Captain's Log

Archive for June, 2016

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Day’s Run – 7 June, 2016

The tide waits for no man, and as such PICTON CASTLE hove up anchor at the turn of the tide a little after 0600 this morning. With a light Northerly breeze making up we quickly set all sail and began to work the ship to windward out of the roads. As the breeze picked up, the ship started to make better ground to windward and the crew, improving with each tack, started to get into the rhythm. As sailing ships have been doing in these waters for hundreds of years we kept on working the ship with the tide, and after about seven tacks the ship cleared Ile D’Oelron and stood off to the Southwest at a decent clip of 5.5 knots, not bad for the light breeze. It could not have been a better morning for the crew, with each manoeuvre seeing the ship make better ground and the excitement of being able to work the ship out to sea, the mood onboard was high.

As the day wore on the wind slowly tapered off leaving the ship gliding along slowly during the beautiful afternoon. With the rain and fog of the last passage and the week of clouds in port, this has definitely been the most pleasant day of our summer voyage yet. Always good to put to sea with good sailing and lovely weather.

SHIP’S WORK: Spot paint grey and buff, bits and chocks. Make new chock plug backing.

FROM: La Rochelle, France

TOWARDS: Quebec, Canada

TIME ZONE: GMT

NOON POSITION: 46°04.3’N / 001°29.9’W

DAYS RUN: 16nm PASSAGE LOG: 25nm

DISTANCE REMAINING: 4,580nm

COURSE AND SPEED: SW, 4.5kts

WIND: WNW, Force 4

WEATHER: Sunny, air temp: 20°C, water temp: 15°C

SWELL HEIGHT & DIRECTION:  N’rly, 3ft

SAILS SET: All Sail

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Day’s Run – 6 June, 2016

With good weather and no wind, today was an excellent day to get some ships work done with all hands. We are expecting some wind tomorrow and will begin our passage early in the morning. As for now we will continue to enjoy the sun and spend another day on the hook.

SHIP’S WORK: Change out Fore T’gallant sail ‘E’ for ‘H’, end for end main lifts; grease main lift pennants; patch serve splices in the main rigging; replace pads of galley house ladder mounts; replace Foresail sheets; shift old Foresail sheets to Mainsail sheets; grease topmasts; spot paint foc’sle head ladders and chock plugs. Sailmakers continue tabling on the new Flying Jib and repairs to the Mizzen Topmast Staysail.

FROM: La Rochelle, France

TOWARDS: Quebec, Canada

TIME ZONE: GMT NOON

POSITION: 46°03.1’N / 001°18.2’W

DAYS RUN: 0nm

PASSAGE LOG: 9nm

DISTANCE REMAINING: 4,600nm

COURSE AND SPEED: N/A

WIND: Calm

WEATHER: Sunny, air temp: 22°C, water temp: 15°C

SWELL HEIGHT & DIRECTION:  Calm

SAILS SET: None

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Day’s Run – 5 June, 2016

Today was spent at anchor in order to get some more safety drills down as well as give some of the crew some more practices in the pulling boat. After a week of clouds today turned sunny, a welcome change, and things began to feel a bit like summer. The anchor watches kept a close eye on the chain as we danced around with the tide all day and into the night.

SHIP’S WORK: Safety Drills and Orientations as well as Monomoy training

An earlier voyage: Picton Castle with Monomoy

An earlier voyage: Picton Castle with Monomoy

FROM: La Rochelle, France

TOWARDS: Quebec, Canada

TIME ZONE: ZD -2

NOON POSITION: 46°03.1’N / 001°18.2’W

DAYS RUN: 9nm

PASSAGE LOG: 9nm

DISTANCE REMAINING: 4,600nm

COURSE AND SPEED: N/A

WIND: Calm

WEATHER: Sunny, air temp: 22°C, water temp: 15°C

SWELL HEIGHT & DIRECTION:  Calm

SAILS SET: None

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Day’s Run – 4 June, 2016

After a short week in port Picton Castle got underway from La Rochelle this afternoon.

Though our stay was short, we had a lovely time in this Old World port. We were well received with a welcome from the Mayor of La Rochelle and Harbour Master and much hospitality and curiosity from many in the town.  The local maritime museum, which has a beautiful collection of wooden
yachts, allowed our crew in for free and we in turn gave their staff a tour of our ship. The classic yacht club also opened it’s doors to us, holding a reception in the city’s old customs house.

Last Wednesday another sailing ship joined us in the harbour, Shtandart, a representation of the 18th century flag ship of Peter the Great of Russia. It was a good opportunity for the crew of each ship to peek over each others rails and see the difference in square rig sailing technology of a little more than 100 years. It made the old harbour look a little bit closer to what it might have in the age of sail with two sets of masts showing out from the basin next to the castle at the entrance.

After all had had their last cup of French coffee and the ship was ready for sea we began to ease Picton Castle out away from the quay at about 5 o’clock in the afternoon. It took a few minutes to get lined up for the narrow lock at the entrance to the basin but once through there was just enough wind to start setting sail.

It turned into a busy afternoon for the crew as we began to set sail another group had to row our pulling boat out from the basin as we could not have it hanging outboard in the davits going through the lock, once out they had to catch up to the ship and manoeuvre in to get the falls on under the davits. After we hoisted the boat the crew put the ship under full sail in order to stand out of the harbour and into the roads. We had a minute to eat dinner as we crossed Basque Roads on our way to anchorage for the night. In the failing light on the opposite side of the Roads off Ile D’Oleron, the crew quickly got aloft to stow sail and we set the anchor watch, then turned to a good night’s rest.

Picton Castle alongside in La Rochelle

Picton Castle alongside in La Rochelle

SHIP’S WORK: Prep for sea.

FROM: La Rochelle, France
TOWARDS: Canada
TIME ZONE: ZD -2
NOON POSITION: Alongside, outer basin, La Rochelle
DAYS RUN: N/A
PASSAGE LOG: 0nm
DISTANCE REMAINING: 4600nm
COURSE AND SPEED: N/A
WIND: NE, Force 3
WEATHER: Sunny, air temp: 20°C, water temp: 17°C
SWELL HEIGHT & DIRECTION:  Calm
SAILS SET: None

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