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Ship’s Work, Abandon Ship and a Party

Friday was a sunny and warm spring day in Lunenburg and the crew of the Picton Castle took advantage of the good weather to get lots of ship’s work done. During these two weeks of preparations for the voyage we are combining training with work to make sure the crew and the ship are ready. The weather was forecast to be rainy and windy over the weekend and into the next week, so Friday was a good day to get a bunch of painting done. The topsides have all been painted and the ship’s hull is white again and the charthouse and galley house have been painted back to buff and green. The quarterdeck edge has been painted buff, the overhead of the breezeway and aloha deck has a new coat of tropical blue. With all this care and attention, the ship is looking great.

Friday afternoon, after the painting equipment was put away, the crew were instructed in abandon ship procedure. Chief Mate Mike reviewed the station bill with everyone, telling each person what their job is in an abandon ship situation and what number life raft they are in. The station bill is a document which outlines each crew member’s responsibility in general quarters (when all watches are on deck, usually arriving in port and leaving port), fire, man overboard, abandon ship, and also assigns each crew member a designated life raft. Station bills are posted throughout the ship and it is each crew member’s responsibility to know their job in each emergency situation. The crew first walked through an abandon ship situation, learning where or how to do their required task. Emergency equipment was collected and brought to the main hatch, living spaces were evacuated, a head count was done, watertight doors were closed and boats and rafts were simulated being launched. The walk through was discussed, questions were answered and all the equipment that was brought out was put away. Once everyone was confident in their job, an abandon ship drill was done. Each person carried out their assigned task, then mustered at the main hatch and donned their life jacket.

After some more ship’s work on Saturday morning, the crew headed down the street to the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic on Saturday afternoon. They saw the film “Around Cape Horn” in which Irving Johnson narrates some of the footage he shot while sailing around Cape Horn in the 1920s. This film is on the Captain’s suggested reading list for trainees. They also had a tour of the museum, looking particularly at local history and involvement in fisheries.

On Saturday evening, the crew were invited to a party at The Dory Shop, a wooden boat building shop that is almost next door to Picton Castle‘s wharf. The weather was wet and windy, but the party guests were warm and dry inside the workshop. The fire was roaring and there was live music provided by Lunenburg fiddler Anna Ludlow and her accompanist on piano. The boat that’s currently being worked on there is the new skiff for Picton Castle and it seems appropriate that our new boat was surrounded by fiddle music, dancing and good conversations.

Crew don lifejackets in abandon ship drill
Kevin and David paint the charthouse
Party at The Dory Shop

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