Captain's Log

Archive for May, 2015

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Day’s Run – May 9, 2015

It’s a sunny Saturday at sea, and all is well aboard Picton Castle as we settle back into our underway routine of watch-standing, meals, sleep, and time-off.
SHIPS WORK: Half day Saturday. The day started bright and sunny, but the wind gradually picked up throughout the afternoon and just after dusk the main topmast staysail parted from its sheet and had to be taken in quickly, sent down and a replacement dug out and bent on. The manila bolt rope had parted where it was spliced onto the clew, so ring and sheets detached themselves, thankfully without doing much damage to the sail itself. It seems the canvas rope cover had a small gap, allowing a short stretch of manila to weaken with years of exposure to sun and weather, and eventually to part in a gust.
BOUND FROM: Oranjestad, Aruba, Caribbean Sea
TOWARDS: Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, Canada
TIME ZONE: GMT -3
NOON POSITION: 20°30.5’N /073°00.1’W
DAYS RUN: 156nm
PASSAGE DISTANCE RUN: 608nm
DISTANCE REMAINING: 1,552 nm
COURSE AND SPEED: East by North 1/4 North, Course made good 061° true, 5.2 knots
WIND: Wind Force 4, East South East
WEATHER: Hazy, 1/8 cloud cover, barometer 1020 millibars and steady, visibility good
SWELL HEIGHT & DIRECTION: East by South, 1 m
SAILS SET: Fore and main topmast staysails, inner jib, spanker
Spaghetti and watermelon for lunch
Spaghetti and watermelon for lunch

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Day’s Run – May 8, 2015

We just sailed by a small fleet of Haitian fishing boats, here in the Jamaica channel, just seven miles from the coast of Haiti. Being sailors by choice, we think its super cool that they are using sail power and oars in their hand-built wooden boats, but we suspect that they would actually prefer an aluminium boat with a nice big outboard given the choice. Donald bought a couple of lobsters from one boat for a Sunday treat.
SHIPS WORK: Switched out a fore t’gallant to fix a tear, replace port main brace, service brace pennant and outer block, replace becket, whippings on new topsail sheets.
BOUND FROM: Oranjestad, Aruba, Caribbean Sea
TOWARDS: Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, Canada
TIME ZONE: GMT -3
NOON POSITION: 18°35.8’N /074°33.0’W
DAYS RUN: 125nm
PASSAGE DISTANCE RUN: 452nm
DISTANCE REMAINING: 1,708nm
COURSE AND SPEED: North East by North, Course made good 029° true, 7.5 knots
WIND: Wind Force 2, North
WEATHER: Fair, 3/8 cloud cover, barometer 1018 millibars and steady, visibility very good
SWELL HEIGHT & DIRECTION: North 0-1 m
SAILS SET: Just took in all sail to steam through the flat calm here in the wind-shadow of Haiti and Dominican Republic
IMGP5405
Haitian fishing boats

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Day’s Run – May 7, 2015

The wind continues at a steady force 6, but the waves have evened out and they are less confused now we’re further from land, so it’s altogether a much more pleasant ride. The ship is making between 6 and 7 knots under fairly short sail, we’re romping along! A container ship just passed by about a mile astern of us – we think they came so close to get a good look. Cool to see the white water streaming out from their bow wave.
SHIPS WORK: Making sure all the running rigging is in top notch condition for the Atlantic: replaced two foresail buntlines and both clew garnets, replaced starboard foresail clew garnet turning block strop, replace spanker sheets, replaced tackle in forelifts.
BOUND FROM: Oranjestad, Aruba, Caribbean Sea
TOWARDS: Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, Canada
TIME ZONE: GMT -3
NOON POSITION: 17°05.1’N /073°10.3’W
DAYS RUN: 153nm
PASSAGE DISTANCE RUN: 327nm
DISTANCE REMAINING: 1,833nm
COURSE AND SPEED: North by West 1/4 North, Course made good 305° true, 6.6 knots
WIND: Wind Force 6, East North East
WEATHER: Fair, 2/8 cloud cover, barometer 1018 millibars and steady, visibility very good
SWELL HEIGHT & DIRECTION: East by South 3 m
SAILS SET: All four topsails, foresail and mainsail, main and fore topmast staysails, main t’gallant staysail, inner and outer jib, all braced up on a starboard tack
Amy tars up the new king-spoke Turk's head
Amy tars the new turk’s head on the wheel’s king spoke

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Day’s Run – May 6, 2015

Picton Castle is underway again after a very successful festival at Aruba, and a wonderful few weeks cruising the Caribbean. Now we are bound for Lunenburg and the close of this sixth global circumnavigation. We pushed into fairly strong winds and biggish seas for 24 hours to get clear of Aruba, which is down-wind of almost everything, and at the noon change of the watch today set sail and shut down the main engine. Captain ordered a course change slightly to the west, asking the helmsman to fall off the wind a couple of points to allow us to sail and also making the seas much more comfortable as they moved astern of our beam. We’ll pass to the west of Haiti. And as if to celebrate a fantastic sailing day with plenty of sun and wind we caught a huge fish this morning too!
SHIPS WORK: Replaced lower topsail sheets and the starboard main upper topsail downhaul. Safety drills, pre-departure checklists and rig-check prior to getting underway yesterday. There’s too much weather to paint or varnish, so the watches are helping out with galley and making sure everything stays properly stowed in between sail handling.
BOUND FROM: Oranjestad, Aruba, Caribbean Sea
TOWARDS: Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, Canada
TIME ZONE: GMT -3
NOON POSITION: 15°14.6’N /071°13.7’W
DAYS RUN: 174nm
PASSAGE DISTANCE RUN: 174nm
DISTANCE REMAINING: 1,986nm
COURSE AND SPEED: North by West, Course made good 347° true, 6.5 knots
WIND: Wind Force 6, East by North
WEATHER: Fair, skies clear, barometer 1018 millibars and steady, visibility very good
SWELL HEIGHT & DIRECTION: South East 4 m
SAILS SET: All four topsails, foresail, main and fore topmast staysails and inner jib, all braced up on a starboard tack
Trimming braces
Crew haul on lines to trim the fore braces

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