Witch of the Wave
The discovery of gold in California in 1848 had a dramatic impact on this country and the rest of the world. In the shipping industry, for example, speed and capacity became even more important for shipping goods to the booming city of San Francisco. It was during this time, at the height of the clipper ship era, that George Raynes built the “Witch of the Wave” at Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
Built primarily for Far East trade, a typical voyage took her from the East Coast to California and then around the world. Although she was a clipper ship, “Witch of the Wave” was not designed for extreme speed, but rather to accommodate a large amount of cargo. After her fourth voyage in 1854, she was chartered by and later sold to Dutch interests, who renamed her “Electra.”
“I like to find a way to show a ship in a slightly different way than the typical full-sail, sunny day picture,” says Chris Blossom, “and here I show her under shortened sail in fairly blustery conditions, as the sun begins to set.”