The Log Book
Tales of an Artist Afloat
We untied the mooring lines and went sailing! Whilst our mission was to haul out and give Island Prism a fresh coat or three of bottom paint, we managed to bookend the labour of love with a few days at Sidney Spit. Which of course meant I got time to do another of my favourite things- watercolour sketching on location! And we'd certainly chosen a wonderful part of the West Coast for our mini adventure.
Sidney Spit is a long stretch of sand connected to Sidney Island. It's home to wading birds and Great Blue Herons, who hunt amongst the shallows at low tide. Cormorants rest on the sand whilst they spread their wings out to dry, and Purple Martins raise their chicks in nest boxes built over the water to keep them safe from predators. The Martins really are a vivid irridescent purple!
There was plenty to sketch, from driftwood-strewn sweeps of sand to views of Mount Baker and the Olympic Peninsula across the US border. The wind sometimes made drawing a challenge, but it did give me a chance to practice blind contour drawings of sailboats!
Our haul-out went smoothly. I helped Jimmie to prepare the hull, and was then given permission to dodge the paint application process whilst I filmed part of my new online watercolour class. I really appreciate all his hard work- applying three coats of bottom paint is not a fun job. I'd much rather be using my watercolours!
We both felt like we'd earned a few days R & R on the Spit before heading back to Victoria. The weather was variable, but is was wonderful to be out on the water after staying put for lockdown. The anchorage was busy without being crowded, and there was plenty of space for social distancing on the trails and beaches.
We had a glorious day for our sail back to the Inner Harbour. The wind was on the nose, so no sails, but the current swept us along at a steady six knots as we gently motored past Discovery Island and Trial Island. There were plenty of boats out, so I pulled out the binoculars and drew some more blind contours whilst Jim helmed. We'll be heading out again throughout the summer, and exploring some more of the beautiful Gulf Islands on our doorstep.
As COVID-19 restrictions have relaxed (for the moment at least) it's been wonderful to get out sketching round Victoria! Urban Sketcher meet-ups have started again, and I've also taken my sketchbook along on bike rides with Jimmie. The Urban Sketchers sessions are always a great way to experience new parts of the city, and although we can't go for coffee like we used to, we still manage to share our sketches and catch up at the end at a physical distance.
An Artist Afloat- Painting the world one anchorage at a time.