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Ship’s Doctor – Sail the South Pacific  

Picton Castle is in immediate need of a ship’s doctor for Leg 2 of our seventh world circumnavigation voyage.  Join Picton Castle about August 11 in the Cook Islands, sail the South Pacific Ocean, the Timor Sea, the Torres Strait, and the Coral Sea, signing off in Bali about October 29.

Picton Castle carries up to 52 people, including 12 professional crew and up to 40 trainee crew.  The ship’s doctor participates in daily life aboard as a trainee crew member, standing watches, steering, handling lines and sails, and helping with ship’s maintenance as much or as little as you like.

In case of emergency, we call on your medical expertise to provide medical assistance to our crew.  The ship carries an extensive medical kit, all of our professional crew have first aid training, and we subscribe to a consulting service ashore that we can contact from the ship for advice or assistance.

Leg 2 begins at the island of Rarotonga in the Cook Islands.  There are weekly direct flights there from Los Angeles, and daily flights from Auckland.  You will sign aboard there, then remain in port for a few days while you go through our orientation process for new crew (and get a few days off to explore the beautiful island).  When the ship and crew are ready, we’ll sail a three-day passage to Palmerston Atoll, also part of the Cook Islands.  It’s a low-lying tropical island and reef that’s home to about 50 people, with no airport.  Ashore, you’ll dance, play volleyball, and drink from coconuts.

From Palmerston, it’s about an eight-day sail to the port of Vava’u in Tonga.  Be sure to check out the whale research centre in this kingdom that is the only group of islands in the South Pacific that were never colonialized.  Then it’s back to sea for four days on the way to Suva, Fiji.  Suva is the capital city and has all the modern conveniences the crew might want (and for us to provision the ship), while outside of Suva is gorgeous nature and small towns and villages.

After another six days at sea, Vanuatu is next.  We’ll visit Espiritu Santo, an island with a bigger population and some services ashore, then visit small villages at two or three outer islands where we’ll be met by people paddling dugout canoes.  These islands have been through a hard time since our last visit, being hit directly by Cyclone Pam in 2015 and we’re hoping to help in any way we can.  Next comes the longest passage of the leg, about four weeks, sailing from Vanuatu to Bali, Indonesia via the Torres Strait, the passageway between Australia and Papua New Guinea.  While the itinerary of a sailing ship is always subject to change, we expect to arrive in Bali in late October.

The travel opportunities on this leg are incredible and sailing with Picton Castle provides access to these islands in a way that the ordinary tourist cannot get.  While the travel is amazing, this is primarily a seafaring voyage.  While at sea, the crew stand watches of four hours on and eight hours off, around the clock.  Through the daily process of sailing the ship, you’ll develop seamanship skills while working together with a diverse group of like-minded people.  Our crew come from all over the world and range in age from 17 to 70.

This is an unpaid position.  In exchange for your medical expertise, we waive the trainee fee (trainees pay $15,000 USD for this leg).  You are responsible for your own transportation to and from the ship and for your own travel health insurance for the duration of your time aboard.

If you’re interested, either for this leg or for future voyages, please contact Maggie Ostler by email at info@picton-castle.com or by phone at +1 902 634 9984.

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