Although other plates for the Southern Coast illustrate the dangers of the sea, the theme
of 'Portsmouth' is mankind's mastery over
the waves, personified by the Royal Navy. National pride in Britain's fleet was at a height in the years following the Battle of Trafalgar and Turner himself had seen the Victory
on its return from her defeat of the French. Here naval dominance is unequivocal, despite the rough winds and squally weather. The various types of shipping include a splendid man-of-war moored in the harbour beyond, and a fully manned row boat battling
the waves in the foreground.