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Steaming East

May 13, 2018

The Picton Castle and her new crew (and two cats) are steaming along about 100 miles south of Cuba bound for the east. At some point, maybe tomorrow, when we have made enough easting we will make a sharp right turn and set sail and steering due south for the Republic of Panama about 550 miles away. I expect these trade winds to be strong and on the beam. Plenty of spray will be coming over the rail, but we should make good time. The gang is learning the ship; the 205 lines and what they do and how to do what they do like bracing the yards and setting, trimming and taking in sails; to steer and keep the ship on course; to keep a good lookout and report ships that they see. And squalls too. And all the housekeeping chores of any ship – they seem endless. Conditions have actually been quite good, better than I expected coming from New Orleans. An excellent transit of the Gulf of Mexico followed by high island wind interference below Cuba, now light winds to help us find the stronger sailing breezes a wind ship needs. They have even gotten the ship looking a bit better with a little varnish renewed here and there. Plenty of time for more shine-up in the coming tradewinds on the other side of Panama, as well as rigging, sail-making, carpentry, celestial navigation and who knows what else.

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