The name Water Witch (or Waterwitch) had already christened many a vessel in the nineteenth century when J.G. Palmer chose it for his new schooner in the first decade of the twentieth. Built at J.S. Gardner's yard at Liverpool, Nova Scotia, the three-masted Water Witch was launched in 1906, registered at 220 tons gross (190 net) and measured 114= feet in length with a 29 foot beam. After a successful though uneventful career, she was wrecked in the Straits of Gibraltar on 19th May 1918 whilst en route from Santa Pola (Spain) to St. John's, Newfoundland, with a cargo of salt.
Painted silhouetted against the evening sky, this tranquil portrait of Water Witch shows her in peaceful mode, gently running up the coast and perhaps being guided by the light on the shore, presumably atop a lighthouse. With the last golden rays of the setting sun shimmering across the waves, it is a highly accomplished composition and one which endorses Dawson's masterly ability to create an evocative atmosphere better than many of his daytime creations.