Captain's Log

Archive for January, 2016

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Day’s Run – 11 January, 2016

A great day for marine wildlife: there was a small shark swimming dead astern for a while this morning (you can just see it in the photo), and then spinning dolphins off the port bow in the afternoon. There’s been heaps of shipping too, mainly big commercial ships bound transatlantic and a handful of yachts. My favourite so far was named MV WOOLOOMOOLOO.

11 Jan

SHIP’S WORK: Paint green starboard aft corner of galley house, buff on forward galley house, white on headrig seizings, buff on foreyard stunsail irons, varnish starboard charthouse railing, re-lead spanker gaskets, install shear-poles and worm turnbuckles on fore t’gallant and royal backstays, ratlines in headrig, ratlines in main t’gallant shrouds, clean skiff and spot paint white, mousings on fore lower topsail sheets. Sailmakers (Vai and Vicky joining John this week) are making repairs to an upper topsail, a t’gallant and awning. Tim and Kevin are working on a small repair to the well deck. Ty is helping Jas in the engine room.

TOWARDS: Dakar, Senegal
TIME ZONE: GMT – 1/2 hour
NOON POSITION: 25°03.1’N /017°05’W
DAYS RUN: 142nm
PASSAGE LOG: 187nm
DISTANCE REMAINING: 634nm
COURSE AND SPEED: S (CMGT 185°T)
WIND: Force 3, ExS
WEATHER: 1/8 cloud and light haze, air temp 70F (21°C), barometer reading 1024 millibars, visibility good
SWELL HEIGHT & DIRECTION: approx 2 feet, ExN
SAILS SET: The wind picked up again overnight so we set sail at midnight: all fore and aft sail and square sails to the t’gallants, braced half way to sharp on the port tack with a heavy fan.

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Day’s Run – 10 January, 2016

It’s been a gentle start to our crossing from the Canary Islands towards Senegal, starting with a Sunday at Sea. We spent the day sailing slowly past the iconic island of Tenerife until the light wind died completely so we took in all sail and fired up the main engine to make some headway through the calm.

SHIP’S WORK: Rig checks on the fore and main, teaching lines and boxing the compass to new hands. We take it easy on Ship’s work on Sundays, Sunday at Sea – ‘make and mend’, giving the watches time to work on personal projects or study. I saw people mending clothes, finishing up ditty bags, sharpening knives and our new hands working on learning their lines and the compass.

10 Jan

TOWARDS: Dakar, Senegal
TIME ZONE: GMT – 1/2 hour
NOON POSITION: 27°24.4’N /017°01.8’W
DAYS RUN: 45nm
PASSAGE LOG: 45nm
DISTANCE REMAINING: 776nm
COURSE AND SPEED: South by West(CMGT 187°T)
WIND: Force 1, S
WEATHER: 1/8 cumulus, air temp 68F (20°C), barometer reading 1023 millibars, visibility good
SWELL HEIGHT & DIRECTION: approx 1 foot, W SAILS SET: Took in all sail after lunch to steam through light airs

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Day’s Run – 9 January , 2016

PICTON CASTLE got underway under sail from La Gomera at 0830 this morning. We’re bound for Dakar, expecting a passage of around 8 days.

The weather is bright sunshine with light airs, we have all square sails set to the royals. Vai is at the helm steering South by West to leave Tenerife astern of us off to port. Much thanks to Penny and her husband, our agents at Gomera de Buques for looking after us so well during our stay in La Gomera.

9 Jan Vai_ John and Tenerife

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Day’s Run – 8 January, 2016

We’re making ready for the next passage: we will depart for Dakar, Senegal tomorrow morning. That means we’ve been busy loading food, water and fuel, getting the bilges pumped and decks oiled, sails bent and everything stowed so the ship is ready to go to sea. It also means making sure the crew are trained and ready: we ran through our emergency drills and bracing practice yesterday; loosing, setting, striking and furling all sail this morning and heaps of practice under power and oars in the small boats this afternoon.

8 Jan 1

8 Jan 2

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Day’s Run – 6 January, 2016

It’s a public holiday for Epiphany here in the Canary Islands. Last night there was a parade through town to the church, complete with the three wise men riding real camels – we saw the camels come across on the ferry from Tenerife! Meanwhile, aboard ship the watch have been switching out our strong, heavy weather sails for older ones, getting ready for some fair weather sailing!

6 Jan

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Day’s Run – 4 January, 2016

The watch and all new hands took turns to go out rowing in MONOMOY today.

4 Jan rowing monomoy

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Day’s Run – 3 January, 2016

Sending up topsails today in San Sebastian!

3 Jan sending up topsails 1  resized

3 Jan sending up topsails 3 resized

3 Jan sending up topsails 4 resized

3 Jan sending up topsails 5 resized

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Day’s Run – 1 January, 2016

Happy New Year! Picton Castle saw in 2016 at San Sebastian in the Canary Islands – we had a great view of the fireworks from across the water!

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

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