Friday, May 21st, 2010
Midday – May 20, 2010 – – 25-39n / 058-37w – – winds ESE – about 15 knots
Looks like we are in the famous easterly trade-winds. These winds that blow from the west coast of Africa from Senegal across the Atlantic finding their way to the wind swept and sun kissed isles of the West Indies. The Picton Castle is sailing along braced up sharp on the port tack, our good crew steering south with these trade winds on the port beam – all sail that is bent aloft on yard or stay is set and drawing – sky is a burning blue, seas are small with the occasional white cap but it is mostly just blue, royal blue, silver blue, turquoise blue maybe. All hands in shorts and short sleeve shirts (and hats and sun-glasses and SPF 2,000 goop) – the gang is filling in the deck log now – Time, compass course, course made good, log distance for the hour, wind force, wind direction, swell height, swell direction, visibility, barometer, weather in general and anything else of significance. The hard one really is true wind direction. And Latitude and longitude and any course changes, sail changes etc. This requires a good deal of observation and analysis to get it right. But that is the whole point, to learn to accurately observe and analyze conditions and then record them. Small jobs are getting done, painting here and there, little rigging jobs, cleaning odd corners, whippings on lines, end for ending lines for even wear, dishes-always dishes to do, galley and scullery to clean and clean again, folks up on the well deck making some new baggywrinkle. Name of the ship getting painted on the boats. Take your trick at the wheel, keep the Picton Castle on course, steering South by West or as we annotate, SxW, keep a good look out, one of the fundamentals of seafaring and good seamanship. Yes, that is all going on by each and everyone here in this small barque under full sail making her way into these tropics. First flying fish have been spied swooping to winward.
And then we have our off-watch gang. We see a few people spread out on the green canvas cargo hatch cover midships with books, knitting, making sheaths for knife and spike, napping, maybe with little music boxes with wires snaking towards the ears for some private music, pretty sweet. The temperature is perfect, the seas small, wind fresh and balmy, ship almost steering herself, Lunenburg is a thousand miles astern, many many sea miles ahead…and islands…no doubt thoughts of home too.
Chow onboard – Lunch – well, we had roast turkey yesterday so obviously we had turkey soup or maybe you might call it stew today and for supper – – drum roll…Adams & Knickle Scallops fresh off the F/V Chocklecap, Freedom 99 or Cachalot landed right in Lunenburg fresh from Georges Banks! And basmati rice, olive salad and chocolate cake.