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Monday, March 8, 2010

Care and Repair at the Berg River mouth

We are looking at a tranquil tree-lined patch at the mouth of the Berg River at Velddrif! Out there on the Atlantic Ocean the sun, strong wind, damp, slimy-seaweed and clingy sea-creatures do a lot of damage to boats. This fishing vessel has been taken out of the water and sits exposed like a duck out of water, on a "cradle" for a thorough cleaning of the sides and keel. Seaweed (fondly referred to as the "beard") and barnacles must be removed as it also slows down the vessel, before it is smoothed down and new layers of anti-fouling painted on. That is the terracotta color that can be seen on the outside hull of boats.

When our children were still at home we had a yacht which we sailed in the Caribbean, Portugal, Cape Town and Durban. Every two or three years our boat needed a good service. What a sound it made when we scraped off the barnacles with paint scrapers! I have placed a photo of a barnacle encrusted hull to give you an idea. Can I say that scraping them down sounds something like 10 dentists doing a drilling competition as workers sweat it out getting the barnacles to release their tenacious hold on the hull.

Soon this blue, yellow and white boat will be shipshape again and we can look forward to ordering our "catch of the day" in the restaurants.


  1. For some reason, the smell of the ocean comes through this painting for me, Marie. Having lived in Washington State near Puget Sound and having traveled to the ocean's shores, I am well familiar with barnacles. Such odd little volcanic formations, yes? Of course, I've never seen the actual critter within, though. Still, dangerous and razor like if one isn't careful. I have wanted to live on a boat for many years now and this painting also revives that dream for me. Sigh...A dream painting for me!

  2. Hey Marie,
    Love the painting. I also adore reading all your stories. I always learn a little something I didn't know. Your description of the scraping sound made the hairs on my back go! That dentist drill makes me crazy!

  3. I love this scene...the trees, the boat, the clouds, and buildings in the background are so balanced. Its poetic. I would also like to hear more of your sailing story sometime. My husband and I restored a 30 foot sailboat that was falling into disrepair at the back of the boatyard. We are only brave enough to sail in Lake Ontario, and we do some racing. Zebra mussels(their tiny shells accumulate on everything!) have come into the Lake by ocean going vessels, so now we must scrape and clean and use anti-fouling as well. Our hull turns a nice paynes gray color.

  4. A very nice painting. I'm particularly fond of your sky.

  5. Another gorgeous piece of work Marie. How lucky you were to be able to sail the seas and share that experience with your children! What memories for them to have forever!

  6. Neat information, Marie...and the image so reminiscent of Van Gogh!
    Beautiful. I agree with Bill..the sky is especially lovely.

  7. Hi Sherry, yes, how they cling! I am reminded of a lovely book my twin grand-daughters were reading - some or other snail or creature with suction capacity clings to a whale and sees the whole world. At last he reaches the same old rock again and is able to encourage his family and friends to explore more!

    Thank you, Manon! We will rather reserve our little hands for painting than do that again!

    Catherine, how interesting. I have never seen that part of the US-Canada. Do you get fierce storms there too? Our old Durban's waters were so choppy that we really wished at the time that we had kept the boat in a more peaceful harbor, but the upside was that there were plenty of our children's university friends around to act as crew!

    Thank you to the "on-painting" team and Theresa and Sheila!

    Cathyann, I was so concerned that I was going too illustrative here! You made me feel better about the painting!

  8. Hi Marie, Love all of your boat paintings, so interesting and well done. The composition is wonderful too , the trees on the left framing the boat.

  9. I can really appreciate your boat painting. You have captured it beautifully. Two lessons ago Jerry Stitt had us drawing boats and houses. He thinks we all need to improve our drawing skills, which I must agree with. You certainly could teach this class too.

  10. Very nice, Marie. We also had a 30 ft. sailboat, but were not brave enough or experienced enough to leave the shelter of the intercoastal. I have many fond memories of sailing.

    Love your sky on the painting.

  11. Lovely painting. Nice composition and color harmony.
    Thank you for leaving a comment on my blog.

  12. Ah Marie, absolutely lovely. You bring the Weskus to life so beautifully.


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