Captain's Log

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Slow Moving

By Chelsea McBroom

March 29th, 2014

It quit raining soon after the Picton Castle sailed from Huahine and it somehow got even more hot and sunny. We had hit a high and there was barely any wind (and, it seemed, no air below decks to breathe). We laughed when switching over helm duty, not sure that we were really moving anywhere – perhaps sideways if anything. The meter said we were going less than a knot. The Captain was patient and knew we had enough time to get there.

I try imagine what tall ships would have done when they didn’t have a motor or engine to power them – they probably accomplished a lot. In fact, there are other tall ships sailing today that don’t have engines. But going so slow felt mildly torturous.

Three marlin followed us during the night, the male was nearly as long as I am tall, swimming right at our stern and gleaming in the moonlight. Don’t say it out loud but it’s been quite a while since we caught a fish. Alex, our engineer and fisherman, ran around taking in lines and reeling them out, frustrated that they were so close and yet couldn’t be caught.

Right before one of my 4pm to 8pm watches Erin ran through the ship saying “All hands shower party on deck.” I didn’t know what this meant until I dragged my deliriously hot self out to the main deck where they had rigged up two fire hoses (the Captain explaining it was like those new fancy showers with more than one shower head) and everyone was grinning in a bathing suit being power washed. Getting drenched was not a new experience for us. Pania cooled off the old fashioned way – when she was done one of her many Bosun tasks she poured a bucket of water over her head and kept on working.

We started the motor soon after, deciding we needed to catch up on some distance and hopefully some good wind. We took in the courses, the t’gallants, the royals, and motor-sailed for the day before we found the wind we were looking for. Last night we set all the sails and stopped the engine, delighting in the silence and air moving through the ship again.

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