Friday, October 22, 2010

A Nor'easter ~ Surf & Salt

I had to wash my car yesterday. I couldn't see out of my side view mirrors. They were  covered with salt!  It was like looking through dry fog.
  Sheets of driving rain hit the car as I sat parked at the town dock in Vinalhaven, Maine working in my sketchbook...

There was big surf in the well sheltered harbor.

The sideways driving rain soon stopped. The winds were still whipping around.    The ferry had not run all day.  Everyone at the dock waited for the captains decision.   

Yes, that's how it works, the captain decides if its safe enough for the ferry to run. We boarded the first ferry of the day, and were happy with the steadily improving weather conditions. 
 This nor'easter had moved in from the west the night before when I was up painting at Browns Lighthouse. 

That was my last day of a week painting on Vinalhaven, an island off the coast of Maine.  It is an hour and 15 min ferry ride from Rockland, Maine. 

The island is the real Maine thing packed with views just waiting to be painted ! 

The town of Vinalhaven has a working harbor with lobster boats and fishing trawlers. 

When the nor'easter hit it really made everything screech to a halt.  The fishermen did not go out.  The harbor was full of moored boats. The ferries stopped running. The waves were too high and dangerous.

My friend Libby and I were sitting in my car during the ferry crossing.  I was going to sketch - forget that !   When the waves hit the boat, the bow lifted skyward and the cars shook like jello. It was better to be out standing on the deck.  There we had fresh air and  a clear view of the waves as they hit us !

 I was happy.  I just put my back to the wind and waves and kept my eyes on the distant islands that didn't jump up and down.  When we passed Owls Head we were on the home stretch. The captain kept tacking till he got us to the ferry dock.  I love the drama of extreme weather ! It reminds me of those great Winslow Homer paintings of the sea. However much I wanted to capture the scene, its  difficult to draw in a bobbing sketchbook and impossible to paint in a 45 mph wind! 

More paintings & sketches at: Paint, Eat, Sleep

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