Michael was looking for a good vantage point to view the Tall Ships sailing the River Clyde, and had to look no further than Gourock town, with its panoramic view of the Clyde. There was a mixture of large and small sailing craft on the water, including Drum – the tallest yacht on the Clyde, owned by the late Sir Arnold Clark and previously owned by Simon Le Bon of Duran Duran. However, all craft were dwarfed by the Russian four-masted barque Kruzenshtern – the second largest sailing ship in the world.
It was a fine day for a sail, with Drum on the right side of the composition giving balance. The small speed boat crossing the bow of the Russian ship, disturbing the reflections and adding interest. The orange sails of the ship in the middle of the scene provided contrast between the deep blue of the water and the white of the sails and clouds. It’s one of Michael’s favourite maritime works.
The original painting was purchased by the then owner of Drum – Sir Arnold Clark.