Plein-air pen and wash on paper


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Today I sat down on the docks as the weather was that warm, about 19 degrees Celsius. Apart from the regular occupancy there are about a dozen similar looking boats moored in the commercial harbour. The similarities are in the size, the built, the orange floats, the large shrimp baskets and other features. I made a sketch of a pair that was “double parked”.

It looks like the skippers are busy with preparations for fishing prawns; my guess is that the season is about to open for prawn fishing on the sandy bottoms just off shore from Nanaimo in the Straight of Georgia or Salish Sea as some people like to call it now.

They are mostly drab looking, grey aluminum vessels equipped with a large number of these big orange/red plastic floats. My guess is that these things are used to connect a basket with bait that is sitting about 100′ or more below the surface of the sea to lure the prawns, thus acting as a beacon that is marked with the owner’s initials.

All commercial vessels display a name on the bow and on the stern. One of the boats was called “Prawnto”, a wordplay which clued me in to the use of this boat.


Author: John Hofman

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