Captain's Log

Archive for November, 2009

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Cargo Sale This Weekend!

Join us this weekend at our warehouse on the waterfront in Lunenburg for the Picton Castle Cargo Sale!

A previous Captain’s Log will give you details on some of the items for sale, and below are a few photos from the inside of the warehouse on Thursday afternoon. We hope you’ll come down for a cup of warm cider and a chance to browse through the treasures we’ve collected from around the world. Who knows, you may find that perfect gift for someone on your holiday shopping list, or even something for yourself!

Location: 174 Bluenose Drive, on the waterfront in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia

Friday November 27, 10:00am to 5:00pm
Saturday November 28, 10:00am to 5:00pm
Sunday November 29, 12:00pm to 5:00pm

a whole wall of sarongs and fabric!
chests full of fabric, hand woven baskets
coffee table, tam tams and day bed
cute little inlaid and painted wood pots
teak armchair and fijian war clubs
teak desk and masks from around the world

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Michael Moreland, Young Sail Trainer of the Year

Picton Castle Chief Mate Michael Moreland has recently been awarded Young Sail Trainer of the Year by Sail Training International. Both Michael and Second Mate Paul Bracken were in attendance at the Sail Training International annual conference in Istanbul, Turkey when the award was presented. This award is given annually to a professional sail trainer under 26 years old to encourage and recognize high-performing individuals who deliver sail training programs.

Michael has served as Picton Castle‘s Chief Mate since March 2008, on the year-long voyage around the Atlantic Basin, as well as this summer’s voyage on the east coast of North America. Michael will continue on in this role on the ship’s upcoming world circumnavigation voyage, starting in May 2010.

Here are a few highlights from Michael’s nomination:

“Michael joined this ship as a 16 year old cadet in the summer of 2000 and
returned as a trainee for the Picton Castle‘s third circumnavigation 2003-
2004. At the end of this voyage he immediately headed off to the Maine
Maritime Academy where I am told by his instructors… he excelled in every way. After graduating with distinction
from MMA Michael went to serve in the Brig Niagara, Schooner Amistad and
other vessels to advance his craft.

The Picton Castle just completed a remarkable 20,000 mile voyage around the
Atlantic including much of coastal Europe, West Africa, Brazil, West Indies,
New England and the Canadian Maritime provinces. For this voyage Michael was
originally signed up to be Second Mate but when the designated Chief Mate
had to back out for reasons at home at the last minute I asked Michael to
step up to the plate…

As an upcoming yet accomplished mariner, I have seen few Michaels equal. As
a small boat handler he is exceptional. As a calm, well organized leader he
is a pleasure to work with. As a sailing ship and sail training officer he
is dedicated to his craft. As a shipmate you could not ask for better.”

Congratulations, Michael, we’re all very proud of your accomplishments!

For more details, check out Sail Training International.

Mike leads plotting workshop
Mike teaches workshop on piloting

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Picton Castle Cargo Sale

Looking for a unique gift? Or a handcrafted piece of furniture? Look no further than the Picton Castle Cargo Sale in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia on the last weekend in November.

As Picton Castle sails around the world, Captain Moreland and the crew personally select handcrafted items from markets, studios and workshops in exotic ports to bring home for sale. These items are representative of the tropical trade-wind routes the ship sails, little pieces of paradise that we can bring home and share.

More important to us than the places these treasures represent are the people who made them – gentle Wayan in Bali who creates exquisite, intricate beaded baskets that require hours of patience and delicate work; the people from the Vanuatu island of Pentecost, famous for their land divers, who walk for hours to the village of Bwatnapne Bay for trading day with their woven pandanaus bags, baskets and floormats; our friends and gracious hosts on Pitcairn Island who, in addition to being descendants of the mutineers on the Bounty, are fine wood carvers who create dolphins, sharks, turtles, boat models and even fids (sailors’ tools used for splicing rope) out of tropical hardwoods, sanded and finely finished; Josepho from Vava’u in the Kingdom of Tonga who brought his masks with Polynesian gods and sculptures of whales and fish on board the ship to sell; Mohammed from the waterfront craft market in Suva, Fiji who sells Fijian war clubs that are exact replicas of clubs found in the Fiji Museum in Suva and who invited some of the crew into his home for supper; the tall, thin Rastafarian men with their dreadlocks tied up on top of their heads in the heat of the fruit and vegetable market in Port Elizabeth, Bequia who sell tote bags made of recycled grain sacks with nylon webbing for straps.

Whether you’re a sailor, a traveller or an appreciator of fine handmade items, you’re sure to find some interesting gems at the Cargo Sale.

Join us at our warehouse on the Lunenburg waterfront at 174 Bluenose Drive on Friday November 27 and Saturday November 28 from 10am to 5pm and Sunday November 29 from 12pm to 5pm.

Crew in basket from Tonga
Loading sea chests inlaid with mother of pearl on to the ship in Bali
Pania with whale carving in Tonga
Wayan and her beautiful handmade beaded baskets

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Dory Building, Blocks and Painting

The Picton Castle crew woke up this morning, the first workday morning since we changed the clocks back an hour this weekend, with some sun. They put on their long underwear, lots of layers, sweaters and hats and got to work. Craig, Andrew, Dave, Sarah and Jack are in the Dory Shop for the next week or so, apprenticing as wooden boat builders with dory builder Jay Langford. This morning they selected and prepared the wood that will eventually be the bottom of a Handline Dory. Meredith and Nick are working on overhauling blocks, taking apart each one to clean it up, inspect it, put some new coatings on it and put it back together again. The ship has over 300 blocks in the rig, so this task will be ongoing. David continues to stitch away in the warehouse, making repairs to the sails that have been sent down for the winter. Erin and Katie are painting aboard the ship, getting good coats of paint on all the steel parts so they can stay covered through the winter when painting outdoors isn’t possible. Nicki is in the galley today, preparing meals for the crew. The ship’s cook, Donald, has returned to his tropical home of Grenada, having had enough of this Canadian autumn weather, so the crew are taking turns cooking. This afternoon, everyone other than the dory builders will turn to painting on board.

The ship is mostly ready for winter now, she looks quite bare on deck with all of the deck boxes stowed in the warehouse and all of the manilla running rigging sent down. The wooden fore and main t’gallant yards have been sent down for the winter, stowed in the warehouse where they will be overhauled and ready to send back up next spring. The fore and main t’gallant masts have also been sent down, but they were overhauled on the wharf and sent back up. The tops’l yards and the course yards on the fore and main masts, which are made of steel, have been cockbilled and lashed firmly in place for the coming months.

The crew continue to live on board, there is some heat in the Batcave so some of the crew have already moved aft and more will likely do that soon. Chibley, the ship’s cat, also continues to live on board, although she is becoming increasingly interested in curling up in our office and store across the street. With a group of people still on board, the crew are able to make their own fun wherever we go. Sailing on Wednesday nights has continued through the fall, Norm and Steve continue to make the Grand Banker feel like our living room, and we occasionally have special occasions to celebrate. There was a big turkey dinner on board in the main salon for Canadian Thanksgiving and I’m sure we’ll do it again in a few weeks to celebrate with our American friends. With our experience of marlinspike parties on board the ship, dressing up for Hallowe’en was no problem for our crew.

As we enter the last month of our Bosun School program, the ship is pretty much ready for winter. There will be lots to do in order to get the ship ready to sail around the world again, so work will continue with maintaining and overhauling the ship and all her parts.

Andrew, Jack and Dave dig in to lunch
Craig and Sarah learn to build a dory with Jay
empty looking decks and wheel and binnacle covered for the winter
Meredith overhauls a block
the fore yard cockbilled at a sharp angle for the winter

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