Captain's Log

Archive for July, 2015

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Day’s Run – July 9, 2015

Last minute change of plans today led us to New Bedford, MA instead of Martha’s Vineyard. We dropped the port anchor at just after 10am and commenced ship work and further training until 5pm. Tomorrow the Captain has arranged time for everyone to explore the whaling museum in town. In its heyday, New Bedford was one of the most important US towns and ports for the export of whale oil oversees. Sometimes we focus so much on tall ships that we fail to look up and see the other types of ships around us – both in the past and present. This is why when the opportunity arises, taking time out of our daily routine to visit such a museum is so important.

SHIP’S WORK: Replaced tire lanyards; monthly safety check; spot painted hull, waterline and topsides.

Joy in the strangest places

BOUND FROM: Greenport, NY
TOWARDS: Portland, ME
TIME ZONE: ZD + 4
NOON POSITION: 41°37.9’N /070°54.9’W
DAYS RUN: 80 nm
PASSAGE DISTANCE RUN: 1334.3 nm
DISTANCE REMAINING: 220 nm
COURSE AND SPEED: n/a
WIND: n/a
WEATHER: Barometer 1020
SWELL HEIGHT & DIRECTION: n/a
SAILS SET: None – anchored by 1016.

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Day’s Run – July 8, 2015

REMARKS: With 15 new trainees on board we have begun the orientation, safety/emergency drills and line handling lessons. Trying not to overload everyone is a difficult things as there is just so much to go over and become familiar with in a short amount of time. Everyone is doing a good job of listening to instructions and/or giving them. The silver lining in having very little wind at the moment is that we can all go through the sail handling at a pace other than frenzied. Good for learning though not so great for speedy sailing.

SHIP’S WORK: End for end main lower tops’lbuntline; mousings.

Raising the gaff

BOUND FROM: Greenport, NY
TOWARDS: Portland, ME
TIME ZONE: ZD + 4
NOON POSITION: 41°06.2’N /072°15.6’W
DAYS RUN: 0 nm
PASSAGE DISTANCE RUN: 0 nm
DISTANCE REMAINING: 0 nm
COURSE AND SPEED: PMO, CMGT VAR
WIND: West southwest, 4
WEATHER: Overcast, barometer 1017.5
SWELL HEIGHT & DIRECTION: West northwest, 1
SAILS SET: All set omitting mains’l

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Day’s Run – July 7, 2015

Today is a transition day for us as we have crew signing off and new trainees signing on. This necessitates a flurry of activity to get our 15 new crew members sorted out in their personal spaces, shown the layout of the ship and oriented through safety training. Most importantly though, while still tied to the dock, the lesson of how to properly flush a marine head. Believe me, nobody, but nobody, wants to deal with the consequences of skipping that particular lesson!

Aldo, from Aldo’s in Greenport, you are a prince among men for letting me haul in 15 1kg bags of coffee this morning to grind up before we let go lines. Greenport Brewing, thank you too for donating a keg of beer to the soiree held on the Picton Castle for the tall ship crew members in port. Lastly, as I lick the butter off my fingers, thank you to the fishing vessel Illusion for the lobster dinner we thoroughly enjoyed tonight. From the Captain to the cat, we all heartily thank you!

SHIP’S WORK: Gaff went back up; bent on spanker.

Twenty minute lobster dinner

TIME ZONE: ZD + 4
NOON POSITION: 41°06.0’N /072°21.6’W
DAYS RUN: 0 nm
PASSAGE DISTANCE RUN: 1250.1 nm
WEATHER: Humid, barometer 1022, cool breeze

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Day’s Run – July 6, 2015

Considering that most people took Friday off as part of the long weekend, we had a tonne of people come through the ship yesterday. As current trainees sign off the ship to head home, there were just enough people left on our Port watch to man the stations ensuring a safe visit for everyone aboard. After three days one of the comments we hear the most is how real our ship looks and how much pride the crew takes in her.

SHIP’S WORK: New spanker peak outhaul; slushed gaff stays; made new topping lift.

DSCN0285[1]

TIME ZONE: ZD + 4
NOON POSITION: 41°06.0’N /072°21.6’W
DAYS RUN: 0 nm
PASSAGE DISTANCE RUN: 1250.1 nm
DISTANCE REMAINING: 0 nm
WIND: n/a
WEATHER: Humid, barometer 1022, cool breeze

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Day’s Run – July 5, 2015

For those of us who saw it, the Sea Cadets raised the American flag this morning to Bob, another crew member, playing the national anthem. Commander Myles and Lieutenant Treacy also handed out sea certificates earned by the cadets during their work on the Picton Castle. The ship tours were also very busy today. With our store stock rapidly dwindling we will have to reorganize our displays for tomorrow.

SHIP’S WORK: Coated spanker gaff; slushed port anchor; spot painted throughout ship.

Raising the flag Sea Cadet style

TIME ZONE: ZD + 4
NOON POSITION: 41°06.0’N /072°21.6’W
DAYS RUN: 0 nm
PASSAGE DISTANCE RUN: 1250.1 nm
DISTANCE REMAINING: 0 nm
WEATHER: Overcast, barometer 1018, cool breeze

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Day’s Run – July 4, 2015

DATE: July 4, 2015

REMARKS: Happy Fourth of July!! I have to say that of all the tall ship festivals we have been attending today was the day with the most smiles and patriotic colours. There have been live bands playing at the marina throughout the day and a constant stream of visitors. We are here for an extra day which means a little more time off for our hardworking crew. Starboard watch came back today with all kinds of suggestions of what to do that Port watch will be taking full advantage of tomorrow. All that’s left today are the fireworks at 10pm.

SHIP’S WORK: Deck tours; cleaning and sanding the spanker gaff; skiff training; slushed the span and vangs; spot painted port hawse pipe and railing.

Cluster of colorful Fourth of July fireworks

Cluster of colorful Fourth of July fireworks

TIME ZONE: ZD + 4
NOON POSITION: 41°06.0’N /072°21.6’W
DAYS RUN: 0 nm
PASSAGE DISTANCE RUN: 1250.1 nm
WEATHER: Overcast, barometer 1018, cool breeze

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Day’s Run – July 3, 2015

REMARKS: We have officially arrived at our next Tall Ship Festival in Greenport New York where we will be for the Fourth of July celebrations.
Wandering through town you can actually see it filling up with people curious to explore the ships that are docked nearby. There is an energy here, an all encompassing American spirit that envelopes everything in its path with smiles and excitement. Tomorrow should be a crazy, hectic, fantastic day!

SHIP’S WORK: Unbent spanker; sent down spanker gaff; spot painted chart house; stitched seem on new gaff topsail.

BOUND FROM: Camden, NJ
TOWARDS: Greenport, NY
TIME ZONE: ZD + 4
NOON POSITION: 41°06.0’N /072°21.6’W
DAYS RUN: 2.25 nm
PASSAGE DISTANCE RUN: 1250.1 nm
DISTANCE REMAINING: 0 nm
COURSE AND SPEED: PMO
WIND: n/a
WEATHER: Overcast, barometer 1018
SWELL HEIGHT & DIRECTION: n/a
SAILS SET: None – by noon we were at anchor.

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Day’s Run – 2 July, 2015

The wind from one of the most beautiful sailing days ever, alas ended today. We motored from about 8am until we dropped anchor a couple of hours later. After lunch we were all hands to get the ship looking beautiful ahead of the festivities that will begin upon docking at the Greenport Harbour tomorrow. Such hard and focused work was rewarded with a swim call in the late afternoon and with the addition of a rope swing the crew, both in and out of the water, had a lot of smiles and laughs. Follow this up with Donald’s Fried Chicken and, well, a better end to a day would be hard to find.

SHIP’S WORK: Painted topsides and bullwarks; cleaned quarterdeck; exercised davits.

Swinging swim call

BOUND FROM: Camden, NJ
TOWARDS: Greenport, NY
TIME ZONE: ZD + 4
NOON POSITION: 41°07.0’N /072°18.8’W
DAYS RUN: 87.5 nm
PASSAGE DISTANCE RUN: 1247.2 nm
DISTANCE REMAINING: 2 nm
COURSE AND SPEED: n/a
WIND: n/a
WEATHER: Overcast, barometer 1018
SWELL HEIGHT & DIRECTION: North by east, 0.5
SAILS SET: None – by noon we were at anchor.

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Day’s Run – 1 July 2015

Happy Canada Day!! On the Picton Castle we rang in the birth of Canada by climbing up to the tgallant yards just in time to pull the sails in before a squall overtook us. The crew did a great job taking in the stay’ls, bracing the yards and following any other commands coming from the Captain. Coming out the other side of the squall, we were as wet as a person can be and all the more competent for the experience we just went through. During the sunny afternoon the Captain held a workshop on making eye splices and whippings. The pro crew were on hand to help all of the trainees learn the twists and turns of making a splice by themselves.

SHIP’S WORK: Down rigged flying jib and main tgallant stay’sl running rigging; replaced ceasings on cranelins; move the buntline blocks; continued cleaning the quarter deck.

Optimized-canada day

BOUND FROM: Camden, NJ
TOWARDS: Greenport, NY
TIME ZONE: ZD + 4
NOON POSITION: 40°20.9’N /072°33.9’W
DAYS RUN: 114 nm
PASSAGE DISTANCE RUN: 259 nm
DISTANCE REMAINING: 60 nm
COURSE AND SPEED: East northeast, 4.8 kts, 052 CMGT
WIND: West by south, 5
WEATHER: Sunny, some haze, barometer 1016
SWELL HEIGHT & DIRECTION: Southwest, 4 SAILS SET: All sails

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Day’s Run – June 30, 2015

On your marks…get set…GO!! Today at 10am we began the race to Greenport with Sagres, L’Hermione and Lettie G Howard. What a sight it was – simply stated, it looks like a few tall ships and a beautiful sloop casually met up for a day or two of sailing together. Except that it is so much more than that. These ships, mostly from or operated as would’ve done in the age of sail, are rarely in the same area of the world let alone within sight of each other. Seeing and touring them while in port is one thing, but watching as they come along beside you in open water gives an entirely different perspective…a new frame of reference. This is certainly not something you get to see everyday. Taking a moment to actually realize just what we are a part of by participating in this race, to me, is as important as gazing upon the ships themselves. I am now a part of Picton Castle’s history – a ship that comes from history itself.

SHIP’S WORK: Replace ratlan; end for ended the fore upper top’sl halyard and the fore t’gallant halyard; painted capstay ceasings.

Bosun giving instructions

BOUND FROM: Camden, NJ
TOWARDS: Greenport, NY
TIME ZONE: ZD + 4
NOON POSITION: 39°05.5’N /074°23.4’W
DAYS RUN: 118 nm
PASSAGE DISTANCE RUN: 139 nm
DISTANCE REMAINING: 180 nm
COURSE AND SPEED: East northeast, 5.8 kts, 042 CMGT
WIND: South by west, 4
WEATHER: Sunny, barometer 1019
SWELL HEIGHT & DIRECTION: South, 3
SAILS SET: All sails

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