Spirit of Mystery, a voyage in time and space

Spirit of Mystery, Pete Goss,  a marine painting commissioned this to commemorate, to leave a record of a voyage in many senses.

Pete Goss is proud to be able to say his project created 2 new businesses, still up and running…and not least this is a tribute to the original voyage and crew Captained by Richard Nicholls.


Spirit of Mystery
Spirit of Mystery in the Southern Ocean

Pete GOSS’ VOYAGE in the Southern Ocean CAPTURED ON CANVAS by Gordon Frickers, oils on canvas measuring 76 x 121 cms (30″ x 48″).

Fine marine art for sea orientated people, a timeless painting will give you pleasure every time you see it upon your wall.

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Many of their descendants from Captain Nicholls voyage live in Australia today.

Spirit of Mystery in the Southern Ocean” is now available as a signed numbered print, priced from £147.00 including packing, insurance and post, with a limited number signed by Pete Goss; to make an order visit payment page.

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Main Text:

Spirit of Mystery detail
Spirit of Mystery detail

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Birth of an idea

Encouraged, ‘egged on’, by a mutual friend (George Skinner) Gordon asked Pete if he would like to co operate in committing the Spirit of Mystery voyage to canvas.

Unknown to Gordon Pete Goss already knew and was a fan of ‘Roaring Forties’.

Pete said, for him “Roaring Forties” was one of the very few paintings to really capture the Southern Ocean.

Gordon Frickers, is best known for his painting ‘Roaring Forties’ described by the editor of the best selling journal Yachting Monthly (Dick Durham) as “iconic”.

Roaring Forties’ dramatically depicts Robin Knox-Johnston aboard Suhaili riding out a dangerous 80 foot plus Southern Ocean greybeard in 1968 as he Robin became the first man to single-handed circumnavigate the globe non-stop.

Robin asked to meet Gordon when preparing for a transatlantic race at Queen Anne’s Battery Marina, Plymouth.

Robin said he loved Gordon’s merchant ship paintings which were being exhibited there thanks to Mark Gates, the marina manager.

Robin and his wife, 6 months later, decided to celebrate Robin’s 50 th birthday by commissioning Gordon Frickers to paint what was to become ‘Roaring Forties’.

In his letter to Gordon Robin wrote “For a brief inglorious moment there was me & two masts in sight & nothing but ocean in any direction for 2,000 miles”.

(‘Roaring Forties‘ we still have a few copies left signed by Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, they are real history, very collectible, to order go to our payment page. If in doubt call Gordon)

Pete Goss was captivated by Gordon’s proposal.

Pete said he had no idea at all how to go about creating a painting and thus was intrigued, keen to follow the creative process.

Pete insisted the painting would be a commission.

Having read the logs Gordon had several suggestions, much would depend on how Pete and his team reacted.

There was to be a meeting aboard ‘Spirit of Mystery’.

It was one appropriately stormy day at the Mayflower Marina, Plymouth that the two men met for the first time to talk about the voyage and especially the Southern Ocean.

When Gordon arrived Pete introduced himself with charming Cornish courtesy saying “Gordon it’s an honour to meet you”; very taken aback Gordon was thinking ‘no Pete it’s an honour to meet YOU‘!

Pete proposed they share a mug of tea.

Spirit of Mystery, Mayflower Marina, Plymouth
Spirit of Mystery, Mayflower Marina, Plymouth
Spirit of Mystery & Pete Goss
Spirit of Mystery & Pete Goss

Gordon was invited aboard Spirit of Mystery.

Interior of SoM
Interior of SoM

The two men talked of the voyage and especially the Southern Ocean while Gordon Frickers explained what was likely to happen, an insight into a creative process.

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The painting:

Gordon set to work sketching and questioning Pete Goss.

The first proposals were not unlike “Roaring Forties”.

After about ¾ of an hour quite suddenly Gordon had another idea very different from any of the previous sketches. He drew it immediately and in about 45 seconds…

Sketch produced while with Pete Goss
Sketch produced while with Pete Goss

As luck would have it, developed a little the design was soon unreservedly approved by the Pete and those closest to him.

Pete Goss & Gordon Frickers
Pete Goss & Gordon Frickers

Next challenge, Gordon had to use his skills to paint as he was reputed to do…

The result is a picture of ‘Spirit of Mystery revealed in a way no camera could offer us, ‘Spirit of Mystery labouring in huge waves with a vicious cross sea, pete says truly reminiscent of his voyage and that of the original crew, whose Captain Richard Nicholls wrote in their log on 6th March 1855: “A terrific gale of wind – heaviest so far experienced. Our gallant little boat rides the mountains of sea remarkably well.”

Gordon Frickers said: I have endeavored to give our painting the qualities cameras and Photoshop don’t have. Much of the scene is as abstract as possible, light, physical texture, because that is how it is in bad weather. I pursued feeling and emotion rather than detail. The colours and the white water are influenced by the ragged sky, the sort of patchy sunlight and flying spray Pete had described.

Pete Goss saidI got exactly the painting I had hoped for

Pete added: I particularly like the vast underlying swell rolling off into the infinite space of the Southern Ocean coupled with the immediacy of the nasty cross sea that threatens to overwhelm the boat. Gordon has a rare talent and has captured what is so hard to describe. When I first got the painting I put it on the kitchen table, made myself a cup of tea and lost myself in it for half an hour.

The painting has everything except the unforgettable noise of the huge Southern seas…” Pete Goss.

Gordon knew intuitively that painting for Pete Goss would be a rare and special experience to savour, adding: I can think of few greater compliments for an artist than to have people who have been there, done it and got the T shirt to endorse my art work.

This splendid marine painting, measures 30” by 48” and will Pete says be framed in the same oak used to build Spirit of Mystery.

Spirit of Mystery in the Southern Ocean” is now available as a signed numbered print, with a limited number signed by Pete Goss; to make an order visit www.frickers.co.uk/art, payment page.

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"In the cross sea it felt as if we were being repeatedly rammed by a car" ~ Pete Goss
“In the cross sea it felt as if we were being repeatedly rammed by a car” ~ Pete Goss

Gordon Frickers © 05/10/13 updated 07.02.15, 04.01.2016

For more information about Pete Goss and Spirit of Mystery project, visit: www.petegoss.com

Contact Gordon Frickers on:

Telephone: (UK) 01865 522435

Mobile: (Fr) 06 1066 1926

Email: gordon@nullfrickers.co.uk

Skype: “gordonfrickers”

Website: www.frickers.co.uk/art

For more information about Pete Goss and Spirit of Mystery, visit: www.petegoss.com


A high-resolution picture, suitable for the print media is available on request from Gordon Frickers, who is handling all media enquiries.

About Gordon Frickers:

Gordon Frickers is one of the few artists to be invited, and the first and only marine artist to exhibit at, the European Parliament, Brussels (May 2011).

Gordon Frickers has been the choice of many diverse & renowned organizations including Yamaha, British Telecom, the Ministry of Defence, Corum, Calmac and Deloitte & Touché.

Distinguished individuals have examples of the art of Gordon Frickers, people as varied as varied as Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, The Princess Royal, His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said, Sir Richard Branson, and now Pete Goss.


To acquire this or commission a similar painting, a pleasure to own, a sound investment, you can purchase in easy stages.

To make a purchase the easiest way is bank to bank, ask for details, or using PayPal via the Purchase Page.

Contact US ~ T:+ 44 (0)1865 52 2435  or Skype ‘gordonfrickers’

 whatsapp, or phone M: + 33 (0)6 10 66 19 26

Email ~ Important ! please substitute ‘@’ for ‘at’: artistfrickersatgmail.com

Best value, buy from a dedicated artist- buy from a reputable, established artist direct from his studio.

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Copyright 2018  fees and our Terms are among the most generous on the Internet, don’t hesitate to ask for details by email, whatsapp, or phone+ 44 (0)1865 52 2435 M: + 33 (0)6 10 66 19 26

Gordon Frickers © 06.02.2016, updated 14,06,2018

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