The 'Felicity' and the Blind Bay Hookers, 1889

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The ‘Felicity’ and the Blind Bay Hookers, 1889

Oil on canvas
75 x 105 cm


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The Hookers were Nelson’s ‘mosquito fleet’ of little sailing vessels that played a vital role in the first century of the country’s European settlement, not only in Blind Bay (the original name of Tasman Bay) but around the whole top of the South Island and across Cook Strait.

Felicity is the vessel closest on the left. The scene is Port Nelson on a sunny and warm Sunday afternoon during the late 1800s. The Hookers are drying their sails. The middle vessel is Planet which is being towed out by two dinghies to begin her voyage. You can see her sails are hauled tight whereas the other two vessels have their sails slack drying in the warm sun.

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