And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
[From Sea Fever by John Macefield].
Yes it's nearly here... the return of the Greenwich Tall Ships Festival. From 27th - 31st August, 15 Tall Ships will be dropping anchor with 13 at Woolwich and 2 at Maritime Greenwich.
To get you in the mood here is a painting of The Amerigo Vespucci built as a training ship for the Italian Navy in 1930 in the style of the late 18th century 74 cannon ships. I made this painting from a sketch made in 1983 when the Amerigo Vespucci was moored off Greenwich Reach.
The Amerigo Vespucci at Greenwich Reach, oil on panel, 10" x 13". £395.
Some notes I made around the time read;
In 1983 on a casual stroll along the Greenwich Pier, I saw a most handsome sailing ship riding high on the tide off Greenwich Reach. I discovered it was the Amerigo Vespucci, an Italian frigate used as a training vessel for officers and was staying for a few days on a courtesy visit. The following day with fine weather promising I began a watercolour with my drawing board pressed hard against the pier railings. I worked for 3 hours without interruption enjoying the contrast between the sturdy shapes of the Thames barges in the foreground emphasising the elegance of the earlier days of sail.
The watercolour painting sold but I also made this small oil painting.
Sadly this ship won't be with us this year but this one will...
Tecla in Greenwich 2014.
and Dar Mlodziezy (below) will be moored on Tall Ship Island in the river at Maritime Greenwich, and will open to visitors via MBNA Thames Clipper shuttles.
A beautiful sight; busy Thames from Tall Ships 2014...
You can find out what kind of activities are on offer at the 2015 Tall Ships Festival here;