Hull Down off Castle Hill. Photography & Text by Keith R Wahl

May 12, 2023  •  Leave a Comment

A call to see it, read it, experience it, and live it

Hull Down off Castle Hill

Hull Down off Castle Hill 20230510 850_8547Hull Down off Castle HillSmoky southwest breeze moves a three-masted schooner, seen hull down, offshore of Castle Hill Light at Newport, Rhode Island

The photo depicted here; "Hull Down at Castle Hill" makes me emit a happy sigh. This depiction is something out of Herman Melville, Patrick O'Brian, C.S. Forester, James L. Nelson, or my life (although my logs are as yet unpublished). I have called out this scene from the bridge of a ship on multiple occasions. 

We are at the mouth of Narragansett Bay. We are after peak sunlight, but the sun is still strong. A smoky southwest (sou'west) is piping up. The tide has changed, bringing a wind against tide chop to the water's surface. In the distance, a three masted schooner appears hull down ("hull down" means that the ship is past the curvature of the earth to the point where the hull is out of view but the masts and sails are visible).

This is an iconic view. It calls us to sail upon the bay and beyond. It makes us want to see what is out there. We want to feel the wind and taste the salty spray on our lips. We want to smell the air and hear the breeze. We want to be a part of this scene in reality or in our minds. 

If you cannot get out there on a boat or ship, I encourage you to read about it. The authors that I mentioned are excellent (and I am able to suggest even more). James L. Nelson in particular sailed these waters as third mate aboard the replica of the HMS Rose (which has been renamed as the HMS Surprise in accord with the movie based upon Patrick O'Brian's novels). 


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© Keith R Wahl, Made From RI/Made From RI Gallery, 2023. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Keith R Wahl and Made From RI/Made From RI Gallery with appropriate and specific direction to the original. 

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