Richard Overfield | Nine Stars Phosphoresce in Georgia Straight
oil on linen 24k gold | 1991
TEXT: We eased the main & the big genoa & fell off. The main set perfectly. Free of the anchor, the navigational aids, all the barriers she was designed to surpass, “Zest” arched forward. We had delayed our departure & I genuinely wanted to avoid a night crossing. It was a soft, whispered dusk & as our bow rose to the purple swell night sipped the last light.
Zest was the name of my 30’ sailboat, designed and built by the Luke Brothers in Swanick, England in 1937. She was a Baltic design and had 18” of freeboard, a 48’ foot mast with a 7/8ths fractional rig and a 14’ main boom. She sailed like a dolphin in a dream.Sailing at night she left a magical phosphorescent wake. Phosphorescence occurs when sea water is disturbed and it is emitted by dinoflagellate plankton. They developed this ability as a defense against predators. The stars reflected in the water appeared to be floating in the phosphorescence .