Toronto Waterfront Art Photography features Tall Ship Kajama
One of the things I love most about Toronto is that I live near the waterfront, which – if geography was not your strongest subject at school – is the north-western shore of Lake Ontario. I love nothing more than wandering down to the Toronto harbour and watching life as it goes about its daily business on the water and I take quite a few photographs of ships,boats and of course beaches.
I headed down to the waterfront one day last week and was delighted to be greeted by the familiar sight of the tall ship I’ve captured in the art print above, just as it came into the harbour on the start of a cruise across Lake Ontario. This gorgeous-looking vessel is a traditional 165-foot three-masted schooner; a type of boat that was first used by Dutch sailors in the 1600s. Schooners were adopted as the “boat of choice” in North America in the 1700s, especially around New England.
This vessel, which is named “Kajama”, has quite a history. She was built at the Nobiskrug shipyard in Rendsburg, Germany, and was launched on July 26, 1930 under her original name of “Wilfried”. For the next thirty years she operated from her home port of Hamburg until 1960, when she was bought by a Dane, Captain Andreas Kohler Asmussen. It was Asmussen who gave Wilfried a new name, “Kajama” after his family – sons Kaywe and Jan, and wife Maria.
Kajama continued as a trading vessel under Asmussen’s command for just under forty years, until Asmussen very sadly suffered cardiac arrest whilst at the helm of the vessel, from which he passed away. The Kajama ran aground in Malmö, Sweden in the incident, but thankfully suffered very little damage.
In 1999 Kajama was purchased by the Great Lakes Schooner Company of Toronto, and she was brought to Canada. For ten months, the ship underwent a complete overhaul to restore her to how she may have looked on the day of her launch. She now operates daily from Toronto harbour, for general cruising, educational trips and company charters.
I’ve often seen Kajama on her way in and out of Toronto harbour. She always reminds me of a grand old lady, as she really stands out as something ancient among the modern vessels which habitually line the waterfront here in Toronto. When I saw her approach on this occasion I knew I had to shoot quickly as I wanted to get as much of her in the frame as I could – and she was approaching at a fair rate of knots! And one of the main reasons I wanted this shot is because I wanted a shot of her in full sail…which I don’t always see unless it’s a sail-past of tall ships. I considered myself very fortunate to have been there right at the time she was sailing past. I also wanted to test out my new 55-250mm lens (fans who are curious about the Exif can view it on my Flickr. I hope you feel I have captured this beautiful vessel in all her glory.
On a future shoot I’d like to take the photograph from the opposite shore of Lake Ontario, so I could give Kajama a wonderful background of the modern skyline of Toronto. As you know, I think the juxtaposition of the ancient with the modern gives rise to interesting compositions. For that set up I’d have to be on the Toronto Islands – or on another boat. The chances of the Kajama sailing in full sail by a the precise moment I’m over there isn’t one I’d be willing to bet on, however you never know. A trip to Toronto Islands is long overdue, summer’s here so watch this space. I might even be on a tall ship myself soon!
That’s all for the moment. I hope you like my art photograph of Kajama, and thank you for allowing me the time to share with you a little of this famous Toronto resident’s rich and varied history. As always you can buy framed art prints and canvases of the Kajama here.
Remember during July only you can purchase any art print from my online gallery and get a very $100 Wine Certificate – check it out.