The painting depicts Frenchman, Alain Gerbault, a former flying ace and tennis champion, lowering sail on his yacht Firecrest in the English Channel with no wind, and fog approaching, towards the end of his worldwide solo voyage in 1929.
In his book In Quest Of The Sun, Alain discusses his final days before reaching his home port of Le Havre and how on the “evening of the 22nd(July), steering herself, the Firecrest passed very near a trawler off Start Point. Then followed two days of calm and fog. On the 24th I found myself becalmed upon a sea of glass and in a bank of dense fog, with no more than fifty yards visibility
Specifications and details on Firecrest
Construction – Timber
Rig – Cutter Rigged
Sails – cotton and dyed with red ochred linseed oil – deep red at start of voyage