This attractive coastal scene dates from the important period in American marine painting prior to 1850 and shows Bonfield's noted talent for portraying both marine and terrestrial environments. The almost perfect symmetry seen between the land and sea establishes a powerful compositional balance to this work. The vessels off shore on the left and their relationship to the house seen to the right compliment each other with an exceptional balance.
The luminous pink and gold tones that make up the dramatic sky bathe this painting in a soft radiance of light. Note Bonfield's gifted rendering of the dark atmosphere offshore where the clouds obscure the sun and the subtle progression from light to dark as the light source moves across the canvas.
The narrative depicted shows two men awaiting a small boat coming in through the surf from one of the vessels off shore. One holds a coil of line in his hand and is barefoot, ready to wade out and help land the boat. The other appears to be a passenger ready to be ferried out to the ship. A third figure approaches the beach, fishing pole in hand and two others, one mounted on horseback, make their way up the hillside path.