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The Bosun School

Here on our wharf in Lunenburg The Bosun School is in full swing and the gang has been busy, very busy. We have had six weeks of almost perfect weather at the ideal time of year. So often we find ourselves working in the cold rain and even snow while we down rig or up rig the Picton Castle. This time we get do the job in delightful summer weather and teach all the techniques at the same time and have a little fun besides. Here is what we have been up to as part of The Bosun School.

  1. Sent all the 21 canvas sails down off the yards and out of the rig. This is a job that takes seamanship and skill.
  2. Sent all the 175 pieces of running rigging and 350 blocks down. Then they have to get labelled and stowed properly. The blocks will get overhauled over the winter.
  3. Sent the t’gallant and royal yards down. This is a very nice piece of seamanship which young seafarers rarely get to take part in today.
  4. Taught, practiced and made new wire seizings as we overhauled the lower shrouds. These are the same one would use on rigging a ship like Peking or Moshulu.
  5. Bosun Chair: learning to use a Bosun Chair properly for attending to the rigging.
  6. Sail in local Tancook schooners: The local members of the Nova Scotia Schooner Association took all our crew out on a weekend of racing in some pretty fine craft.
  7. Sail in the topsail schooner Pride II: The Captain and crew of the beautiful topsail schooner Pride of Baltimore II took our whole gang out for a training sail on Lunenburg Bay; my can she sail some good!
  8. Sail in schooner Bluenose II; The Captain and crew of Lunenburg’s own magnificent schooner Bluenose II showed our gang a glimpse of the challenges of sailing a big fore and aft sailer on an afternoon daysail.
  9. Help build a Dory: A couple of our gang got to help build a dory at the Dory Shop; building dories here since 1917; see
  10. Sail in a banks dory around the harbour: evenings and weekends were often spent in sailing our own banks dory around the harbour.
  11. Liverpool wire splicing; Sailmakers splicing, seizing, sail patching and construction techniques: lots of hand seamanship and good progress made by all.

carrying sails into the warehouse
roping a sail
rowing the dory
sending down the main royal yard
setting sail on Pride II
wire seizing on the fore shrouds
wire splicing

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