Five on the Solent

Avast there, landlubbers.

In a near-exact repeat of our jaunt this time last year, myself and the group of friends I ski with once a year (the misleadingly-named Sonneteers) once again took to the Solent for a couple of days’ sailing aboard one of the splendid boats owned by Lagoon Watersports, rented at a knock-down price by Sonneteer Jan, who works there as a windsurf and powerboat instructor.

As before, we picked up the boat ( the fate-temptingly-named No Excuses) at Gosport Marina, sailed to Cowes on the Isle of Wight where we spent the night, then made a return journey the next day. I managed to make a few quick drawings of my fellow crew-members between manoeuvres, which unsurprisingly bear a striking resemblance to the ones I posted a year ago. Frankly, none of these guys have a future in life-modelling (if anything, they became more animated once the artist’s pen was trained on them) but I have to say that sketching out in the salty air on the deck of a moving boat just a few inches from the foaming ocean is a highly agreeable way to pass the time.

Most of the sketchbook-friendly longueurs actually occurred on day 1 – the second day had us heeled over in force 5 winds for much of the time which was a great adrenaline-ride but not exactly conducive to controlled draughtsmanship. Here are most of the drawings together with a snap of yours truly at the helm (so I don’t feel left out):




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