15.000 x 11.000 inches
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Painting - Watercolor
Point Wilson Lighthouse
The schooner Voyager sailing off Pont Wilson Lighthouse near Port Townsend, Washington.
Schooner Voyager: Built in 1929, renewed in 1973 and seaworthy in 2003.
Point Wilson Lighthouse
Washington State Olympic Peninsula
Point Wilson, a point north of Port Townsend on the Strait of Juan De Fuca and Admiralty Inlet, once the haunt of Indians who brought their canoes to rest on its shores, is now the sight of a magnificent lighthouse. The first structure was a 46-foot wood frame tower rising from the keepers dwelling, with a fog signal unit attached. To differentiate the sentinel from the one on Admiralty Head, the fixed white light in the lantern was varied by a red flash every 20 seconds.
Point Wilson Lighthouse is important to commerce. In 1913 the lighthouse was upgraded and improved. A concrete structure with an octagonal tower rising 51 feet above the water was built. The fog signal was upgraded to a chime diaphragm. Still in mint condition, the lighthouse continues its vigil and continues to maintain Coast Guard personnel. An important radio beacon is on the site.
A share of vessels has met with mishap near Point Wilson, however the lighthouse has been a greeting to mariners ever since its establishment. The lighthouse is the welcoming light for the entire Puget Sound area and continues this important role today.
Point Wilson Lighthouse is located on a breathtaking sand spit. Once the site of Fort Worden, now abandoned, visitors can explore the remains of the fort, walk through tall beach grass and linger among fields of driftwood and rocky sandy beaches. On a clear day Mt. Baker, the Olympic Mountains and Mt. Rainier can be seen across the sparkling waters. Ships, sailboats, Ferries and Submarines sail these waters, all feeling safer as they pass the sentinel known as Point Wilson Lighthouse.
Schooner jamming the wind. The business of operating a large sailboat requires long hours of hard work but who would trade this job for anything?
A lovely lady of uncertain origin, fast and easy to handle, the schooner has won the hearts of seafarers plying rock bound coasts and braving he banks. Sails abaft the masts let these vessels lie close to the wind and tack quickly through narrow waters.
The basic two-masted schooner rig may be described as a purely fore and aft rig having a single headsail, gaff foresail (usually with a boom), and a gaff and boom mainsail wide in the foot and generally taller than the foresail. Other sails may be set: a jib or jibs; jib topsail; gaff topsails; a topmast staysail; and square fore topsails; without altering the type name of schooner. More masts may be added, three being common in Europe and between four and five in America, where six or seven masters were also built. Schooners were built for cargo carrying, fishing, pilot services, as minor warships, privateersmen, for surveying, smuggling and slave carrying.
The commonly quoted reference to the origin of the schooner is that it was devised at Glouster, Massachusetts, about 1713 by Andrew Robinson in a vessel at whose launch a spectator cried �Oh, how she schoons� and of course Captain Robinson instantly replied �A schooner let her be!� There is no word �schoon� in English and as the account was written on oral evidence in 1790 it seems quite improbable. It may be true, but extremely doubtful, that Robinson built the first schooner-rigged craft in North America but she was certainly antedated by vast numbers of English and Dutch craft which were not then named schooners but had previously developed the rig, which was probably taken to America by colonists from those countries.
December 20th, 2012
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