Saturday, January 14th, 2006
What a beautiful passage the Picton Castle is having! I have been saying that a lot lately. We aren’t going lickety-split, more like a gentle saunter. The seas are small, the wind also pretty small, but we have yet to even consider motoring. We, the crew, are more than happy with this. All sails set and strolling along bound for the French island of Reunion. At this rate we should be there about Monday morning, just in time for an early lunch.
With this gentle motion, it is a great time for doing serious jobs onboard. The daymen riggers have started to overhaul the lower shrouds: renewing serving and replacing wire seizings, which hold the lower rigging together. This is a complicated and long job that has to be done just right while perching precariously on the ratlines. It is quite possible that the Picton Castle has its first all-women wire-seizing team—Rebecca and Amanda—with sometimes a little help from Ollie(!). Tracy has been varnishing the stanchions on the bridge, and Kemper and the watch have been painting the fore royal yard, which is down on deck at the moment. Becky has been spot-painting the breezeway overhead and the big job, sanding the helmsman gratings.
In the last couple of days there has been much action:
- There has been traffic. Compared to our passage to Rodriguez where we saw 2 ships in 3 weeks, this passage we’ve seen fishing vessels, bulk carriers and tankers. These huge mammoth ships are our after-dinner (sometimes after-breakfast) entertainment. We watch them until they pass by and disappear over the horizon.
- Lots of dolphins. This morning we all stopped to watch the dolphins try to play in our not-very-substantial bow wave, but nonetheless they were dashing to and fro, jumping up, and generally hanging out.
- We tacked the ship 4 times! Okay, it was just for instruction and practice, and if we hadn’t decided to do it, it is possible we wouldn’t have had to touch the lines for this whole passage, except maybe to tighten the braces.
- The 4-8 pranked the 8-12 watch. They attached tiny lines to all the coils on the quarterdeck and ran the lines down to the Aloha deck. Then just as the watch changed over, they pulled the line from the Aloha deck, springing all the coils onto the deck. This may not sound funny, but it was! And quite a mess, too. Maybe you had to be there…
- Joe has announced that Chibley’s café will open again tomorrow. Eggs any style—woo hoo! And bacon! And hash browns! Maybe crêpes! Even English Muffins!
- There must be more, but I am drawing a blank right now.
Smooth sparkling blue seas, a fair breeze, a sweet ship, best shipmates and an exciting island over the horizon. Pretty good, eh?