Friday, December 20, 2013

The Boats of Opua - The Wonderland

This boat is anchored at Opua. It caught my eye because the solar panel and wind generator implies that it travels long distances and might be from another country. As I painted it, I zoomed in on a photograph of the stern of boat to see if I could read the name.  It is the Wonderland from Boulder, Colorado.  I'd heard of this boat but didn't realize she was still in Opua.

About eight months ago, an American vintage wooden schooner, The Nina, sailed from Opua heading for Australia, but never arrived. On board were seven people including Evi from Boulder, Colorado. Sadly, this is her boat - waiting for her to return.

The disappearance of The Nina made international news, especially here in New Zealand as Opua was her last port. It hit a storm, lost all sails, and hasn't been heard from since. I was one of thousands who spent a lot of time searching satellite maps of the Tasman Sea for The Nina, through Tomnod. Tomnod is a company that uses crowdsourcing to analyze satellite images in searches. Volunteers like me, look at the satellite images on our home computers and tag anything that looks out of place. In the case of the Nina, we were looking for a bright orange life raft or a boat. If multiple people tag something (crowdsourcing) then the experts take a look. Many believe The Nina is still out there in the Tasman sea, waiting for a rescue. I hope so.

The Boats of Opua - Wonderland
8" x 6" oil on gessoed board, unframed
U.S. $125 plus $7 shipping


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