Captain's Log

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May 23, 2018 in Portobelo, Panama

The day came in surprisingly clear. Mists hung over the jungles either side of the Picton Castle, weaving in among the trees like living things. The lapping of tiny waves along the waterline is about the only sound breaking the tropical early morning silence. A man in his dugout canoe came by selling bunches of bananas.

It rained a good deal last night. The local folks at the small covered hacienda at the end of the town wharf welcomed in the Picton Castle crew to wait out the rain and the last evening skiff. The rain stopped and the skiff motored into view. We boarded and headed back to the ship anchored about 500 hundred yards off – today we will try to dry sail. The cotton canvas sails will rot right off the yards in hot humid conditions if we do not dry them enough. They will last 10-15 years of we look after them.

Today is a good day for the gang to get started in their training in our 23′ lapstrake monomoy longboat. Great seamanship training a pulling boat is. What else? Spot painting topsides. Finishing up the very nice #1 Quality overhaul of the breezeway head. Making it nice we are. Boy, does this crowd like their snacks, always raiding the snack locker. Really? Noodles right before supper? Or just before breakfast? Couldn’t wait a half hour? Doing laundry aboard these days does not work so well. Getting the clothes washed is fine, getting clothes dry, not working so well. But ashore there is a laundry shop all excited for our business and so all is well with the world again. Donald made a fantastic egg dish this morning, all are wondering at his recipe. Ashore on their days off duty, people are finding their way in this, our first tropical port in a fascinating storied land. We are surrounded by tumbled down old forts strewn with huge iron cannon, put to ruin by pirates of old.

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