Monday, June 20th, 2016
The crew kept busy through the night. With the wind gaining strength and then decreasing again throughout the night there were many sail changes. The energy was well spent and the ship earned another good day’s run at almost 140nm.
More sail changes today, this time the Main Upper Topsail. It is a bit of an interesting effort to shift this sail as we do so while leaving all other sail set. The Upper Topsails in PICTON CASTLE have fixed sheets so that when setting them all that is required is to hoist the yard. When shifting these sails at sea however we leave the yard hoisted almost all the way in order to leave the T’gallants and Royals set above them. So this involves rigging up some temporary gear to get the fixed sheets unshackled and then clewed up to the Upper Topsail yard. The ship does look strange for the bit of time it takes to get the old sail off of the yard and the new one up and stretched, having all sail set except the Main Upper Topsail, but it is worth the effort of keeping sail on her and getting every inch out of the canvass we have aloft.
This is also a very good exercise for the hands, having to do this unusual task which at first glance might seem impossible, but after it gets rolling is just another day in the rig of PICTON CASTLE.
This afternoon we sighted the island of Porto Santo lying just to the north of Madeira and by evening sailed by within 2 miles. In 1498, on his third voyage to the ‘New World’, Christopher Columbus named this island during a stopover with his fleet anchored in the big beautiful sandy bight on the south side. No sandy anchorage for us however, we stood on past the island and into the sunset.
SHIP’S WORK: Shift Main Upper Topsail; overhaul and re-lead Fore Topmast Staysail halyard; lash new shroud cleats and sheet fairleads in Mizzen shrouds; replace ratlines in Mizzen lower shrouds; down rig Mizzen cranelines for service; dutchman in forward edge of charthouse; continue slushing standing rig; Sailmakers finish repairs on Course ‘E’ and make up for bending; make up Inner Jib ‘A’ for bending; continue grommets on Flying Jib and tabling on Upper Topsail.
FROM: La Rochelle, France
TOWARDS: Quebec, Canada
TIME ZONE: GMT
NOON POSITION: 33°09.8’N / 015°58.8’W
DAYS RUN: 137nm
PASSAGE LOG: 1166nm
DISTANCE REMAINING: 3569nm
COURSE AND SPEED: SW, 6kts
WIND: N, Force 4 – 5
WEATHER: Sunny, air temp: 22°C, water temp: 21°C
SWELL HEIGHT & DIRECTION: N’rly, 3 -5ft
SAILS SET: All Sail except Gaff Topsail