The painting depicts Lionheart skippered by Jesse Martin rounding Cape Horn on the 3rd of March 1999 during the solo voyage where he became the youngest person to sail solo for 327 days, non-stop and unassisted around the world commencing his voyage from Melbourne, Australia.
Lionheart has one reef in her sail and is on a port tack with a favourable north east breeze during the final stages of rounding the Horn. Self steering gear is still in operation as Jesse peers ahead at this notorious rugged coastline which signifies the end of a very important leg of his challenging trip
The dark cloudy powerful sky to the west depicts the uncertain and ominous weather typical of Cape Horn. The darkened sea to west and rolling waves are used to show the vast sea travelled to the Horn and the infamous roaring forties conditions, with the lightened sea to east suggesting the prospect of improved conditions heading up the coast of South America.
Some excerpts from Jesse Martin’s book Lionheart A journey of the human spirit on the day he rounded Cape Horn:-
“As the sun came up on my second day in sight of South America, so did the wind strength. It was down to 5 knots but then swung very quickly back to the east and picked up to a comfortable 10 knots. This meant I had to tack back and forth.
So this was Cape Horn. I could not imagine a better way to meet it. The Everest of sailing lay only a short distance ahead of me. I stood thinking of the aura of history and legend that surrounded this great cape, the Cape of Storms. I felt as though I’d been transported into some fiction book that Tolkien would write. …
It was beautiful beyond description, and so real and clear to me that it felt in a sense, unreal.
The wind swung around a little further to the north-east, which allowed me to take a better direction while I just sat and digested the thoughts racing through my mind.
I feel pretty good about rounding. I just keep staring at it, wondering how I could capture what it was like to show to others.
Jesse also advised that during the day, as the wind increased, he shortened sail.
Lionheart Specifications were:-
Sparkman & Stephens 34 built in Perth by Swarbrick Brothers
Length 33′ 6″
Beam 10′ 1″
Displacement 12,000 lbs
Purchased in Geelong