Sunday, April 16th, 2006
Happy Easter to all those folks at home; enjoy that chocolate and the long weekend!
The Picton Castle is under full sail including stun’s’ls. It’s a sunny day out here—not too hot, not cold, and gorgeous blue skies. The Picton Castle is making just more than 5 knots and that’s a nice speed—not lumpy, just a graceful roll here and there. It’s Saturday, and when at noon the watch is finished tarring, oiling, sanding, and painting there are plenty of workshops to look forward to: Susannah and Rebecca are showing how to make seabags and tote bags, but only for those who have finished their ditty bags!
A ditty bag is a small, cylindrical canvas bag with a rope handle. We fill them with “ditty,” which can be a sail palm, a fid, twine—basically it is a sailor’s tool bag. Making a ditty bag is an excellent exercise in sail-making. You learn to make grommets, how to stitch, how to measure canvas and how to do different types of rope work. For those who have not finished their ditty bags there will also be a help workshop on ditty bag making. For some crew their ditty bag has become their nemesis (I am not naming any names)!
For those with stars in their eyes, First Mate Sam is starting to teach celestial navigation. She will start from the beginning again for those who are new and for those who either did not attend the last workshops or who, like me, just never quite get it. It is a very useful skill to have and interesting, too. The South Atlantic is a very good place to practice doing noon sights, twilight, and generally getting the hang of using a sextant. For the more advanced, Sam is also doing star sights.
There are AB workshops for those who want to study for their Able-Bodied Seaman exams on our return. The AB exam covers a wide range of subjects—safety at sea (including first aid), rules of the road, navigation, and laws and regulations of being at sea. These guys can easily pass it with a little bit of preparation and a heads-up on what to expect! Second Mate Greg is leading workshops in studies for learning to pass the Coast Guard AB test and will at some point he will also do a rope-mat workshop.
So it is a busy time on board and every one should have something that they are up to!
I am hoping that all my pestering has paid off and Joe will spend some time making hot cross buns. We will hope and wait!