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North Atlantic: Lows and Squalls
and Tropical Storms, Oh, My! Gulf Stream too!

The Picton Castle is sailing due north at about 40 degrees North latitude just now. With a little help from a Gulf Stream eddy we are making 11 knots. The sun is coming out and we have a fresh west wind on the port beam. Lunenburg is at about 44 degrees 20 minutes north latitude. Now, bear in mind that 45 degrees is halfway to the North Pole from the equator. If we go much further north we stand the danger of slipping right over the top.

The latest on Tropical Storm ALBERTO—which has been churning around in the Gulf of Mexico—is that it is going to break loose along the eastern seaboard and head for Lunenburg, muy rapido, just like the Picton Castle. And get there more or less the same time we are supposed to. So we are paddling pretty hard to duck in somewhere along the southwestern shore of Nova Scotia by Wednesday night and get secured to let old AL pass by. Now 50-knot winds may not be a hurricane, but they’re nasty enough for me. It looks like we will have nice weather for sailing into Lunenburg on June 17, anyway.

The HMCS Preserver was heading south and dutifully sent a helicopter over to check on this mysterious pirate ship headed into Canadian waters. Finding out it was the Picton Castle they hailed a happy return and carried on with their duties patrolling the seas. Crew got pretty excited to see a Canadian Navy ship checking us out.

Yesterday we were still in the Gulf Stream only 200 miles south of Lunenburg. The water was 74 degrees F. and it was a sweet summer, even tropical day. Passing over the northern boundary of the Stream (and through a lot of fishing vessels working “the wall”) the water temperature dropped by 24 degrees, and thus did the air a great deal, too, and then the fog socked in. All our tropical flower crew are wigged out with how cold it is (it isn’t that cold).

Logan has his new royal yard ready to send up and so we won’t feel underdressed sailing into Lunenburg. Sailmakers are hard at it stitching away in the salon. Sea bag makers are hard at it as well. Deck watch has double lookouts in the fog, “a right tic dungeon o’ fog.”

Somehow a picture of the Picton Castle at anchor at Palmerston Atoll, deep in the South Pacific Ocean, in the warm gentle trade winds, turquoise waters, balmy breezes, soft sand in between the toes got in here. How could that happen?

Cold and foggy as we leave Gulf Stream behind
Crew work on seabags.
Headed north--and home.
Keeping an eye on the weather--14 June
Picton Castle at anchor as seen from the beach, Palmerston
Putting finishing touches on new Royal yard
Royal yard in progress.

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