Captain's Log

Archive for October, 2015

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Day’s Run – 17 October, 2015

Noon Position: Docked in Lunenburg, NS, Canada

Weather: Frost in the morning, clear sky, H 12c L 4c, barometer 1015

Frost! We woke up to frost this morning!! Granted at this time of year we could also be under snow, but still it was a shock to the system to see the hatch and deck sparkling in the sunlight. The first official sign of winter has arrived and thus the countdown to sailing has most assuredly begun.

Prior to being stood down for the day, sail handling training was the name of the game. Before the ship gets under way, the crew will have several more training sessions specifically geared toward becoming more confident with their sail handling. Halfway through the practice session the staff crew did a demonstration illustrating the pace at which sail handling must be done. Though it is often easier to learn new skills slowly, reaction time while sailing a tall ship must be speedy. While trying to learn sail handling at pace is certainly frustrating at times, it instills the importance of doing so efficiently and concisely right from the onset.

17 Oct  2 optimized

17 oct 5 optimized

Ship’s Work: Continue tuning headrig. Training: set/strike/brace in watches; staff crew demonstrated the same at pace; repeat training with crew; staff crew row/commands training in Monomoy with the Captain.

Engine room: ran main engine for 2 hours at full pitch; replaced gasket on leaky start air pipe.

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Day’s Run – 16 October, 2015

Noon Position: Docked in Lunenburg, NS, Canada
Weather: H 16c L 5c, barometer 1013, morning clear, afternoon overcast and windy

Training continues today by focusing on gaining more understanding and practice with sail handling. One of the main reasons we do this type of training in watches initially is because these are the crew members who will be directly working together while sailing. As important as it is to learn about what is required to set, strike and brace each sail, it is also necessary to focus on the group, as a whole, getting better at working together. As each crew members knowledge base grows it will become easier for them to lay in with one of the other watches should the need arise.

This evening there was a special treat for the crew. Some party lights were strung up and projects set to the side at the Dory Shop to make way for a dance floor. Everyone was invited to come by at 19:30 to kick up their heals and relax. There were smiles and laughter all around as people visited from one group to the next, chatting or dancing up a storm. Conversely, those who wanted to enjoy a quiet ship could do exactly that as well. This was also the first taste of maintaining a secure ship while a social event was underway nearby. Gotta slip in those lessons whenever possible!

16 Oct optimized

Ship’s Work: Continue to tune headrig; bend on mains’l and fore topmast stays’l; haul Sea Never Dry onto land; divers continue to clean hull; clean and oil anchor chain; varnish spanker gaff; oil and leather new oars.

Training: 12-4 set and brace with fores’l on foremast; 8-12 on main and 4-8 on fore set/strike/brace considering all gear; in watches, go over handbook commands and knots that are used aloft.

Engine room: tighten the air caulks; second coat of primer and first coat of paint on bilge pump sprocket; new exhaust gaskets on 3, 4, 6, & 7; new oil filter gaskets.

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Day’s Run – 15 October, 2015

Noon Position: Docked in Lunenburg, NS, Canada

Weather: Clear sky, cool, H 14c L7c, barometer 1009.

Today was filled with an assortment of tasks that were malleable enough to work around when the food truck arrived, and taking a midday break instead of one after dinner as the crew was scheduled to attend a 18:30 fire fighting training session. The local fire department set up three stations: how to put out a fire with an extinguisher; how to don fire fighting gear and safely maneuver through a dark, smoke filled room; and basic medical knowledge about what problem to deal with first and a lesson on using a backboard correctly. This hands-on experience adds one more layer of understanding to an increasingly confident crew. Thank you to everyone at the Lunenburg Fire Department for taking the time to educate us regarding the importance of knowing what to do during an emergency. Also for letting us stay a little longer and actually use a fire hose!

15 Oct 1 optimized

15 Oct 3 optimized

15 Oct 4 optimized

Ship’s Work: Dry food delivery and storage in hold; set up and tune headrig; bent on fores’l; Lunenburg divers begin to scrape hull. Training: all hands attended fire fighting training at local department. Engine room: Pump out ER bilge (1500 gal); ran port generator; started and ran main engine for 1hr at 250rpm.

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Day’s Run – 14 October, 2015

Noon Position: Docked in Lunenburg, NS, Canada

Weather: Humid, warm, H 18c L 11c, barometer 1001.

Watching the jib boom being sent out today was a fascinating process. Unlike when we hoisted the t’gallant masts and the royal and t’gallant yards, almost everything with sending out the jib boom happens at eye level and in a smaller amount of space. In one scan you are able to see crew working the capstan on the focs’le which provides the main force of moving the jibboom, a tag line on the dock that helps to make small shifts of the jibboom from port to starboard and the Captain and Bosun near the bowsprit controlling the whole process. As commands were called out, the crew responded well by repeating orders and doing exactly what was required. A coordinated effort by everyone resulted in a day’s job being successfully completed.

14 Oct 1 - optimized 14 Oct 2 - optimized

Ship’s Work: Sent out the jibboom; three coats of 50/50 linseed/turpentine on new oars for Monomoy; load wood and books into hold; prime and topcoat martingale; rust bust bend and prime stuns’l iron on foreyard; fiberglass patch rescue boat. Training: sail training and practice bracing the upper and lower tops’ls with the 12-4 and 4-8 watches. Engine room: installed new switch in big main electrical board; removed old bilge pump; prepped new bilge pump to install.

14 Oct 4 - optimized

14 Oct 5 - optimized

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Day’s Run – 13 October, 2015

Noon Position: Docked in Lunenburg, NS, Canada

Weather: Overcast, foggy, rain, H 18c L 14c, barometer 1008

Finally our Engineer was able to work outside today! So much of his job takes place below decks that this afternoon, despite the foggy rain, he was grinning from ear to ear to be able to spend some time readjusting the stuns’l boom. The rest of the crew rotated between helping to hoist the fore t’gallant yard, row training in Monomoy, practicing line handling and gaining hands on experience with immersion suits and life rafts in the pool at emOcean. When a day is jam packed with this much variety, it goes by incredibly quickly!

12 oct optimized

Ship’s Work: Row training in Monomoy; practicing sheeting home; hoisted fore t’gallant mast; tensioned backstays on t’gallant mast; session in pool with immersion suits and life raft. Engine room: Consult with L&B Electric on setting up shore power DC 10 switch on the board; deck plates scrubbed; continued work on removing old bilge pump; readjusted stuns’l boom iron.

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Day’s Run – 11 October, 2015

Noon Position: Docked in Lunenburg, NS, Canada

Weather: Overcast, cool, H 14c L 11c, barometer 1010

It is so exciting watching the ship coming back together. From all of the sails, yards and masts that were taken down in August, it is
amazing to see the reverse process. The crew is gaining so much first hand learning, understanding and experience with their ship. One can certainly make the argument that beginning a voyage this way is so much better than simply showing up on day and sailing the next. Today, being a short workday, the 12-4 and 4-8 watches were done at noon. The 8-12 had the on-duty watch and though they had to stay on the ship many got started on fun personal projects. For example, lanyards were being made for newly acquired rigs and old rigs were fixed up. Some crew brought out their
guitars to play on the wharf during the afternoon and at the end of the day we had a showing of the movie SS Marta in the warehouse.

11 oct optimized

Ships Work: Bent on fore and main lower topsails (which means attaching the sails to the yards); continued head stay seizings; continued painting chain plates; continued coating t’gallant yards.

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Day’s Run – 10 October, 2015

Noon Position: Docked in Lunenburg, NS, Canada

Weather: Overcast, cool wind, H 18c L 10c, barometer 1013

The crew donned immersion suits for the first time this voyage. For many, this was the first time putting them on at all and such an occasion always gets a few laughs originating from the really snug wrist cuffs. Usually it is harder to free yourself so people with large wrists and hands often need help extracting their limb. Donning this piece of gear and learning how to do it quickly and efficiently is an important step in crew safety. These suits are solely designed to help keep us alive should we have to abandon the ship so it behooves us to know how to quickly put them on. Going along hand in hand with this, we also did a full run through of emergency drills: fire, man overboard and prepare to abandon ship.
Preparedness is key.

optimize10 oct optimized

Ships Work: Stowed cargo (books) in the ship’s cargo hold; moved the old jibboom from the Dory Shop to the warehouse and stowed it properly; moved small wooden boat Sydney into the warehouse for winter; continued painting chain plates; top coat yard gates; first coat of varnish/linseed on fore t’gallant mast; continued headstay seizings (turnbacks). Engine room: installed the fuel lines between the pumps and injectors; topped up the coolant; bled the fuel lines; port lister on line; filled oil into main engine tank and gear box.

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Day’s Run – 9 October, 2015

Noon Position: Docked in Lunenburg, NS, Canada

Weather: Cool, clear skies, H 20c L 12c, barometer 1015

On land something as common place as having hot water is almost taken for granted. On the ship it is a virtual cause for celebration. A few days ago the Engineer had our brand new water heater come on line. All of a sudden being assigned to scullery duty has an added bonus – gloriously hot water! This afternoon we finished tensioning the main t’gallant mast in place and then turned our focus to the multitude of steps that need to been seen to prior to hoisting the next mast and/or yard. Scattered throughout we also see to tasks such as cleaning out the paint locker, inventorying the carpenters corner and seeing to the ship’s laundry. Keeping abreast of the big picture amongst so many people and projects can be a daunting task. The Captain will thus hold a department head and/or entire pro crew meeting a few times per week. All information is shared which helps to keep everyone on the same page and on pace to having the ship ready to go by the target date.

9 Oct - optimized

Ships Work: Primed iron work for spanker boom; spot painted Skiff and Monomoy; scraped top mast and spot primed bare steel; tensioned main t’gallant mast; installed bunt blocks on main mast; reeved buntlines; painted and stained fore t’gallant mast; continued anchor chain oiling; seized strong back nets; re-stowed forward sole; down rigged Sydney. Engine room: replaced cylinder #6 connecting rod bearings; installed injectors on #2 & 6 base and blast explosion doors; installed cylinder heads on # 2 and 6.

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Day’s Run – 8 October 2015

Noon Position: Docked in Lunenburg, NS, Canada

Weather: Sunny, cool breeze, H 26c L 7c, barometer 1016

Ships Work: First coat of varnish/linseed on main t’gallant yard; install irons on main t’gallant yard; paint kedge anchor and griping spar (first coat); send main t’gallant yard aloft; bend on main top mast stays’l “F”; continue inventory of carpenters corner in hold; install Monomoy deckboards and spot paint grey area; rust bust spanker boom goose neck. Engine room: installed fresh water accumulator tanks in the fresh and salt water systems; fixed a light fixture; installation of second piston and replaced the connecting rod bearing shells; attempted removal of old bilge pump (need a bigger hammer).

Daily Log: The Picton Castle stands a little taller today than it did yesterday. During the work day the main t’gallant yard was sent aloft. This process is much more intricate than you’d think as it involves hoisting from the deck the two head stays, four back stays and two shrouds, looping their eyes over the top of the mast then forcing them into place with a mallet as the mast is slowly hoisted up. Along with bending back on the first sail there is now, officially, more going onto the ship than coming off.

sending up main t'gallant mast compressed

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Day’s Run – 7 October, 2015

Noon Position: Docked in Lunenburg, NS, Canada

Weather: Sunny, warm, cool breeze, H 27c L 10c, barometer 1009

What a gorgeous day today was. The sun was shining and air warm as we went about our daily tasks. The 8-12 lucked out having today off, but then so did we as a work day hardly seems like work at all when the weather is good and the day full. Both the 12-4 and 4-8 watches got their hands onto the ships life saving equipment, further solidifying where it is all stored and what to do with each piece.

Oct 7 - Lunenburg - optimized

Ships Work: Continued moving sails from the Dory Shop and warehouse ashore to the ship where they will be stored in the sole beneath the main salon; moved the jibboom from the warehouse ashore to the foc’sle head aboard the ship; spot painted our rowing and sailing longboat Monomoy; installed the main t’gallant heel iron, heel rope sheave and completed the second coat of varnish/linseed oil and buff on the overhauled main t’gallant mast; top coat painted black on the martingale chain, which is part of the standing rigging that will be sent back up when the jibboom is re-installed; sanded and painted buff coloured paint on the starboard griping spar; installed the fish tackle, main top mast stays’l halyard, fore top mast stays’l and inner jib halyards; main t’gallant yard was prime stained, bungs were faired, yoke irons were installed and put on second coat of primer; applied red paint on the kedge anchor; the new jibboom had seam compound in put cracks, new grommets, installed irons.

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