There are not too many dark values in this composition, but it was important to establish the darks in the water, in the interior of the ship, and in the rowboat.
The biggest challenge was the water. This is a horizontal plane and to make it look horizontal, I needed to adjust the value from darker to lighter as I painted from foreground to background. The change of value needed to be about 15 percent. Too much of a change would make it look like it is an inclined plane, and too little would make it look like a vertical plane.
At the same time, I wanted the temperature to be warmer in the background–which seems contrary, because warm colors tend to be perceived closer to the viewer, with cooler colors in the distance. I will talk about that in the next step.