To be able to see the things a U.S. Marine must see. That is exactly what you get from the incredible photos of “Basetrack” from his deployment late last year to Afghanistan’s Helmand Province with 1st Battalion, 8th Marines. The 528 images — nearly all of which were shot with an iPhone and filtered in Hipstamatic — paint a pretty stark picture of life as a Marine deployed overseas. The scenes look vaguely familiar after last year’s Restrepo, but Basetrack brings more of a raw viewpoint to things through his extensive photostream and his daily use of a camera phone. It really does make you stop and think about your daily life and what life must be like for all of the people fighting and trying to survive in Afghanistan.
Update: “Basetrack is an experimental media project, tracking the deployment of 1/8 – 1st Battalion, Eighth Marines, throughout the duration of their deployment to southern Afghanistan. A small team of mobile media operators is embedded with the battalion, transmitting their reports and reflections from Helmand province as they travel across the battalion’s area of operations.” [Basetrack.org]
While Michael was off gallivanting in Europe we headed down to Newport at the behest of Bentley to check out the J Class Regatta. Our whirlwind tour included a day on the water watching the yacht races, dinner and drinks at the historic Castle Hill Inn and some time behind the wheel of the new Bentley Continental GT the next day. The sleek J Class yachts, ranging from 119 – 135 ft., were constructed between 1930 – 1937 to compete in the America’s Cup; this was the first competitive J Class regatta in the U.S. since the ’37 Cup, when Ranger (funded by Harold S. Vanderbilt) successfully defended the trophy against the British challenger Endeavour II.
This time around a replica of Ranger built in 2003 competed against Velsheda (above), built in 1933, winning four races to Velsheda’s one. The shipyard at Newport was crowded with dozens of other yachts as well, including the 289-ft., $100 million Maltese Falcon which was preparing for the Transatlantic Race, but none rivaled the J Class craft on points of style. We got some photos both out on the water aboard the Pam, a 62-ft. mahogany motor launch from the 1920s, and out and about, picking up on details that caught our eye. Enjoy.
Jared Paul Stern is the editor of DRIVEN.