Sunday, September 9th, 2007
I have been sailing in the Picton Castle for almost 7 years now, and last month we did something I have never done before, something I never would have dreamed was even possible. We spent the month of August in Lunenburg! Until recently, I had been very sceptical about the reported existence of summer in Lunenburg. I thought maybe the fog just warmed up a little.
It’s been gorgeous, and we have been doing our best to take full advantage of a month of summer ashore. Aside from the usual ways the crew find to entertain ourselves (anyone who knows the crew knows what that means…), we have had some proper adventures.
Our first big adventure was a trip on the topsail schooner Pride of Baltimore II. At every tall ship festival, and whenever we have the good fortune to sail in company with Pride, all of our crew ogle her. She’s stunning; sleek, sexy, shiny, and with that distinctive why-are-your-masts-falling-down rake. Sometimes we talk about how fast she goes, how pretty she is, and who’s sailing in her now, but more often than not we just stare with our mouths open.
Pride sailed into Lunenburg on August 6, and the following day she took us out for a sail. We had a wonderful time; the schooner Bluenose II sailed with us on the way out of Lunenburg Bay before disappearing into the ever-present Cross Island fog bank (soon to be added to the approaches chart), and we tacked and headed home in the warm early evening sun. This time our crew stared at the GPS with their mouths open, “How can we be going 6 knots? There’s barely any wind!” She really does move.
A little short-handed, the Pride‘s crew enjoyed having extra muscle to hoist sail, brace, and trim, and our crew really enjoyed going faster than the speed of sound. Discussions began between the crews, and were carried on well into the night. They really wanted us to come with them to Maine, and we really really really wanted to go with them.
So we did what any experienced team of professionals would do in this situation. We batted our eyelashes and sucked up to the Captains.
After days of delicate negotiation with Captain Miles (actually I think they just enjoyed watching us squirm), the word was passed that we could sail with Pride to Maine the following day. Suddenly the foc’s’le was transformed into something that can only be compared to a room full of 5-year olds on Christmas Eve. Everyone was hyper and full of questions, nobody could even think of going to bed, and all we could do was talk about Christmas Day…