Photo Series “All at Sea”: Meet Captain Missy and Her All-Female Crew

Photographer Anne Hollowday captures the beauty of the sea
Photographer Anne Hollowday captures the beauty of the sea, and the seafaring life, in this evocative photo series.

“As a Brit I’m most at home surrounded by water,” says photographer and filmmaker Anne Hollowday. “I’m endlessly inspired by light and shadow—the way they dance across the surfaces and textures of things. So being on water is a natural canvas for me.”

Hollowday, who has worked on every continent except Antarctica, was seeking a captain who could show her around Long Island’s hidden inlets and islands. She met Captain Missy and spent a weekend aboard her boat, Little Dutch. Missy, a U.S. Coast Guard captain, purchased the 42-foot boat in Europe and sailed it to the U.S. over 28 days. She now runs tourist charters out of Long Island’s Three Mile Harbor, sharing her sailing experience and geographical knowledge with anyone who’s curious.

“Poking around the North Fork was fascinating,” says Hollowday. “You can see it’s instantly less populated and has an alluring sense of wilderness from the ocean side.”

One of those remote spots was Taylor’s Island, a tiny speck of land off of Shelter Island that is accessible either by boat or at low tide. Originally purchased by a wealthy borax miner in 1900, it’s now open to the public, along with the original owner’s recently restored cabin. A sense of hidden island wonder is apparent in Hollowday’s images, but so is her admiration for the captain and her all-female crew.

“As a filmmaker with a background in documentary I also love sharing moments with people,” says Hollowday. “I think that’s the greatest privilege of this job—the time people share with you where you learn about their life and their experience firsthand.”

All at Sea (2017), 35 mm
All at Sea (2017), 35 mm
As yet undiscovered (2017), 120 Film
As yet undiscovered (2017), 120 Film
Captain Missy and the moon (2017), 120 Film
Captain Missy and the moon (2017), 120 Film
In reverse (2017), 120 Film and 35 mm
In reverse (2017), 120 Film and 35 mm
Best of any sunshine (2017), 35 mm
Best of any sunshine (2017), 35 mm
Captain Missy steering on a calm day on the water (2017), 120 Film
Captain Missy steering on a calm day on the water (2017), 120 Film
Little Dutch details (2017), 120 Film and 35 mm
Little Dutch details (2017), 120 Film and 35 mm
Captain Missy in the water off Smith-Taylor Island (2017), 35 mm
Captain Missy in the water off Smith-Taylor Island (2017), 35 mm
Doors of perception (2017), 120 Film
Doors of perception (2017), 120 Film