffee table book earlier this year with some fabulous shots of Nova Scotia from Blomidon to Halifax harbour. And while Sherman may still hold the crown for scenic shots Kat can also shoot people.

Whether its the recent Blue Man Group concert or a local bar band Kat’s got it down. She doesn’t necessarily study the shot but takes a steady stream of pictures adjusting the lighting and composition as she goes. In fact you have probably seen her bopping around in front of the band. In fact the guys in Acoustic Soul consider her their “personal photographer” although she will hit as many as five clubs in a night.

My favorite subject of her recent photos was the Nova Scotia International Tattoo. Kat got close and personal with a few of the bands and it looks like she’s marching with them!

Lats Tuesday Kat presented local celebrity and Beatles performer, Hal Bruce, with a hardcover coffee table book of his three Martime Beatle Events. She had collected the shots and arranged them in a form that a publisher could bind into a beautiful book. So she is not only the best photographer she is a giver of the first kind. In fact, she has also given me permission to use her shots in my blog.

To contact Kat: Actually, she is working for many projects covering Asia and Europe, as Voyage Vietnam photo but you can contact by her Twitter or Google +