Drawn and painted by hand. Using India ink layered with a watercolor wash in an old world style. Nothing is computer generated here. The mermaids and sea dragons create themselves when I settle into the sun dabbled corner of my mind on a stack of floor pillows with my box of sixty-four Crayola Crayons (with its built-in sharpener), pens and loads of paper.
The idea for this Caribbean chart formed around an idyllic day; the trade winds (as a cherub) gently playing with old sailing ships and Magnificent Frigatebirds, the sun setting in the Gulf, the passages marked for easy navigation, and embellished with my mermaids and sea monsters.
The chart shows the Bahamas, Turks and Caicos through the Caribbean archipelago, into the Gulf of Mexico, the Yucatan Peninsula and down the east coast of Central America where I’ve included a few small islands off the coast simply because I was playing or living there and I want to see them on a map. Isla Mujeres, Ambergris Caye, the Bay Islands of Honduras. I drift down the coastline to Rio Dulce, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua, on down the north coast of South America to Isla Margarita, and Trinidad.
This chart is not an ‘old world map’ in one very important way; it includes the ports of today, the places we drop anchor. As reference material I use GPS locations, satellite images and true nautical charts, so my maps are pretty accurate compared to the cartographers of old, who were limited to celestial navigation or the captain’s rum soaked notes. Still, I do not advise charting your course on any map with mermaids and sea monsters. Sit back, enjoy a rum, and feel the gentle trade winds of an idyllic, Caribbean sun-baked day.
How would you like your print personalized?
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I’m happy to write a few words on the bottom left of the print. It needs to be short. Example: ‘Happy Sailing, Joe and Michela! July 5, 2021’ or: ‘Here’s to the friends we will never forget. Love, Mike and Sue.' On one chart, a guest of a new boat owner asked me to write “Home is where the anchor drops,” and add the boat’s name on his surprise house warming gift. Nice friend.