The painting shows the small 20 ft 6 in yawl Trekka reefed down, sailing in a fresh breeze and choppy seas, together with the 46 ft wooden ketch Tzu Hang, towards Cape Brett in the Bay of Islands, New Zealand.
John Guzzwell built the Laurent Giles designed yawl Trekka when he was living in Victoria, British Columbia, and his initial voyage, which started in 1955, took him round the world by way of San Francisco, Hawaii, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa. The voyage is described in John Guzzwell’s book “Trekka – Round the World”
When he was in San Francisco, he met up with the ketch Tzu Hang, which was sailed by Miles and Beryl Smeeton and their daughter Clio. They again met up in Hawaii, and in New Zealand in the Bay of Islands where they sailed together. John Guzzwell then crewed on the Tzu Hang during their voyage across the Southern Ocean towards Cape Horn when during severe seas the ketch pitch poled with the loss of both masts and cabins. The story of this voyage is described in detail in Smeeton’s book “Once is Enough”
John then returned to New Zealand and completed a refit of Trekka before continuing on his voyage arriving back in his home port of Victoria in 1959 some 4 years after he started.
Trekka has been preserved and is now available for the public to view in the Maritime Museum of British Columbia.
Note: After completing the initial painting I was fortunate in making contact with John Guzzwell who kindly provided some additional information about the brightwork on Trekka at the time he arrived in New Zealand and before the modifications he made to the cabin top. As a result I made some changes to the painting.
Specifications and details of Trekka:
Designer: Laurent Giles
Builder: John Guzzwell
Name: From South Afrikan “trek” – to make a journey
Length overall: 20ft 6in
Length Waterline: 18ft 6in
Displacement: 12 tons
Beam: 6ft 6in
Draft: 4ft 6in
Engine: 4hp Outboard