Sketching While Sailing

These sketches are from a trip I took in the San Juans with my family and my uncle Jim’s family. We sailed on a boat that was around 60 ft long, that had two showers and four separate bedrooms with actual mattresses. After years of sailing with my sea scouts (14 of us to a 46 ft) with one head and sleeping on what was the kitchen table seating when it was day time, I found this trip incredibly luxurious. I also had the time to do some sketching!

This is a fiber tip pen and watercolor sketch of the strong graphic lines created by tying up at a dock.

These are two separate sketches. The sketch of the moon over the water was made the night before when the light from the moon had so startled my mother with its brightness that she called me over to the hatch to look out at it streaming over the water despite the clouds whipping across it. The next day I sketched some bladder wrack seaweed that had washed up on the beach.

Another luxury this ship had that I was previously unacquainted with was a self furling jib. The device attached to bow of the ship reels the jib in and winds it around the fore stay so that we poor humans don’t have to take it down, fold it up, and then stow it in a bag below decks.

This sketch is proof that there is such a thing as being at sea too long. At one of our last stops of the trip, I wandered a harbor and was struck by the repetitive shapes of the anchors hanging from the bows of almost all of the boats. The anchor is shaped like a plow in order to increase the anchor’s ability to grip the sea bottom and hold the boat in place, but to my sea addled mind, they started to all look like manta rays, ready for take off! I was much amused by this mental image, hence the creation of this sketch.



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