Monday, July 9th, 2018
The wind is directly aft of us, yards are braced square and we’re sailing along in a fine Force 3, or 12 to 15 knot winds, and gently rolling with the wide-spread swell typical of the vast Pacific Ocean. This morning Picton Castle, in all her white hull, white canvas glory, sailed under a big rainbow – a great start to a gorgeous Friday morning (made even better after a dinner of “Donald Fried Chicken” the night before – Yummy!!). Mother Nature has been very generous to our ship during this voyage, with mostly bright, sunny days and a steady breeze to keep us sailing along at a pleasant speed and plenty of sea life to enthrall us. The sun goes down and the evenings have been cool and refreshing, making sleeping quite comfortable and drinking hot chocolate enjoyable under the starlit sky. The number of stars (and planets) we witness on most given nights is astounding – it seems almost fake, as though a Hollywood director has inserted each spec of glowing white light him or herself.
Today the rigging department and a few eager helpers sent down the fore upper tops’l and bent on a lighter upper tops’l. This involves a devised plan, as sending down and up a 36′ – 40′ canvas sail must be properly orchestrated. The sail is gasketed, put on a line to lower it (called a gantline), all the robands (lashings) cut, bunts, clews and sheets taken off, and then it is lowered to deck with a tag-line on it to keep it from going over the side. The rigging team aloft and the on-deck hands must work together in order to safely send down the sail. Orders are called out from aloft and repeated on deck to ensure the message received is correct.
The sail makers are hard at work in their sea sail loft, that being the quarterdeck, adding roping along the edge to the new royal. Tigress, the kitty, has been having fun among the folds of gleaming white, new canvas, and chasing John’s thread while he’s seaming. The Lunenburg Dory Shop built dory Sea Never Dry is being prepped for painting, with James and Mike sanding the thwarts. The carpenter team, which consists of Anders from Denmark, Sean from New Orleans and Carlos from Toronto, are busy covering the well deck in sawdust from cutting lumber to build shelves in the main salon. Our engineering team of Deyan from Switzerland and Liz from New Brunswick, Canada are busy welding a new door frame for the door into the stack house. Dirk from Australia is busy scraping the chart-house door in preparation for sanding and varnishing.
We had a fish on the line, a good-sized mahi-mahi from the look of it, which Tony, Niko, and Brahm were busy trying to reel in, when at the last moment the line snapped and the fish was gone – a big disappointment for all. But all in all another fine, busy day on board, with the sun’s warm rays on our backs, and lots of smiles, laughter and occasional singing on deck.
Towards: Pitcairn Island
Date: July 6th, 2018
Noon Position: 16°53.4′ S x 115°35.3′ W
Course + Speed: SW + 3 – 7 kts
Wind direction + Force: ENE + 3
Swell Height + Direction: ExN + 1.5m
Weather: Bright, sunny, 28°
Day’s Run: 87.5nm
Passage Log: 1810 nm
Distance to Port: 947.5nm
Sails Set: All square sails, inner jib