Daybreak, and the morning finds several sailors already about their business aboard coastwise schooners departing the safety of the Hudson River mouth for the open Atlantic Ocean in this vignette by Fred Pansing. The tide is at a high point, and the soft ripples of a calm tide are favorable to the departing sailing ships. It appears the coastwise schooners are loaded with lumber, most probably from up river sources in Maine and bound for the coastal yards of New York or Boston.
Shadowed depth competes with the luminous sunlight breaking through the morning atmosphere, with the cloud edges aglow with a pale red where gaps of blue sky slip through. The deep shadows are slowly releasing their evening hold on the headlands.
Pansing has another schooner leading the sail to market, with nearly all sails employed to tack the existing breeze. The ocean's swells carry slight across the river's surface, assisting the sailing vessels in their back and forth path to make headway and greater speed. More than 120 schooners from 19 shipyards called ports along the Hudson home from 1865 until the turn off the century, and more than 100 years later, some still cruise this important commercial waterway to New York and the entire East Coast.
An interesting side note to this fine painting is that it was found in 2005 in a covered wall space of a 1920s Agoura Hills, California cabin.
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