Captain's Log

Archive for May, 2008

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Food Delivery and Safety Equipment

Just as the crew of the Picton Castle were finishing domestics and deck wash this morning, the first food delivery arrived. Purchasing enough food to feed the entire ship’s complement for most of a year is no small task. Donald, our awesome cook who sailed with us on the Caribbean voyage and the summer voyage last year, has returned to work his magic in the galley again. Under Donald’s supervision, the crew created a giant chain to unload all the boxes, bags, tins and buckets from the food service truck at the end of the wharf and pass it down the dock to be stacked on the dock amidships. The food was stowed in the hold this afternoon and we’ve got room for more, so there will be a second delivery to top up our stores and bring what was left out of the first round.

After a thorough orientation tour yesterday morning, this morning’s training session focused on safety equipment. Everyone learned about the different kinds of life jackets and PFDs we have on board, what they’re used for and how to put them on correctly. After talking about them and seeing all the different types demonstrated, each person tried each one on to really get a feel for how they work. Trainees were checked by the professional crew to make sure all the straps and buckles were done up correctly and everyone tried their whistles and checked their lights on their life jacket. Chief Mate Mike then moved on to immersion suits, explaining why, when and how to use them and demonstrated how to get into them. Everyone then went to their bunk to grab their immersion suit and bring it up to the main deck to try it on. Before long, the deck was filled with people in puffy yellow suits with only their eyes and noses sticking out. Immersion suits were then taken off, put away in their carrying bags and re-stowed away in each bunk.

Bruce and Erin don immersion suits
Chief Mate Mike demonstrates immersion suit donning
everyone dons lifejackets
Luke and Eric don lifejackets
Matt, Geoff, WT and Nick don immersion suits
unloading the first food delivery

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Voyage of the Atlantic Begins

Picton Castle‘s Voyage of the Atlantic has begun. The excitement on the dock and aboard the ship is palpable as trainees have now joined the ship, leaving behind their old lives to embark on a new adventure.

This morning was the official start of the voyage, with all hands mustering amidships at 0800. A muster is a mandatory meeting of the crew, all hands refers to the entire ship’s crew. Every morning in port will begin with an all hands muster at 0800. The first task was to break into groups to learn to do domestics (household cleaning of living spaces) and deck wash. These chores are done at the start of every day, regardless of whether the ship is at sea or in port.

At 0900, all hands mustered on the quarterdeck to be welcomed aboard by Captain Moreland and to sign the ship’s Articles of Engagement. This is a legal document that outlines the contract that the ship has with each person aboard. People often refer to “signing on” when they join a ship, we carry on the tradition of actually signing the ship’s Articles when crew members begin their voyage. The entire ship’s complement was called one at a time to sign on and receive a Voyage of the Atlantic crew hat and a ship’s pin from Captain Moreland.

After a brief overview of what this first week will entail, each member of the professional crew took a small group of trainees on a full orientation tour of the ship. In addition to seeing all spaces and parts of the ship, trainees were shown fire fighting equipment and life saving equipment and were introduced to the ship’s standard procedures.

The Voyage of the Atlantic is off to a great start!

Gary, medical officer, signs on
Trainee Nick signs on
Trainee Susie signs on

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