The painting depicts Captain Harry Pidgeon at the helm of the 34 foot yawl rigged Islander, which he built, sailing off the beautiful island of Ua Poa, in the Marquesas group, with its spire like rock formations. Even though the winds are light, the mainsail has been reefed in preparation for the night sail.
Harry Pidgeon was an American sailor and also a renowned photographer who built Islander and was the second person to sail single handed around the world. His four year circumnavigation commenced in 1921.
Most of the reference material for this painting came from the detailed account of the four year voyage which is covered in the February 1928 edition of the National Geographic Magazine. In the article there is reference to Islander sailing with Ua Poa abeam at dusk in light winds. I used a bit of artistic licence so that I could show the features of this beautiful island.
Specifications and details on Islander
Builder: Harry Pidgeon
Design: Based on Sea Bird, or V-bottom
Construction: – Timber
Beam: 10ft 9in