Friday, January 24th, 2014
0630 – The day comes in cool and mostly cloudy in the Picton Castle. A small moon and a few stars poked through the clouds earlier on. Winds are southeasterly at about force 4-5 and seas are small with scattered whitecaps. The ship is braced up on the starboard tack with the yards off the backstays. Steering is easy at NE and she is making a nice 6 knots. All sail is set to the royals.
The main t’gallant staysail got sent up and bent on yesterday and with a beam wind that sail pulls just fine. Next we will re-bend the flying jib and gaff topsail as we sail away from the higher latitudes.
We are having a good chance along here on a passage that has been all in all, outstanding in all respects thus far. We have sailed about 2,600 miles from the Bay of Islands and have about 800 to go to landfall Pitcairn. Finn and the 4×8 watch has trimmed the yards by hauling the braces, and sweated up the halyards, sheeted the headsails some to renew the nip (meaning shift the point of bearing by hauling or slacking a small amount so the lines get even wear), coiled down and are giving the deck a good scrub. Chelsea at the wheel has her foul weather gear on for warmth, but it is actually not cold according to the thermometer. And others, especially the Doc, turns to every watch with full-on foul weather gear, but barefoot. How cold can it be?
Donald has a big pot of coffee on the stove and is making biscuits for breakfast in his galley. Workshops in Rules of the Road by John Beebe-Center, use and abuse of Bosun Chairs by Dirk; knots, splices, rigs and rigging when the weather permits. Things are going pretty well out here at 38 south and 136 west.