Saturday, 24 January 2015

Brave Men

Thirty Paintings in Thirty Days Challenge'
DAY 23

'Whitecaps and Spray'  St Michael's Mount, Cornwall
oil on board 8" x 8"

Erm...did I say I wouldn't do anymore seascapes? Anyone remember?
I'm sure I didn't. I mean, that would be silly, wouldn't it?
I'm pretty sure I said I'd 'probably' DO more seascapes. Yeah....that's more like it. *blushes, looks guilty and shuffles feet*
Anyway, as promised (?) here's another seascape.

I wasn't in the right mood to do the thing I'd planned for my painting today as this was calling me from iPhoto. It shouted SO loud - screamed actually - and when I saw which photo was making the din, felt sorry for him and let him out.
It's another one of my pics from the blustery day in Marazion when I wished it had been sunny and not blowing a gale. I'm SO pleased it was blustery!! I'm loving painting these. 
WARNING: if you've feel you've read enough, then don't read on. might miss something VERY.... scary. Your call. 
*whistles and looks at watch*
Well done for reading on! I promise not to disappoint. Get a cup of tea and get comfy.
Now... *rubs hands together and pulls chair closer to fire* 
As I was brought up by the sea, we were taught at a very young age to not only respect the weather but to be able to 'read' it. It could be a matter of life and death. Yup! *nods head eagerly* That serious.
Part of the experience at junior school was learning all about the Beaufort Scale. Oh my, what an utterly, utterly brilliant man Rear Admiral Sir Francis Beaufort was.
Now, if you are a complete Philistine and have NO idea what I'm on about, Google it. Where have you been all your life? 
Something appealed to me about the simple yet mundane descriptions he used to describe wind conditions on land and sea.
Here's an example of a 'fresh breeze'-
Sea conditions = Moderate waves of some length. Many whitecaps. Small amounts of spray.
Land conditions = Branches of a moderate size move. Small trees in leaf begin to sway.

I'm no poet, but it reads like poetry and my dream sequence would be for Chris Packham to be beside me on a river bank reading the Beaufort Scale to me from a dusty, leather-bound book whilst I reclined and sipped chilled champagne. (What do you mean, who's Chris Packham?) 
It would help if he was also dressed like Mr Darcy.
I digress.
Imagine if you will a young, fresh-faced fifteen year old, from an all 'gells' school, learning how to sail a dinghy with similar like-minded 'gells'. After a few months of tacking and such like we set off to Lyme Regis, just up the coast from Poole for a weeks adventure on the high seas.
The first four days were sublime, we tacked, we sea-canoed and had a spiffing time.
On the Thursday we woke to a heavy sky, the wind felt warm for the time of year and long waves were beginning to form.
Apparently, according to the adults the weather for the first part of the day was fine for dinghy sailing, and we believed them.
Me and Sonja, my second in command, set sail and once passed the safety of the Harbour wall, we could feel an urgent, slow  tugging on the boat beneath the hull and a whipping through the sails. 
Onwards we gaily sailed until we tried to go about. We could just see the tip of another sail in the far distance and realised all to late we were being taken out to sea.
Panic was not a sufficient word to describe how I felt. All I knew was that try as we might we couldn't make any headway back to land. Two teenagers, one dinghy and the widest, darkest, most determined ocean between us, our homes and families.
Not a word was spoken between us, just a look, which was sufficient enough to glean how we both felt. I wanted to scream but for some reason didn't. Who would have heard me?
We did everything it said in the text book and fortunately we were still upright. Just. 
The rhythmic waves swelled, heaved and tugged at our little boat, sucking us down into its valleys and obliterating the horizon for a spilt second.
It was and still is the only time I ever truly feared for my life.
Then suddenly, out of the darkness of the towering waves, we saw a boat. 
Heading towards us. 
At speed. 
Definitely towards us. 
And had I been compos mentis I'd have realised it was an RNLI lifeboat. 
It all happened so quickly. They came alongside, threw us a line and towed us back to the safety of the harbour. 
Jolly, understanding, softly spoken, kind men. Volunteers.
Not wanting to sound too dramatic, but they saved our lives.
I have a great deal to be thankful for. 
Bless them x

Why not join me over on my Facebook page where it's all happening and get regular updates in your newsfeed and information regarding up and coming sales and exclusive offers?



Post a Comment