This week’s nautical wall art printables are among my favorite patent art printables that Handan has made to date. We’re delighted to share them with you, and I’m happy to share another little skip down memory lane!
A thousand years ago, when I was preteen doofus with feathered hair and a mouth full of metal, I learned how to sail at Mystic Seaport Museum on the Connecticut shore. Though Mystic Seaport is primarily a whaling and maritime museum, they run two sailing camps each summer. One camp teaches kids how to sail in little bathtubs-with-sails called Dyer Dhows. The kids sleep aboard an old whaling training vessel named Joseph Conrad and sail the dhows out on the Mystic River each day.
The other camp is more advanced. The Seaport owns a 68-foot wooden schooner named Brilliant, and older kids (and even adults) sail it out (under the tutelage of a captain and first mate) into Long Island Sound, Block Island Sound and Buzzard’s Bay, mooring each night at islands along the way.
I attended the first camp for four summers – two as a camper and two as a junior counselor. The next summer, I spent a week aboard Brilliant.
Those weeks at Mystic and out in the New England coastal waters were some of my favorites as a child. I thought I’d carry on with sailing, that I’d be a boat owner and a man of the sea.
But life rarely plays out like we imagine it will in our youth. High school ended, and college engulfed my thoughts. I never really sailed again save for maybe an hour or two in a Sunfish here and there. What had seemed so monumental and important as a young teen faded into memory as I busied myself with kicking down the doors of adulthood.
I’ll tell you something, though. Those memories are still with me.
The ones of the open sea.
Of unfettered wind blowing straight and true.
Of midnight blue and emerald waters.
Of windburn and salt-stiff hair.
I remember the terrible calm as we sat on Brilliant’s deck awaiting a thunderstorm to overtake us. We’d been eyeing it since we spotted it on the distant horizon. Storms look different on the ocean. Folks in the Midwest would understand. You can see them coming miles away. And when they’re headed straight for you, there’s nothing to do but reef the sails, batten down and wait.
It hit like a locomotive, and everything was wind and rain and thunder and flashes of pure white all around.
It felt like the end of the world.
But then it passed as quickly as it came, and a shaft of sunlight spilled down onto the wind-whipped sea.
It was one of the most perfect things I’ve ever seen. I climbed out onto the bowsprit and tried to absorb the moment, to imprint it upon my soul.
I remember the fog bank in Buzzard’s Bay. The sails hung limp, and the boat drifted without purpose. Visibility was zero. We were 11 souls shrouded by oblivion. I had read that sailors who stared into fog for too long would hallucinate. I wanted to experience that.
So I stared out into the nothing. I stared and let my mind relax.
And then I saw it, too.
The Spanish Galleon under full sail.
It approached on the starboard side, riding waves far bigger than anything in the Bay. Its square sails popped and snapped in the stiff breeze that drove it forward, even as our ship wallowed in calm. A banner flew from the top of its mainmast – the standard of a long-dead king.
In a few seconds it had slipped back into the fog, bound for some forgotten shore with a hold full of gold doubloons, exotic spices and barrels of rum.
Moments later, a bubble cockpit helicopter swooped in low and hovered right out in front of me. The fog must have muffled its engines, because I heard nothing. I was sure it was real. It looked exactly like the chopper TC piloted in the old TV show, Magnum P.I.. The Spanish Galleon I had my doubts about, but this thing in front of me surely was real and true!
And then it, too, was gone, faded back into the cotton wool that enveloped us.
I remember mooring off of Block Island one evening and rowing ashore for leave. The water was golden-red with the setting sun. We ate dinner at an island inn, and then went exploring on foot. We passed through an old cemetery, in brief communion with the old whalers and fishermen who built this country on whale oil and salt cod.
As we rowed back to the schooner later that night under a black, moonless sky, our oars stirred up bioluminescent organisms in the water, and we trailed a ghostly blue wake behind us. We were a tiny mirror of the vast Milky Way that coursed through the night sky.
As above, so below.
As I write this, memories keep spilling back into my conscious mind from whatever long-term storage facility in which they’d lain dormant all these years. But I think I’ll keep the rest for another post.
Please enjoy our nautical wall art. And keep an eye to the sea…
As usual some generic information on today’s printables: Handan designed these 12 free printable nautical wall art in three colors, so there are 36 total printables. All will fit into a 16×20 inch frame or a 24×36 poster frame, though you may scale them up or down as necessary. 24×36 inch scales down easily to 20×30 / 16×24 / 12×18 / 8×12 / 4×6 inches, and 16×20 inch scales down to 12×15 / 8×10 / 4×5 inches with no problems. If you need help with scaling down these printables so you can print them using your home printer, then make sure you check out Handan’s “How To Easily Resize Pictures” post.
Also, if you don’t have a large format printer like Canon i8720 Printer (prints up to 13×19 inches) and are wondering the best place to get these printables printed bigger than 8×12, we recommend trying Staples in your area or Amazon print shop. Both stores offer custom-sized prints on matte or glossy paper, and they both cost about the same. Staples also offers Engineering Prints, which are really affordable for large-format prints, but in some areas (like ours), they must be ordered from their online print shop.
Now it’s time to click on the button below to download today’s free nautical wall art printables – they are all in the Patent Art section of The VIP Patch.
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