Monday, 30 December 2013

Crossing Carmarthen Bar


I have had an image of a painting in my mind for a long time and I have finally got around to doing it.

I remember crossing the Carmarthen Bar in the darkness coming into Llansteffan many years ago. It was a little bit fraught. There were three of us, Terry who sadly is no longer with us, Tony and myself. We were on a Terry's yacht. Tony and I were helping him bring it back to Llansteffan for craning out over winter. It had been a good days sail but the winter nights were drawing in and the situation wasn't helped because there was live practice firing off the ranges.  Not normally a problem if this is published but we hadn't seen any notification of the event. Possibly no-one expected a yacht to be crossing Carmarthen Bay at this time of night or at this time of year.

Anyway this had caused us to go further out to sea than we had anticipated putting us behind our expected arrival time. We were then informed that we couldn't enter the estuary as live firing was continuing. The law on this is disputable in any case Terry decided we had little choice at this point but to continue and he informed the range authorities by VHF radio accordingly. They didn't dispute our right of passage or the lack of publication. It was however slightly unerving to see tracer and hear gunfire going out to sea although it was probably a good mile off and not going in our direction.
Crossing the Bar itself in darkness is not a great idea, the channel changes frequently and many ships have come to grief on it.

Anyway there was a good moon and this kept popping in and out of clouds giving us a helpoing hand. I was relieved to see the profile of Llansteffan Castle rise before us with Ferryside on the starboard bow in the distance.

Anyway I made a mental note of the scene and that is what I have attempted from memory.

The picture above is the opening stage of the painting, half a dozen lines drawn with a brush.


I then block in the darkest tones of the paitning. Yes, I know it doesn't look much at the moment but trust me it will be fine. I have mentally painted the picture and know what I am doing, touch wood!

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