Tuesday, July 28, 2020

33 days and counting

The last time we were counting days it was until this year's Dry Tortugas artists in residence were announced.  Now we are counting down to 8/30 (33days) when Shannon and I arrive in Key West for orientation.  we load up our stuff on the National Park Boat Fort Jefferson and head out to Loggerhead Key on 9/1.  There is lot's going on.  We ordered a satellite phone to rent for the trip for emergencies and a weekly check in call with Wendy and Deana.  I'm evaluating trip insurance plans.  Shannon and I talk multiple times a day by text and phone at this point and divide up the to do list.  Our latest podcast episode with Tanya Ortega from the NPAF went live last week.  You can find it anywhere you get your podcasts under Flying Tortuga Brothers.  The time to leave for the trip will be here before we know it.  Our gofundme campaign is still active and we are still looking for any help you can give to help us cover the costs of the trip and making the documentary film.  If you can chip in a few bucks we really appreciate it.  It's been a strange year with everything going on to plan a trip like this, but it is a once in a lifetime opportunity so if at all possible we'll be on Loggerhead Key for the whole month of September.

Loggerhead 2020
Carl Stoveland
for the Flying Tortuga Brothers

Monday, July 20, 2020

a brush with the Dry Tortugas in my Family Tree

Hi folks.  Tortuga Brother Carl here today.

I am lucky enough to have in my possession My great grandfather, Peder Mikal Pedersen's, autobiography.  I have a copy.  The original is at my Mom's in Daytona.  I from time to time read it and have enjoyed the stories in it over the years.  I came across it today and read it from cover to cover.  It turns out I will not be the first in my family to visit the Tortugas.

Old Pete went to sea from Stavanger, Norway in 1889 at the age of fourteen as a deck boy on a bark (three masted sailing ship) called Ferda.  he spent about five years on various sailing ships working all over the world.  in 1894 he joined the crew of the steamer Senaca working between NY, The Bahamas, Havana and Mexico. Dropping off goods in one port  and picking a load and moving on along that route ending up back in NY.  With that route he would have passed the Tortugas many times.  During WW1 he piloted many vessels for the government being deployed for the war effort and would have taken on coal at Fort Jefferson most likely.

 My Great Gandfather Peder and my Great Grandmother Jenny on A.H. Morris' Yacht in Miami sometime in the 1930's  Jenny did not often sail with Pete.  She was busy running the Norwegian Sailor's Home in Brooklyn, NY

Old Pete's autobiography and a few family trinkets from around his time.

Between WW1 and WWII Pete became captain of some of the most famous racing yachts of the day.  Winning races in Larchmont, Newport and Miami mostly working for Mr. A.H. Morris, but spent time captaining for the Woolworth's and for the head of GM.  He held a license allowing him to pilot ships of any size anywhere in the world.  His claim to fame is he was the first man to pilot a hundred foot yacht via the overland route from the east coast of Florida thru rivers to Lake Okeechobee then via canals to get to Fort Myers.  He did this on a dare from the owner of the boat he captained who said it could never be done.

Is this little piece of a family connection what fuels the siren song that calls me to live off the grid for a month on Loggerhead Key.  I don't know for sure, but something has called me to that spot 70 miles West of Key West and 80 Miles North of Havana.  The Spirit of My Great Grandfather who lived his life at sea learned his trade in the Norwegian fjords on the last of the commercial three masted sailing ships and sailed the waters near the Tortugas is as good a reason as I can think of.  One night in september I will sip some Rum and drink a toast to Old Pete and imagine him navigating those treacherous waters where the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico meet by aid of the lighthouse on Loggerhead Key.

Loggerhead 2020

Wednesday, July 15, 2020


Hi Gang!

Tortuga Brother Carl here.  We got a great email last night from Sarah, our artist liaison at the NPAF.  The dates which have been a bit up in the air are finalized!  It's getting very real.  We will be on Loggerhead Key from 9/1 to 10/1.  It was a moving target for a little while.  Everything is coming into focus.  We will also be volunteering some of our time on a turtle nesting project for the NPS.  All great stuff!  

We have been busy working on figuring out what to bring and getting the items we need to survive and thrive for a month on Loggerhead key.  

This mess is my sorting pile of what to gear to bring.

It feels a bit like Tom Hank's shopping for his journey to the island in Joe Vs. the Volcano.  Think "Luggage is the central preoccupation of my life."

If you have not seen this oft ignored Hanks film watch see it.  It's a treat for a rainy lazy due to watch.

What else is going on?  I'm practicing shooting with my GoPro Hero 8 doing time-lapses and snorkeling videos.  The GoPro is a great filmmaking tool and we will use them a lot on the residency, more than I thought at first.  It does have a lot of settings and getting the settings right is important for getting the different shots to turn out their best.

My Canon 5D will get lots of work in our interview shooting and will shine at the nighttime milky way photos and still shots.  but the Hero 8  backed up by my IPhone 11 will get used a lot.

On a final Note:  Thank you to everyone who has donated to our GoFundMe campaign.  We will be able to bring some great filmmaking tools and and rent a sat phone to call our wives once a week to check in.  We are blown away by everyone's generosity.  The link is here https://gf.me/u/ydpwhn.

Next week I'll share some of the tests from the GoPro.

Loggerhead 2020

Sunday, July 12, 2020

The sum is greater than the parts!

Hi Gang Carl here:

I hope your weekend is going great!  It is hot here in South Florida! but then again it is July so that is to be expected.  Assuming the residency starts on September 1st (we are waiting on confirmation of that from the National park Service) we are 51 days from the start.  Our Go Found Me is well under way.  Thanks to all our friends, family and fans who have contributed.  Your donation will help us get the gear we need and pay for things like insurance and a sat phone rental.  Donations will also help us while we are editing the documentary and entering film festivals.  So from the bottom of our hearts thank you for your kind donations. Here is the link if you'd like to help us out. gf.me/u/ydnfpb.  

There are lots of things I think about here around the 50 day mark.  Most of it is details of living on a small tropical island (with a small solar setup for power and a desalination system for fresh water) are at the top of the list.  I think about what gear I need as photographer to tell the story.  I will have to whittle down the pile and whittle it down again, but I want to have a enough stuff to tell the stopry and male the movie look great and have a little bit of backup.  The GoPro hero 8 will do a lot of work and all the underwater stuff, but I have an underwater housing for my iPhone incase the GoPro has an issue or needs a charge, power is one of those things we will need to be aware of at all times, extra batteries and smart use of chargers will be essential.

Another thing I had been thinking about was the film itself.  I was trying to think of how to combine the aesthetics and visions of two different filmmakers into one documentary.  Shannon and I have lots in common, but also key differences in style and what we like.  I at first thought this might be a challenge.  I'm not nearly as concerned about that anymore.  Friday Shannon and I took our new GoPro Hero8s out to start to learn how to use them up at MacArthur State Park in North Palm Beach.  What unfolded erased any fears I may have had.  I realized we both have story telling strengths and our combined skill sets are greater than our individual ones.  I'm a photographer and I'm the kind that has to know how everything works and I need control of the image making before I see a scene.  This is always true of me,  I dig in and need to know all the settings and what they do.  I did many test sequences and fine tuned the cinema settings on the amazing little Hero 8 camera.  In the end I was able to cut together a little video of about 10 shots that told a visual story.  It won't win any awards but, i'm ready to start using the camera.  Shannon's approach trusted the camera's settings.  he put the camera on a selfie stick and did a story while he walked through the wooded part of the trail.  His natural and compelling story telling shined thru in his video.  It was when I saw both pieces Friday afternoon I realized that though different our ways of working will compliment each other and make for an even better documentary than either of us could make on our own.  This film is going to be so much fun to make.  You can visit the Flying Tortuga Brother's Instagram to see both videos.  Right now they are the two most current posts. https://www.instagram.com/flyingtortugabrothers/ We plan to make a few more practice runs with the GoPros before the trip.  I hope to get into the water with mine soon.  I'm waiting for a snorkel flag to arrive this week.  We'll share more footage as we shoot stuff.

Loggerhead 2020

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Into the fray of planning

Hello All, 

Shannon here with my 1st blog post. It has been an exciting last couple of weeks since being selected as the Next artist in Residence on Loggerhead Key in the Dry Tortugas National Park. Carl and I have been chatting feverishly about logistics, equipment and all things tech about the trip. We have begun acquiring the necessary components to make a poignant statement with our documentary. We have had some difficult conversations regarding our collaborative efforts, forcing both of us the think deeper about the others goals and feelings.  It is unexpected growth and we are 7 weeks from the Island. 
Something about this has had a profound effect on me, personally, already, in a very positive way. 
Working out expectations is, and will always be, an integral part of this particular residency, especially if the two artists are unrelated, i.e.. spouses, parent/ child, etc. 
I have been diligently painting and marketing my paintings. 
Carl has been working his own brand of magic. Keeping our lines of communications flowing, scheduling podcasts and interviews, painting himself, and setting up a GoFund me for us. Shewwww, and then there is the Logo for the Flying Tortuga Brothers. He has been an extremely busy man.
We have both acquired GoPro cameras, and will be doing a trial run with these in the next day or so. I also got this fabulous tarp after doing research and consulting with the the experts at Camping Florida Keys. The less structure the better in our Island situation. 

In the picture here, I gave it a go in the back yard. Good thing to!  I found I would defiantly need special sand stakes.  I will be beneath this Tarp much of the time on Loggerhead and I’m so stoked and ready to paint. 

Best, till next time! 

Sunday, July 5, 2020

New Logo and a GoFundMe

We decided to stand up a GoFundMe for the Flying Tortuga Brothers project yesterday.  The residency comes with a stipend that will get used up pretty quickly and we have big dreams for the residency, the documentary and what happens afterward. The link for our GoFundMe campaign is here https://gf.me/u/ydpwhn.  Any donations are greatly appreciated.  Our goal is to make the best documentary film experience possible while being lean with the gear we can bring to Loggerhead key.  That said equipment costs add up.  We are thrilled with the number of family and friends who have donated in the 24 hours since we started the campaign.

We have also had a new logo created by our friends at DeLuxe.  They did a great job and captured the spirit of our project.  They don't just make checks for your business.  You should check them out for your small business needs.  Look for the logo to show up in all of our social media and websites in the near future.  

It was a busy week in Tortugaville.  We had a great meeting about a magazine article we will be featured in after we get back from the residency.  More about that as the time for publication nears.  We were also interviewed on Big Blend Radio's Friday Art's and Parks episode.  We will post a link to the interview just as soon as it is available.

We have a big new podcast episode being recorded this week where our guest will be Tanya Ortega, Founder of the National Parks Arts Foundation.

Enjoy your week!  For us it is back to figuring out exactly what gear to bring and talking about our combined vision for the documentary.

Loggerhead 2020!