Last Sunday a friend and I went out on the tall ship James Craig. We sailed at 10am and all sketching was done before about 11.45 by which time we were outside the heads and the weather had deteriorated, to put it mildly. It turned out to be ‘an experience’, rather than a nice boat ride like the previous week.
This spread is actually several drawings from different areas of the ship, pulled together with the drawing of the ship’s bulwark. As the crew are working the sails, they need to come to various areas and work with ropes, so we had to move out quite quickly more than once. I thought, oh, once we get going and it settles down I will do some nice sketching. But about 10 to 12, by which time we were outside the heads, down came the rain, and up came the sea. We had quite a sheltered place on deck so just sat & chatted. Far too wet to have the sketchbook out.
And the glamour! A very kind man got big rubbish bags for us to wear over our coats to keep out even more rain. It wasn’t possible to move about at all, because you had to hold on at all times. Eventually the rain stopped & my friend went off (bravely) below to get our lunch from her bag. She came back being towed by a crew member. It got rougher and rougher and the waves were coming up over the front of the ship. Meanwhile the crew were going up aloft, and the majority of them were not so young. Look at them up there. Brave, if you ask me.
We were forced below for a while to shelter from the rain. When it lessened we went back up on deck and we had to hang on to the hatch door at the top. There was nowhere to move to as it was too wild & windy. We ended up sharing the door with three men, so the five us hung on to the door for grim death for about the next half hour. We were all laughing our heads off. In fact although we grumbled about the weather a bit, we were laughing all day. Through all of this the steward was going around trying to sell alcoholic drinks, with his drinks basket & just wandering about without a care in the world. Once we got back inside the harbour, we bought a drink from him. Thank goodness for not suffering from seasickness.
Oh it was a wonderful day. Not perhaps quite what we’d expected, but exhilarating. It put so many images into my head, even though the sketching had to stop early.