ALBATROSS II © 1995
Photographic Story Albatross – Chokoloskee Cruiser – I remember the day I saw this boat docked in Everglades City and admired her beauty. It is rare to find a beautifully designed wooden boat in the warm tropical waters of south Florida. I was immediately attracted to her. One day while we were out boating I was able to get a nice photograph of her sitting at the dock. I was glad because she is a part of the history of Everglades City…and she is wood. Wood rarely lasts very long in the warm waters of the south. However, due to the boaters who fell in love with her lines, she has been kept alive for a long time. The story is below, and THANK YOU for keeping her beautiful. The Albatross was built at the Smallwood Store boat works and launched in 1951. She was built by A.C. Hancock for Captain Glenn Smallwood, a guide and son of Ted Smallwood. She was 36’ feet long with a 12’ beam, barrel bottomed with a shallow draft for the Chokoloskee waters. The cost to build this beautiful wooden boat was $1,800. Quite a difference from today’s cost for a wooden boat! She was made from native Florida woods. The frames are heart (red) cypress, planking is north Florida Juniper (cedar), and the keel is yellow pine. She is powered by a twin Chrysler 318’s. For the boats first years, she was named “The Ace”. After the death of Capt. Glenn Smallwood, Capt. Mervin Noble bought her from Glenn’s family and named her Albatross II. When it came time for Captain Mervin Noble to retire, Franklin Adams purchased the boat. She needed a LOT of work in order to bring her back to the beauty she once was. Franklin hired Chris Hancock, son of A.C. who was the original builder of the boat. Chris spent a year and a half on the restoration. Franklin then used the boat to guide fishermen, family groups, birders, photographers, and occasional filmmakers. He also donated trips for various worthy causes, mostly environmental ones. As Franklin told me this story he noted that “I never made any profit, but guiding allowed me to do something I loved and to educate others about the Big Cypress, Everglades, and 10,000 islands and keep the old boat shipshape.” Recently, Franklin has sold the boat to Curt Hancock, son of Chris Hancock and grandson of A.C., so the boat is now back in the family. Chris has renamed her “The Ace” and she in the process of being restored. The Art of Hand Painting Black and White Photographs Niki prints her images on fiber-base black and white mat surface paper in the darkroom, then using Q-tips and cotton balls, she applies a thin coat of oil paint over the surface allowing the image to gently be seen through the oil paint. Archival Print Making Niki’s open edition gicleé artwork is printed on Sunset Bright Velvet Rag matte finish paper using eight archival inks. A state-of-the-art Epson Stylus Pro printer creates deep, rich dark values that hold subtle detail in the shadows as well as bright vivid colors that are truly tropical.