On the heels of the first Pirates of the Caribbean film, I came around a corner in a water taxi in Baltimore MD......and fell in love with a ship. Her hull is sharp as a cutlass blade, her masts raked like she was doing warp 11 at the dock. She is the Pride of Baltimore II, a reproduction of the wicked swift and agile privateering vessels, Baltimore Clippers, that sailed out of that port in "America's 2nd War of Independance" the War of 1812. We had a miniscule navy, the British had the best the world had ever seen. We were objecting to some of their seagoing practices (interfering with our commerce etc.), they were dealing with some short French guy. We handed out letters of marque and reprisal to pretty much anyone with a boat, and the privateer was born. Earlier ships had been built like tanks, but out of the winding, tricky waters of the Chesapeake Bay came a lean, mean, fast, agile, small topsail schooner that could outrun what it couldn't outgun, and outgun what it coudn't outrun. I have sailed on Pride several times, once for three days across the bay, steering at one point under the watchful eye of a young sailor woman who had worked as crew on the Lady Washington... the ship Captain Jack and Will stea... er... commandeer... in the first Pirates film. On my first voyage, I went below, picked up a book in the grand salon, opened it and found a photo of an earlier captain "steering the wild black mare" in a gale."What's this wild black mare thing?" I asked. The Black Horse is an iconic image for me, it goes back to Fury and Zorro and the Black Stallion... and my own wild black mustang mare that I worked with begining in 1985."Someone said that handling the first Pride was like riding a wild black mare through the woods at night."Pride II is a more stable, able ship. She is still a bit of a wild black mare. She is, after all, a privateer: a sharp hulled, agile beast under a great cloud of sail. British observers wrote of "those crazy Yanks and their wild horses" when they saw our Baltimore clippers. No one "won" the War of 1812, but America made a statement about who we were, and that we were a force to be reckoned with. The wild horses were a part of it.Done from several photos I took, and montaged on Photoshop, the horses of the sea, and the Wild Black Mare, were painted with the airbrush tool on Photoshop. Sailors refer to whitecaps on the waves as "white horses". I did this piece as a donation to a Pride auction to raise money for the organization that keeps her afloat. If you are near Baltimore, go visit her, and go sailing. It's an experience you'll never forget.