While the Sea Astrid lies in Deerness waiting for restoration I took photos and have started a sketchbook. She is an Orkney yole built in Deerness in 1949 by Willie Ritch.
The Orkney yole itself has Norse origins and would have been made using available timber, resulting in some variation. Willie Ritch made characteristically wide beam boats and The Sea Astrid has particularly long lengths of wood.
The ‘hand’ of the boatbuilder in the making of the boat can be clearly seen. The journeys she made can be imagined.
From Orkney Fishing Registers Archive: Sea Astrid K92
Sea Astrid K92
Built in Deerness in 1949 by Willie Ritch. Auxiliary motor and lugsail
keel 14ft; length 20.2ft; breadth 7.9ft; depth 3.2ft; tonnage 2.23 26.05.1949 Registered for fishing, using lines and creels, by Willie Ritch, Southernwood, Deerness
I have started sketchbooks inspired by the Sea Astrid and the idea of the ‘sea road’ – the journeys, people and stories of her past. These will be an on-going project as I research her history and follow her restoration.