Don't Call it a Map

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Sailors are very particular about their nautical language.  Want to see a sailor cringe?  Make a comment about the “bumpers” that keep his boat from rubbing against his slip.  You will find out quickly that they are called “fenders.”  But for real sacrilege, call that 3’ x 4’ rolled up document the captain keeps handy a “map.” You will learn quickly – if not politely – that that object is a “chart,” and it is nothing like a map.

Maps are two dimensional.  Charts are three dimensional and more.  Depths are plotted.  Hazards, submerged or otherwise, are found on a chart.  Voyages, past and present, begin and end on a chart before the lines are cast off and a course is set.

This is why I became interested in turning these charts into custom-made wall coverings for sailors and landlubbers who long for the sea.  Charts tell a story.  For my clients, it is their story which is told in the colorful symbols and cartography exquisitely captured in a nautical chart. “Here’s the bay we ducked into before the gale hit last summer.”  “Remember when we made great time on that strong ebb tide around this point?”  And so on.  Tales to be told, memories to be remembered, from a favorite chart to a striking wall mural.  The writing IS on the wall!

Holy writ used to be recorded on scrolls.  To a sailor, holy nautical writ can be found on a paper scroll called a chart, thank you very much.