The entire round trip will take a year. Beale is still accepting crew applications for later legs of the journey. The crew of 20 changes for each of the 12 legs, with a core group of six making the entire push. Eubank won’t be onboard the entire journey — she’s in L.A. this week for a gallery show of her work but will soon leave for the Phoenicia. She will rent studio bungalows at various ports of call so she can paint and then will catch up with the ship as it traces the continent. Eubank is happy to be skipping the scariest part, when the Phoenicia rounds the Cape of Good Hope at South Africa, past Namibia’s Skeleton Coast. Here, there are freak waves and currents unlike anywhere else on the globe. Still, she’s anxious to get back to the sea, where the modern world slips away. What you see is a whole lot of open water, which glistens enigmatically in Eubank’s oil paintings on canvas.
One night, she saw a light on the horizon. She watched it and watched it, thinking it might be another ship. But the light didn’t move. It was a star. (Appropriately, the Phoenicians are credited with the discovery of Polaris, the pole star.)
Ripple Effect: Danielle Eubank, on shore leave, with some of the paintings in her Tujunga studio
After three weeks of solitary sea, a guy on a speedboat circled the crew — a weird sight for both parties. “He didn’t even stop to say hello,” Eubank recalls. “There were days when I wouldn’t see anyone. Not another ship. Not even a plane in the sky.”
Just the boundless ocean.
Danielle Eubank’s waterscapes will be on display Jan. 17-Feb. 22 at Found Gallery, 1903 Hyperion Ave., L.A. (323) 669-1247. Opening reception on Saturday, Jan. 17, 6-9 p.m. The Phoenician Expedition is ongoing, until July 2009. To apply to join the crew or read Captain Beale’s blog, go to www.phoenicia.org.uk. View Danielle Eubank’s art at www.danielleeubank.com.