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Provisioning and Crossing Yards

By Kate Addison

Excitement is building at the Picton Castle here in Lunenburg, less than a week ‘til we sail, plenty still to do!

Provisions arrived early this morning, packets and tins and frozen stuff. Hands finished their breakfast (porridge, muffins & cheesy scrambled eggs) and straight to the dock to chain the food aboard and get it stowed. Eggs are greased so they keep better; cardboard packaging discarded so it can’t make a home for cockroaches or other critters when we get down to warmer waters. Tins, crackers, peanut butter all sorted and stashed for easy access in a seaway. Fresh fruit and veggies will come later in the week so the fresh stuff lasts as long as possible. Thanks to Norm for his endless patience with our seemingly endless shopping list!

By 9am everything’s away and the crew get started on the rigging jobs for the day: Abbey and Aase running sheets out along the jibboom for the headsails, Nadja and Victor aloft on the main with turning blocks, Allison and Drea stropping blocks on the well deck. Meanwhile, chief engineer David Brown (DB to his friends, I won’t publish what the others call him) is doing something mysterious with buckets of engine oil.

The wooden spars have all come down over winter for some varnish and tender loving care, but today’s the day when they go back up! In my book this marks the official end of winter and the start of the sailing season. T’gallant and royal yards and spanker gaff and boom are all on deck or alongside on the dock now. As I type, preparations for crossing yards has started – a quick lesson from Mr. Mate, and then its hands to the capstan to provide the power that lifts the yard aloft, hands aloft on the course and topsail yards and in the shrouds to hand up the yard as it comes and another gang on the dock looking after the tag line that controls the yard on its way up and stop it swinging about everywhere. I love this stuff, no cranes or lifting machinery, no fuss, just some easy physics, a bit of sweat and a whole lot of team work and sailorising. Good job!

It’s fresh enough today, but glorious sunshine which certainly helps the rigging along – hard to believe we had a good inch of snow here on Easter Sunday just a couple of days ago. With the weather as changeable as this we need you all to cross your fingers, touch some wood and say a prayer for fair weather for the 16th and beyond. Thanks!

Abbey in the head rig
Briefing for crossing yards
capstan crew
Crossing main royal yard
Donald in the snow
main royal
rigging footropes and backropes on the main royal yard
Stowing provisions
Tagline team

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