A boat parked on a trailer may not be as picturesque as the waterfront scenes that most people are drawn to, but living in the Seattle area, a land of beautiful lakes and waterscapes, has heightened my curiosity for ships of any kind, whether they are moored at the marina or sitting in a parking lot.
This government research boat belongs to the regional offices of the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife in Mill Creek, the suburban town near Seattle where I live.
After seeing it frequently on my morning runs around the neighborhood (and sketching it once on my pocket sketchbook) I called up the agency to ask if they’d let me inside the fenced lot where they keep it. Bob Pacunski, a state scientist who uses it regularly, was delighted to hear about my interest in getting a close-up sketch of the “R4.”
Pacunski said the 24-foot vessel, an Almar model that is probably about 20 years old, was passed down to his office from another research team that used it for bird studies. Now it is equipped with an acoustic arm to listen for forage fish roaming the Puget Sound. It also serves as a fishing and scuba diving platform when he goes to survey rockfish habitats. It’s a true workhorse, he said.
2H Pencil, diluted Lexington Grey Noodlers ink, Micron PN finalizer, and Daniel Smith watercolor on Arches 140lb Hot Press watercolor paper.