The son of a marine painter, Hieronymus (Jeronimus) van Diest was influenced by his father and by the coastal paintings of Jan van Goyen (1596-1656) and Simon de Vlieger (1600/1-1653), with whom he shares the same subtle, tonal palette, high degree of naturalism, and careful finish. Like them he painted beach scenes, naval events and views of the coast and inland waterways of the Netherlands. This picture is a characteristic work of the artist's maturity and may be dated to the mid 1660s. It shows wijdschips on the right, tacking in a stiff breeze on a choppy sea, with smalschips on the left and men in rowing boats in the foreground. Drama and movement is conveyed in the arc of the clouded sky and the play of shadows on the waves, conveying a very real sense of a blustery day at sea.