Captain's Log

Archive for the 'Day’s Run' Category

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Day’s Run – 16 June, 2017

By Purser Allison

While anchored at Nahant just outside of Boston, the crew enjoyed a bright sunshiny morning and spiffed up the ship. She is glistening with new paint and varnish and looks beautiful and ready to receive visitors. As the Boston Tall Ship Festival will be a well attended and significant event, the crew was instructed on safety and security. Later in the afternoon, Captain Sikkema gave an informative lecture to a very attentive crew on the different types of rigs on ships, the changes and the role they played throughout history.  The Age of Sail is a fascinating time in history as is understanding the roots of tall ship sailing today.

Noon Position: 42°24.524’N 070°52.207W

Day’s Run: At anchor

Wind: SSE F1

Weather: Good changing to overcast and rainy

Swell height and direction: <1m SExS

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Day’s Run – 13 June, 2017

By: Purser Allison

A beautiful day turning much warmer in the afternoon, the crew was joined by many curious marine animals. We saw no small amount of sharks, bottlenose dolphins. The crew also had full man overboard drill complete with a launching the rescue boat to retrieve our MOB practice buoy Lenny. Preparing and launching the boat quickly and safely takes practice and we seem to have it down pat with a time of two minutes from alarm to launching and two minutes to retrieval. Every second counts in the cold waters of the North Atlantic and the crew came together and successfully rescued our buoy… Lenny was relieved to be back on board.

Noon Position:  42°09.3’N 069°55.4W

Day’s Run: 118nm

Passage: 661.5nm

Course and speed: N1\2E

Wind: WNW Force 3

Weather: Good

Swell height and direction: <1m SSW

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Day’s Run – 12 June, 2017

By Purser Allison

We are approaching the Boston Harbour Shipping Lanes and have seen quite a bit of activity not just with vessels but with marine life. We were fortunate to see whales today that were quite curious about our comparatively small ship that they came to visit.

Captain Sikkema held workshops on ratline splices, ratlines and additional splicing. It’s much cooler today as we get further into North Atlantic waters and the crew had to dig for sweaters and blankets. The sun, however, is shining brightly and we no longer stand in the shadows to protect us from the heat but search out the sun for its warmth. Especially ship’s cat Fiji.

Noon position: 40°30.30N  068°36.6W

Day’s Run: 111nm

Passage: 540.5 NM

Distance Run: 159.5nm

Course and speed: NWx1\2N 4kts

Wind: WSW Force 4

Weather: fair

Swell height and direction: <1m WSW

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Captain’s Log – Bermuda Tall Ship Event

The City of Hamilton, Capital of Bermuda is nestled into the surrounding harbour, where we, the beautiful black PICTON CASTLE was at anchor. Not like a typical city that comes to mind, our view from the ship consisted of colourful buildings, none taller than three or four stories high, two clock towers and maybe a handful of churches. It was a beautiful sight waking up to the numerous tall ships in port, some three ships deep off the pier. Hamilton is, aside from America’s Cup, a rather peaceful city, the locals are tremendously friendly and easy to talk to whether it be asking for directions or discussing the local culture.

I was lucky to be able to join a few of the Picton crew in the Tall Ship Crew Parade that concluded in the park where the organisers held a ceremony to distribute awards. We won Best Crew! Although I had only been with the PICTON CASTLE for two days, it seemed fitting. We ARE the best crew, more than that we are a family. As the committee cleared the pavilion to make way for the DJ, our marching legs became dancing legs and oh how we danced! Swapping costumes, snapping photos and laughing as the sun went down. The music became louder and so the dancing continued even the less agile joined in with the impressive sit-dancing skills. We were, impressively, the last crew remaining and danced the final song with the local Town Crier.

Eventually, we all made our way back to the PICTON CASTLE. “To the black pirate ship”, we pointed to a lovely couple that motored us out into the dark starry bay.

As I tucked into my bunk at the stern of the ship, laid my head on my pillow I smiled to myself. I was home.




Written by Annie Featherstone, Trainee on board PICTON CASTLE

Annie Featherstone

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Day’s Run – 11 June, 2017

By Purser Allison

Sunday Funday but the ship’s work is never done. Today we had two workshops; the first of which was bending on headsails after which crew used their new skills to bend on the flying jib. Captain Sikkema also conducted a workshop on splicing and whipping. Each crew member learned how to make an eye splice with 2 different kind of tapers, finishing off with whippings, a skill which is used daily on the ship. During night watch, Mates conducted a chart house orientation to allow crew to understand the different pieces of navigation equipment and what they are used for.

Bound from: St. Georges/Hamilton, Bermuda

Towards: Boston, MA

Noon Position:  39°20.2N 066°39.1W

Day’s Run: 79nm

Passage Distance Run:  265nm

Distance Remaining: 428nm

Course and Speed:  NWxW  3.1nm

Wind: 3kn SWxS

Weather: Good

Swell height + Direction: <1m SW


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Day’s Run – 10 June, 2017

By Purser Allison

With beautiful clear weather, the crew returned to regular ship’s work. There was a workshop on bending on sail and most of the crew participated in sending up and bending on the Main Course. Other crew assisted the Sailmaker final steps in creating a new deck awning to be ready for Boston. Ship’s cat Fiji took advantage of the calmer seas to run laps around the ship.

Fiji – the ship’s cat

Bound from: St. George’s/Hamilton, Bermuda

Towards: Boston, MA

Noon position: 38°27.5’N 065°38.9’W

Days Run: 112.9nm

Passage distance run: 354.5nm

Distance remaining: 356nm

Course and speed: Full and By. 4.9knots

Wind: WSW

Weather: good

Swell height and direction: 1m.  WXS

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Day’s Run – 9 June, 2017


By: Purser Allison

Hove to at 0820 for weather and rode out the force 8 winds and 6-metre waves. At 1300 the weather broke and we started to see sunshine and resumed our course, bending on the mizzen topmast stays’l and downrigged the heavy weather gear. We celebrated Matt’s birthday and enjoyed cake and a visit from a small pod of dolphins. A far more peaceful night than that before as we caught up on rest and prepared for the beautiful day to follow.

Bound from: St. Georges/Hamilton, Bermuda

Towards: Boston, MA

Noon Position:  37° 10.8’N 067°23.8’W

Day’s Run: 121.6nm

Passage Distance Run:  146.5nm

Distance Remaining: 370nm

Course and Speed:  NxE

Wind: 7kn WxN

Weather: heavy squalls

Swell height + Direction: 6m WxN


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Day’s Run – 7 June, 2017

Crew practised sail handling, knot tying and lines. Replaced fore upper tops’l braces.

Bound from: Hamilton/St. Georges, Bermuda

Towards: Boston, USA

Noon position: 34° 18.3’N 066° 33.0’W

Days Run: 93nm

Passage Distance Run: 188nm

Distance Remaining: 550nm

Course and Speed: NExN 5kn

Wind: W

Weather: squalls

Swell Height + Direction: 2m  W

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Day’s Run – 6 June, 2017

Ongoing training, Captain held a passage discussion to inform crew of the potential weather during our leg and common patterns for the area.

Bound from: Hamilton/St. Georges, Bermuda
Towards: Boston, USA
Noon position: 32° 51.3’N 065°.54.9’W
Passage Distance Run: 103nm
Distance Remaining: 635nm
Course and Speed: WNW
Wind: SXW
Weather: Good
Swell Height + Direction: 1m  SXW

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Day’s Run – 12 July, 2016

And the next low pressure system comes through bringing near gale force winds for the day. PICTON CASTLE is crawling along upwind under short sail trying to make the best of these conditions.

Fortunately for us this was only to last the day. In the late afternoon the barometer began rising again and at the evening watch change we had Upper Topsail set again and continued to work our way to the North, looking forward to a wind shift and the forecast southerlies late in the week. It’s amazing how quickly the Ocean can change. Just a few days ago on the other side of the Gulf Stream we were all in t-shirts and shorts still marvelling at the deep blue water; now it’s all hats, jumpers and sea boots. The water temperature has fallen considerably since we left the Gulf Stream and the colour of the water has gone grey, similar to what we remember from the start of the voyage, we must be getting close to land again.

SHIP’S WORK: Move and re-stitch leather on MONOMOY oars; Lashings about deck and below.

FROM: La Rochelle, France

TOWARDS: Quebec, Canada


NOON POSITION: 42°42’N / 053°49’W

DAYS RUN: 83nm




WIND: W, Force 7 – 8

WEATHER: Rain and Squalls, air temp: 20°C, water temp: 18°C

SWELL HEIGHT & DIRECTION:  W’rly, 11 – 14ft

SAILS SET: Lower Topsails, Foresail, Fore & Main Topmast Staysails and the foot of the Spanker

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