As usual, Nichols is right, and like all of his images this one got me thinking.
Out of the water and viewed from the stern, the business end of a high-performance powerboat can look—and actually be—menacing to viewers who are unfamiliar with such things, unless you pull off the propellers. To the uninformed, props, especially cleavers, look like something from a bad horror movie. But pull the props and the whole thing looks and becomes pretty harmless.
Those of us who know what we’re looking at, however, see something missing. No matter how many times I see empty propeller spindles, they catch me off guard. Like most of you, I start looking around for the wheels. And I want to put them back on and get going.