Tuesday, May 17th, 2016
The wind moderated this morning again and the skies cleared for the early morning. As the Sunday galley team prepared breakfast (giving Donald a much deserved day off) PICTON CASTLE is pushed easily along and the sun is shining brightly. A lovely way to start our Sunday. This didn’t last for long however; the next low pressure system to the north of us moved in and by late morning it had clouded up and the wind started to fill again. In anticipation of this next system we had spent the night sailing to the south east, dropping latitude in order that we would miss the strongest of the winds and be in a better place to head back to the north east with the wind behind us.
The forecast held true and by mid-afternoon it was blowing again. We called all hands at 1500 to square away and put the wind on the starboard quarter. With the wind and seas behind her PICTON CASTLE was logging between 8 and 9 knots, riding comfortably as the seas had not time to build in front of this new fast moving system.
It is interesting to think that people can get use to heavy weather, but after a few days of it, it can seem pretty standard stuff. In our discussions with the officers I warn against this being the most challenging time of the passage, when complacency can start to set in. It doesn’t take much for problems to get a toe hold and become something bigger in weather like this, as such we have been spending time talking about keeping attention to detail, identifying and breaking links in the ‘error chain’ and ‘error trapping’. All good exercises for our watch officers and sailors to be thinking about the ‘what if’s’ before they become ‘should haves’.
SHIP’S WORK: Sunday at Sea! The Bosun made some well received banana bread for the watches in the afternoon.
FROM: Lunenburg, NS, Canada
TOWARDS: La Rochelle, France
TIME ZONE: ZD+2
NOON POSITION: 42°44.9’N / 036°49.3’W
DAYS RUN: 163nm
PASSAGE LOG: 1286nm
DISTANCE REMAINING: 1546nm
COURSE AND SPEED: E , 6.5kts
WIND: S x W, Force 6
WEATHER: Overcast and drizzle, air temp: 16°C, water temp: 15°C
SWELL HEIGHT & DIRECTION: 8 to 10 ft, SW’rly
SAILS SET: Topsails, Foresail, Fore and Main Topmast Staysails