Sail exercise in Malta harbour
Inscribed top left, 'Exercising in / Malta Harbour / Making all plain sail / 'Oh! What a row - what confusion!!!'. The location appears to be in Dockyard Creek, looking up to the church in Senglea above Fort St Michael (though possibly the other way towards St Angelo), with the bells of the campanile adding the 'row' to onboard 'confusion'. The ships are not named but the sketch, in pencil with the start of some watercolour, clearly shows the 'Trafalgar' in the centre (of which Mends was first lieutenant) flanked by two other unidentified two-deckers of the Mediterranean fleet. The rigging of all three is crowded with men as they exercise making 'all plain sail' in calm conditions. Mends's caption suggests a proper sense of exasperation for a first lieutenant with high standards that are apparently not yet being met. Though undated, the drawing's position in the book suggests it is mid-1853, probably before the sailing trials shown in PAI0870 and PAI0871.
George Pechell Mends
Original size: 255 mm x 372 mm
- Image reference: PZ0869-002
- National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
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