Jeff is my father in law. He spends a large portion of his life at sea. When my husband was a kid, Jeff spent nearly 10 years building a large trimaran sailboat (a Jim Brown 40) on the Oregon coast, then sailed it to Texas. He now has a Condor 40, a racing tri which he recently got from a salvage. He also works at sea; half of the year he spends on a massive ocean-going tug hauling loads across the Indian Ocean, the North Pacific, Southeast Asia, between Northern Siberia and Japan, off the west coast of Africa. Lately he has been working between Kuwait and Iraq and Durban, Africa, a tricky section of ocean notorious for piracy.
The turquoise came from his mother; he sent me the piece and asked if I could make something with it. I decided to carve something ‘oceany’ and this is what I came up with. I’ve always loved the Hokusai print.
Anyone who has been at sea long enough encounters waves like this (minus Hokusai’s excellent visibility perhaps..). About five years ago Jeff went through a typhoon off Japan. He was in port at the docks when it was coming but the port officials told them they had to get out because they were afraid the large boats and barges would tear up the port when the typhoon hit. He and two other tugs motored out to sea and for twelve hours, they pointed into the wind and bashed into the hurricane seas at half throttle. They made time backwards at something like 12 knots, their tows thrashing around in the sea one kilometer behind them at the end of a huge tether.