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In the left foreground is a 'kaag' (a Dutch vessel with a straight raking stem and clinker-built), with her white sprit-sail lowered. Anchored inshore in the centre is a 'smalship' (a small sprit-rigged transport vessel). In the right background a ship at anchor is firing a gun to port. Other small vessels are also included.

In the catalogue of the Nieuhoff sale (Amsterdam 1777) the coast was identified as the island of Texel. This painting was probably executed around 1660. The water in the foreground may have been painted by Hendrick Dubbels (1621 - 1707) who was working in the van de Velde studio at the time.