Talk about a smart thing to do… Horta’s marina seawall and walks are paved with paintings placed by sailors of visiting yachts. A tradition that’s grown over decades, it’s considered to be bad luck if you don’t create one of these landmarks commemorating your safe arrival in Horta. In Flores, where we first landed in 2002 and in 2014, there also is a growing practice of documenting one’s landing on a friendly shore. And, you get your marina smartly dressed for free.
Like many before us, we, too, have partaken of wall grazing. You know, the type of strolling that results in not looking where you’re going, suddenly stopping to take in a yachtie’s particularly stunning rendering of their boat’s name only to trip up the person behind you. It’s hard not to do for almost every surface is decorated with amazing artwork.
We did one back in 2002 thanks to Chris’ handiwork,
so, we went looking for our 12-year old sign. The only evidence of our having been here is seeing others around it that have persevered
However, we did spot some Brazilian friends’ wall sign from that same summer
So, Max got the bug and decided we should do one.
On the second to last day here we purchase paint, brushes and a roll of paper towels for clean-up, most of which I needed.
He located a perfect spot, put on a base coat of white paint, came back to the boat, put pencil to paper and initiated the first draft
then started practicing the drawing of a lobster by visiting http://www.howtodrawanimals. I must admit I was pretty impressed.
Next step, transcribing the lobster and some letters onto the wall in pencil. Once again his lobster was perfect. My letters, not so hot.
[and, looking at this picture, I’m wondering when all of a sudden my arms needed hammocks; I already want a chin strap… god, got to love 60+. (Sorry, this is quite a girly thing to write. Next time, guys, I’ll do a warning first, I promise.
Now, on to the more enjoyable info.)]
I asked him, ‘do you think they look okay?’ He said ‘yes’, hesitated, then came ‘do you think the “M” of “Maine” is a little wide.’ I said, ‘Well, no, but you do.’ Again, my artistic husband is smart and did the smart husbandy thing by smartly keeping oh so quiet.
We left, both of us knowing the “M” could definitely use some dieting.
Next morning bright and early before the sun would laser our eyeballs due to the bright white paint we were using, Max hopped out of bed (well, for those who know our boat, this movement is more like pretzeling out of bed), grabbed the paint, brushes, and the necessary roll of paper towels and headed towards our piece of the concrete rock.
After checking it out (ensuring the surface was not tacky), he returned to the boat saying he could sure use a narrower, smaller brush. I put on my thinking cap and started thinking, thinking, pondering different items we have stowed until a thought bubble rose to the surface of my brain along with an unspoken ‘dang it’. I have the perfect tool: my carefully stowed eyeliner brush.
Well, I kept mum until mentally I had exhausted all of the other possibilities, and then offered up my lovely make-up tool. At least I knew future raccoon eyes would remind me it was for a good cause.
Now back to the wall Max began his masterpiece (and, my serious hat on–I’m not kidding, it is!)
Then, my turn; and, as I tried ever so paint-stakingly (I know, yuck-yuck pun) to outline the letters (alas, with my good eyeliner brush),
my smart husband did the smart husbandy thing again (he’s quite wonderful, even if I do say so myself) and let me fust around until finally I, the non-painter, turned to him and said, ‘I think you may be able to do a better job’. And, my smart husband took the brush and smartly finished it off, but only after he assured me my work was fine. Did I say he was smart?
Our friend, Tricia, stopped by on her way to the market and took a photo (if you notice, he’s holding a brush; I’m holding a screwdriver) documenting the progress-to-date
After two hours of this (most of my time spent looking, thank god) we stepped back and admired the final work
Since it’s a wonderful activity to do while people of all nationalities are strolling about (we met vacationeers from Germany, Holland, Portugal, Netherlands), we asked a young man to snap a photo of the artist and helper
Now, when we stroll by on the way to the marina bar cafe and back, we’re always casting our eyes port (to cafe) and starboard (from cafe) to this sign of Juanona. We’ll be remembering both of her sails to these islands along with crew members Chris (2002) and Dick (2014).
And, as I passed by it most recently on my way to take a shower, I did notice my “M” was a wee bit wide. Yet, somehow I knew if my husband thought the same, he would just say how wonderful our painting looked and keep us gently strolling by. Oh, what a smart (and lovely) husbandy thing to do.