When I made a run south from Greenport to Ft Lauderdale last week, I spent some time getting to know the crew, Captain Mark, First Mate Pete, Engineer Anthony, Chef Mark and Stewardess Heather. A great crew and a real change of pace for me after years heading here and there on small boats. Well, my boat Pandora is not that small but at 47′ she’s a shrimp, canoe, dink, whatever compared to a the 130′ motor yacht that they crew on.
Anyway, along the way Pete, the first mate, and I got to talking and it turns out that, along with his working aboard mega-yachts, he’s also an accomplished yacht illustrator. I had actually seen his work in the past in Showboats International, which I subscribe to. It’s a VERY glossy, and apparently successful magazine of super yachts, if thickness is a measure of success.
One of the features of the publication is a page each month that includes illustrations of notable yacht launches along with some details of the build such as where she was built and the number of crew. This is a layout from a recent issue that was done by Pete.
To be a reader of this publication and to then run into that same illustrator proves once again that it is indeed a very small world. You know, the whole “six degrees of separation” thing? Interestingly, Facebook has determined that there really isn’t six degrees of separation, it’s more like 4.74, not to put too fine a point on it. Check out this link to Facebook to learn more. Twitter did a similar analysis and they think that the number is 4.67. Close enough.
As I used to tell our boys when they were younger, “watch what you
do in public, you never know who might see you…”. Indeed.
So, Pete’s process is to take a number of photos of a boat and to create an illustration. Most of them are done in profile, like this piece that he did for the South Street Seaport Museum.
He also does pieces in perspective like this sell sheet that he did for Palmer Johnson, the yard that built the boat I headed south on. Most of his work seems to be focused on large yachts. I particularly like this one of Foggy. Frank Gehry, the famous architect, designed and owns her. Here’s a shot of the boat herself. She’s a real work of art in her own right, with some very unusual features. One of the standout features of the boat are her “portlights” in the hull and deck. Pretty arresting and, it seems, pretty leaky. Oops. A shot of Gehry himself aboard. He’s the one on the right. I guess it was a sunny day. No leaks. I show Foggy in particular as yet another example of “degrees of separation”, when I was at Newport Shipyard last summer. Foggy was there. I did a post that had some information about his boat. The yard owner, where she was built is Steve White, grandson of E.B. White, the poet. In a video I included in my post, Steve talked about the challenges of making the deck lights leak proof. Ok, perhaps he has to rethink the engineering on that one.
The boat pushed the boundaries in every way. Not your typical bowsprit. Lighting? Talk about complicated construction. Can you say points of (water) egress?I guess pushing boundaries isn’t new to Gehry when you consider this as one of his designs.I wonder if the windows on this building leak. I’ll bet that he doesn’t have to live in it on a rainy day at anchor, so perhaps that’s OK.
Another boat that Pete illustrated is Kismet. I spied her in Ft Lauderdale and included her in a post, last year. She’s so big, at over 300′, that my blog won’t fit Pete’s illustration of her. Oh yeah, if you get the itch, you can charter her for $1,200,000 per week. Plus fuel, of course, crew tips, etc., etc…Want to learn more about her? Check out her charter site.
So, what’s all this leading to anyway? I really liked Pete’s work and commissioned him to illustrate Pandora. I just received it today and am thrilled. Nice work Pete.
He even included a special piece commemorating Pandora’s trip to Cuba. It needs a few tweaks but it’s great. So even if you don’t have a megayacht you can have Pete illustrate your “super” yacht. If you want to connect with Pete yourself here’s a link to his site.
So there you have it, 4.74 degrees of separation from you to, well, anyone, or at least Pete and even Frank Gehry.
Oh yeah, and don’t forget to watch what you do in public. You never know who may be watching.