From his beginnings as a draftsman and painter, William Bradford sought to portray his scenes with the greatest accuracy. 'A block or line of rigging out of place, a mast set too forward or aft, the improper location of boat davits and deck furniture, or sloppy rendering of a figurehead would not escape scrutiny...' (R.C. Kugler, William Bradford: Sailing Ships & Arctic Seas, New Bedford, Massachusetts, 2003, p. 6)
Bradford's first voyage out of Cape Cod took place in July 1856 to the island of Grand Manan and the Bay of Fundy between Maine and Nova Scotia. The artist returned there on a later sail in 1860. The subject of the present work is possibly either off Grand Manan Island and the Bay of Fundy between Maine and Nova Scotia or the South Coast of Nova Scotia.
Grand Manan Island (also simply Grand Manan) is a Canadian island, and the largest in the Bay of Fundy. It is also the primary island in the Grand Manan Archipelago, sitting at the boundary between the Bay of Fundy and the Gulf of Maine on the Atlantic coast.