Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Solva finished

Okay so here is the finished painting. It has all come together. I have chosen to have the tide out with just the water from the stream adding a complement to the sky. The painting has a feel of depth due to the high sides and dark tonal values taking you into the picture.

The very last time we left Solva we were in our Sadler 32 yacht. A beautiful boat that sailed like a dream. The forecast was okay with North Westerly winds predicted at force 4. We got out of the harbour and into St. Brides Bay pushing along under full sail. Half an hour later the wind picked up and we had to reduce sail. We heard a mayday on the radio from near Solva but the lifeboat was attending. Soon the winds were over 35 knots and short seas were making us somewhat concerned.
We had little more than a handkerchief of sail showing and we were heeled right over with the seas running along the side decks over the safety rails. Our main issue was Jack Sound the stretch of water between Skomer Island and the Mainland treacherous at the best of times. We had timed our sail to get us there by slack water with little current running and hopefully the least problems. We had no idea of the conditions on the other side off St. Anns Head either. Anyway we put Jac below and fitted the hatch down, we were both wearing life jackets and had harnesses attached to the boat. We had no choice really but to go for it a the only other real shelter was North Sound and that was open to the winds which were nearing 40 knots at times.

We got through Jac Sound and found very short seas against us. We were hitting waves which crashed the full length of the boat over the cabin and onto us in the rear cockpit. This was certainly getting interesting. Eventually we got to St Anns Head the entrance to the Haven. We kept well out and followed the main channel in. No other boats were out and the first one we saw was a large 40ft sailing school vessel when we joined it for shelter under the cliffs well inside The Milford Haven.

Now we have sailed for a good number of years and that was the worst conditions we have sailed in. It came very quickly without warning and faded out within a couple of hours. It was a sail we both remember very well. Knowing Jac he probably slept through it!

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