Saturday, June 17th, 2006
Anchored in serene Port Motoun the day came in blue, crisp and clear. The gang got up bright and early to heave up the anchor for the passage of the last few miles of this amazing voyage round this world of ours world back into Lunenburg. Decent winds had been forecast but the sea was calm with barely a breath of wind, so we motored on to keep to our appointed rendezvous off Cross Island at 1300 with the jib-boom of the Picton Castle to round Battery Point at 1400 and into the harbor, hopefully under sail.
The crew scrambled aloft to loose all sail in the hopes of catching a sailing breeze later on. Sure enough, as we puttered down the coast, off the Le Have Islands a SWly breeze filled in and the gang set all sail in the Picton Castle for the last time on this circumnavigation. Soon the Picton Castle was sliding along sweetly on a sunny Nova Scotian sailing day, all sails set and drawing, all flags hoisted and snapping brightly. To say that the energy onboard was “high” would be something of an enormous understatement. Soon enough Walter Flowers whale watching boat was alongside with shaking signs, hands and arms waving madly. As we steered north-west into Lunenburg’s outer harbor, naturally, the wind picked up and the ship surged ahead. Rounding Battery Point close hauled under full sail braced on the port tack was a thrill for all of us, somewhat less so for me (or perhaps more so) because as we bore off three points into the channel this gave us more and a fairer breeze adding speed at much the same point when a good skipper would be wanting to slow down. But we had talked about this with all hands and they were all ready to get sail off in a hurry. Our barque galloped down the channel as the crew got sail off her and the Picton Castle came beam to the wind just off our pier head braking the ship in a sliding fashion, then we backed into the wharf crowded with eager friends and family, somehow remembered to put our hawsers on the pilings, squared the yards, up and stowed the canvas sail hanging and flogging in the clew and buntlines and the fourth world voyage of the Barque Picton Castle from Lunenburg, Nova Scotia was done. That will do the watches.
As the Picton Castle was sailing around the Point Lynsey had set up the Cargo Sale on the wharf. We had forwarded all our world voyage exotic cargo ahead so it could be ready when we arrived. We had wanted to do this before couldn’t figure out how. After all many of the folks who would be keenest to get some of this crazy stuff would be there when we arrived. So this was done with a lot of help from a lot of people and the 4th World Voyage Cargo Sale was a big success. We do, however, have a goodly hold full to share the joy up in the Great Lakes this coming summer. Lynsey and her helpers set out beautifully displayed mahogany sea-chests, beautiful teak garden furniture, Sarongs, bamboo wind-chimes, bowls inlaid with cinnamon, colourful Bali kites, Pitcairn Island shark carvings, Fiji jewelry, dug-out canoes, Masai spears, Zulu bead-work, Tonga tapa cloth, Rodrigues baskets, big wooden spoons, woven fabrics from the Galapagos, carved chess sets, flutes and xylophones. And maybe a million other things. It was also fun for the crew show all these trade goods to their families and tell stories about them. And then we had our night at the “Oscar’s”.
All hands gathered at shipmate Alan Creaser’s “Old Fish Factory”. All received “Awards” of some sort, lots of hugs, some tears and lots of laughs as crew told stories on each other and had their last moments together as a crew. The next day crew unloaded sea-chests, ditty-bags, sea-bags and began the long trek home. This fourth circumnavigation of ours may have come to an end but their voyage that they started here in the Picton Castle will carry on forever.
30,000 miles sailed, 19 anchorages, 138,700 pounds of anchor and chain heaved back, 400 miles of braces hauled, 239,616 dishes washed, 1,630 watches stood, 257 days at sea, 127 days in ports, 1 royal yard shaped and crossed, 13 sails made by hand, one stunsl boom carried away, a three foot stack of charts used, two cyclones dodged, zero anchors dragged, 1200 coconuts consumed, 384 jars peanut butter scoffed, 25 ports visited in 20 different countries, 61,440 cups of coffee drank, 10 tons of school supplies delivered, 6,850 packages of instant noodles eaten, 4,000 tours given to guests on board, 250 gallons of paint applied….