Captain's Log

Archive for the 'Voyage of the Atlantic World 2008' Category

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Arrival at Galapagos

Galapagos is probably one of the most-anticipated ports on the voyage. Many times in the past day I have heard different crew members exclaim “I can’t believe I’m actually here!” With the first skiff runs ashore dropping crew off at a floating dock inhabited by three sleeping sea lions, it was immediately apparent that there’s something special about this place and it’s flora and fauna.

Picton Castle is currently anchored at Wreck Bay, off the island of San Cristobal. The island of Santa Cruz is the usual tourist destination, but almost everything that you could see on Santa Cruz can also be seen here. Once the ship anchored early on Thursday afternoon, we were greeted by our agents Carmela, Karina and Fernando. Picton Castle’s most recent visit here was five years ago and we remember Fernando and Karina from that visit. The agents brought with them representatives of the port captain and the sanitation and agriculture department. Because they value the environment so highly here, there are many restrictions to preserve it. We’re not allowed to take any of our organic garbage ashore to dispose of, and none of it can go overboard. We can’t take any fruits or vegetables from the ship, which were grown and purchased in other countries, ashore with us, they must all stay aboard the ship or be consumed aboard the ship. And, of course, nobody is allowed to take sand, shells, seeds, or any other natural material from the island.

There have been some changes since we were here last time – the pier that we use for skiff runs between the ship and shore has been greatly improved with a floating dock behind a concrete extension designed to cut down some of the large swell. The whole street that runs along the waterfront, Avenue Charles Darwin, now has sidewalks paved with volcanic rock stones, beautiful wooden benches with awnings for shade, gazebos, a fountain, a couple of small gardens and playground for children. Tourists and locals alike seem to like it, it’s a well used space, especially in the evenings as people take walks or sit and talk with their friends and neighbours by the waterfront.

Wildlife is abundant here, from the frigate birds flying overhead to the sea lions everywhere. On Thursday evening, chief mate Mike had to remove a sea lion from our skiff, which was tied alongside the ship, so that one of the crew could go and bail the boat. Apparently Mike frightened it away by making loud noises and throwing a rope towards it. We had another sea lion, a young one, trying to jump up on to the bow of the skiff while people were getting in at the floating dock last night and when the sea lion was unsuccessful in making the jump on the bow, it decided to try amidships. It got its front flippers over the gunwale and part of its body into the skiff when Mike came to the rescue again and pushed it back into the water.

Our agents arranged a welcome reception for us on our first night here, complete with a buffet of local food and folkloric music from the mountains of mainland Ecuador. The crew were seated at a long table out in front of the restaurant, along a pedestrian walkway. Medical officer Gary started the dancing and before long all 25 of the crew who attended were on their feet, taking over the walkway while dancing to the band.

rsz jan and a sea lion
rsz johanne gives a tour to our agents and guests
rsz picton castle at anchor at wreck bay

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Watch us in the Panama Canal!

We now have our transit in the Panama Canal confirmed for Thursday June 10 (that’s tomorrow). You can watch Picton Castle on the webcams on the Panama Canal website. While schedules are always subject to change, our scheduled arrival at the Gatun Locks is set for 0602 local time and our scheduled departure from the Miraflores Locks is 1357 local time (note that the Miraflores time is our departure from the lock, so you’ll want to check in sooner to actually see us). Panama is ZD+5, which means that if you’re watching from Lunenburg, you should look for us around 0802 at the Gatun Locks.

Gatun Locks: http://www.pancanal.com/eng/photo/camera-java.html?cam=Gatun

Miraflores Locks: http://www.pancanal.com/eng/photo/camera-java.html?cam=Miraflores

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Blustery

Captain’s Log – Blustery

Saturday May 22, 2010

The Captain held a muster on the quarterdeck before supper yesterday to talk about our North Atlantic passage, south to the West Indies and Caribbean Sea from Nova Scotia. Using a white board, he illustrated our track so far, all has gone according to the passage plan we talked about in Lunenburg. The Picton Castle sailed a big S-curve out of Lunenburg that had us heading to the south west upon leaving Nova Scotia, then south, and south east crossing the Gulf Stream, then coming more east around Bermuda before heading due south again and south west as we aim for the Anegada Passage into the Caribbean Sea. While we’re about 1600nm from Lunenburg on a straight course, we’ve actually sailed about 1800nm or maybe more, given the curve of our route. Probably close to 2,000 miles by the time we are in the Caribbean Sea. Why sail such a curvy route if it’s going to add more distance? Well, the route we’ve taken has allowed us to take most advantage of the prevailing wind and weather conditions, allowing us in a sailing ship to make the most of them. Schooners and trading barks have been taking routes like this from New England and Nova Scotia bound for the Caribbean for hundreds of years.

We’re in fresh trade winds now, the consistent tropical winds that will carry us most of the way around the world. The trades are not as consistent in our current location as they usually are, given a low pressure system over the Bahamas that is having an effect and stirring up gales over there. As a result, we’re experiencing some bouncier swell, a partly overcast sky, occasional squalls and winds well south of east. The watches are getting practice with snappy sail handling, taking in outer jib, spanker, royals and sometimes t’gallants as squalls approach, and helmsmen are learning to fall off quickly in wind shifts.

From the Anegada Passage, our chosen route between the islands of the Lesser Antilles to the Caribbean Sea, where we’ll have the Virgin Islands on our starboard side and Anguilla and St. Martin on our port side, the passage to Panama will be another 1000nm. By that point, we hope to be in more conventional easterly trade winds, beyond the effects of the pesky low hovering off the Bahamas.

While sailing into the Caribbean Sea will mark a milestone, yesterday marked another milestone – our official entry into the tropics! We passed below 23 and a half degrees north, and we’ll stay in the tropics until we leave the Indian Ocean, sailing south around the Cape of Good Hope. It certainly feels tropical – crew are in t-shirts and shorts, and there’s lots of speculation about when the wind and swell might moderate enough for us to have our first swim call.

Captain shows our route
Siri singing in the rain on helm

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First Days of Spring

The sun has been shining on Lunenburg for the past two weeks, making ship’s work easier and turning our minds from winter to spring. Several big projects that have been ongoing throughout the winter are nearing completion, and we’re starting to get Picton Castle rigged up again. The final coats of paint and varnish have been applied to the t’gallant and royal yards, as well as deck boxes, veggie lockers, aloha deck benches, and assorted other pieces that were taken from the deck of the ship into the warehouse for an overhaul this winter.

On the rigging front, blocks are almost all overhauled, which has been a big project as there are hundreds of them to take apart, inspect, clean up and put back together again. In the past couple of weeks, attention has been turned to wire as the footropes for the t’gallant and royal yards have been overhauled, along with wire halyards, brace pennants and other bits of rigging.

The ship herself seems to be waking out of a winter’s sleep as the plastic panels which had been keeping snow out of the breezeways and aloha deck have been removed, the warm breeze free to flow around the superstructure once again. Just today the main and tops’l yards on the mainmast were uncocked, and braces rigged up.

Professional crew members are arriving in Lunenburg for training, orientation and preparation, and trainee crew members will be arriving three weeks from now. We’re excited to have everyone here in Lunenburg soon, to start working together as a crew, and to go sailing!

Dave overhauls wire
main yards with braces, fore yards cockbilled
overhauled blocks and veggie lockers
Paula sands a yard between coats of varnish
Picton Castle wakes up from winter
Shawn paints the line locker

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Sailing to Lunenburg

After Hurricane Bill passed through Burgeo, the captain decided to wait an extra day in port before getting underway again. Swells were still reported to be big outside and we could see waves crashing at the end of the cove, so we would let the seas settle a bit. In the morning, all hands worked to downrig the extra gear put in place for the hurricane. All the extra gaskets came off the sail, extra hawsers in, extra chafe gear off and rerigging some of the hayards. The starboard watch took the deck in the afternoon, and the port watch enjoyed one more afternoon exploring Burgeo.

On Tuesday morning it was time to get underway and sail for Lunenburg. We had a bright clear morning with modest west winds. With an audience of people from Burgeo, we sailed off the dock. First we used the main lower tops’ls with the yards squared to push the ship in astern and away from the wharf, then set a heads’l to help to turn the bow around. Once we were turned, we set more sail and slipped quietly through the channel in Short Reach and away from Burgeo.

We sailed during the day on Tuesday, then took in sails at dusk and turned on the main engine. Keeping an eye on the weather, we wanted to get across the Cabot Strait to the coast of Cape Breton Island so that we could anchor on Wednesday night when a low pressure system with a good bit of wind was due to pass through. We continued under motor on Wednesday, with some lumpy seas (and some of the crew not feeling very well) until we reached Morien Bay in Cape Breton where we anchored for the night. The wind was up to Force 8, but the port anchor dug in and held well with two shots of chain out.

Thursday morning’s wake-up came early, with all hands called at 0530 to get underway by 0600. The wind had laid down overnight and changed direction. The crew heaved up the port anchor and got it properly stowed, and we were underway again, bound for Lunenburg.

Because we’re always watching the weather, we knew about Tropical Storm Danny, brewing off the Bahamas and headed for Cape Hatteras and forecast to head in the direction of Nova Scotia on the weekend. The latest predictions have it making landfall just east of Yarmouth late Saturday evening, on a path up the middle of Nova Scotia. This means strong SE winds for Lunenburg, which can cause a lot of swell in the harbour.

Danny, this latest tropical storm, has us wanting to be tied up safely in port again, so we’re paddling hard to get to Lunenburg on Friday night or Saturday morning. We’d like to be in and securely tied up well before we start to feel the effects of this pesky Danny.

While we all have weather on our minds, Lunenburg also marks the completion of a voyage and a homecoming. Having this summer sailed around Nova Scotia, Cape Breton Island, Prince Edward Island, to Newfoundland this sailing into Lunenburg marks the true finale of this 20,000 mile Voyage of the Atlantic. As we motor-sail up the coast, thoughts of the crew turn towards flights home and returning to regular life, or, for some, a fall season in Lunenburg filled with evenings at the Grand Banker, warm fires in the woodstove at the Dory Shop and Wednesday night small boat races while working on down-rigging the ship.

leaving Burgeo under sail, photo by Ollie Campbell (25)
leaving Burgeo under sail, photo by Ollie Campbell (45)
leaving Burgeo under sail, photo by Ollie Campbell (7)

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Burgeo

Picton Castle had an extended stay in Burgeo, Newfoundland thanks to Hurricane Bill. Not a problem, Burgeo is a great place. We arrived on Thursday and got tied up securely at the wharf at the old fish plant at the head of a long land-locked cove called Short Reach, to a good solid dock with cement on top, a wooden face and big solid steel cleats heavily bolted into concrete. It was important to us to find somewhere secure to tie up the ship during the hurricane. Burgeo offered all of the elements we were looking for including a good dock big enough and with water deep enough that was also available for us to use, a very protected harbour with little chance of swell coming in from the open ocean and, as a big plus, an interesting place to visit to distract ourselves occasionally from the weather.

There were a few other options for ports of refuge that we had looked into, but the place that seemed most likely was Burgeo and it was closest. Even so, we arrived early enough that if the wharf was unsuitable or was full because other vessels were tied up there we would have enough time to carry on to one of the other ports on our list and get moored there. As it happened, apart from a few small boats, we are the only vessel at this wharf and we’ve found it a very good place to be.

By getting in and secured here early enough, the crew have also had a chance to explore and check out the fine town of Burgeo. Burgeo is connected to other towns along the south shore by ferry and also has a road that goes inland and connects to the Trans Canada Highway, 150km away. The fish plant here was abandoned in the 1990s, but there is still a part of it being used by a company processing fish meal. Burgeo seems like a self-sustaining community with its own school, town hall, fire department, post office, museum, hardware stores, pharmacy and grocery store. The majority of the adults we have met here have lived in Burgeo most or all of their lives. The museum was nice and very interestingly showed photographs of small schooners from Denmark and England in the harbour, here on some trade.

The crew have sampled the meals at the three different restaurants in town, made friends with Kenny, who owns the Sea View Lounge, played darts and pool at the Sea View Lounge, visited the museum, walked down to the ferry docks, enjoyed the beaches at the nearby Sand Banks Provincial Park (and did laundry at the coin laundromat there) and walked to the top of the lookout in town. We’ve also been exploring the natural beauty of the area. The landscape is pretty rugged around here, rocky hills covered with spruce, pine and thick under brush. The starboard watch made an expedition in the skiff on Friday, motoring around to check out all the little rocky islands and tiny coves in the area. The town itself is even set among a bunch of meandering small coves. On Saturday the port watch also made an expedition, this one mostly on foot and in the fog to climb a nearby mountain. A few of the crew have rented cars and driven the two and a half hours to Stephenville, the next closest major town by road. It used to be the site of a very large US Air Force base established in the Second World War that closed in the 1960’s, so driving into town past the old airfield and hangars was interesting.

Our 15-foot, built-on-deck, wooden boat MR BONES has made a few sailing trips here in Burgeo. All of the port watch took turns going out for about an hour and a half on Friday. With her two sails, a main and a jib, MR BONES sails quite well and goes to windward very well – her sculling oar is like power steering. After a nice day of enjoying Burgeo in perfect summer weather, without the slightest hint evident that an enormous storm was heading our way, the crew of the Picton Castle set about getting our ship ready for Hurricane Bill off by Bermuda but already promising to be a rough one.

Alex and Donald add chafe gear
getting out extra hawsers
leaving Burgeo under sail
Nadja re-rigs the stay tackle
PICTON CASTLE and MR BONES in Burgeo
Susie sailing in MR BONES

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Sailing to Newfoundland

Picton Castle sailed off the hook from our roadstead anchorage at Iles de la Madeleine on Tuesday morning, meaning that we got underway under sail alone, without the use of the engine. We sailed away from the archipelago in light wind, turning and bracing the yards as the wind varied, and carried on under sail through the night.

The ship receives weather forecasts in a few different ways. One is on the weather fax, which prints out large ocean NOAA weather charts. We also get text-only forecasts through our NavTex and by satellite email through Inmarsat-C. Our office ashore can also send the ship weather information by email. This is all in addition to VHF radio weather reports and forecasts

We first saw Hurricane Bill, which was then Tropical Storm Bill east of the Caribbean, on the weather fax while we were in Iles de la Madeleine and have been tracking that bad boy since. It seems to be fairly big and strong and fast, so we’ve been monitoring it closely. As Bill has developed, we have been looking at options for safe harbours on the south shore of Newfoundland so we can tie the ship up and wait for the weather to pass. Hurricanes can be tricky to predict with any real accuracy in the long-term (as can any weather), so while there are all kinds of forecasts, the truth is that nobody knows exactly which way Bill will go and how strong it will be when it gets there. But it looks strong and like it is coming close. Wherever it goes, we can be fairly sure that we’ll feel some effects in strong winds and big seas. In order to keep the ship and the crew safe, we altered course from ports further east on the south coast of Newfoundland to head towards Burgeo, a well-protected harbour with a solid dock we can tie up to. We’re not expecting the effects of Bill here until Sunday or Monday, but by heading here sooner, we can be sure that there’s a safe place to put the ship and time to get the ship well secured and prepared for this sort of destructive weather.

We took in all sail and started motoring Wednesday afternoon and through the night when the wind went light and visibility was poor because of drizzle and fog. We came to the approaches to Burgeo early Thursday morning, then headed in and anchored at Burgeo Port. We launched the skiff and Paul, Alex and Nadja went ashore to seek some local knowledge and take some soundings at the dock. The docks at the centre of town are either too shallow or are used frequently by the ferry, so we motored around to the back of town where there’s an abandoned fish plant with a good solid dock that we tied up to. The dock is at the end of an inlet called Short Reach, the whole area is well protected and will be a good place to ride out Hurricane Bill. Over the next few days we’ll make preparations by adding heavy duty chafe gear to all our dock lines and add a few more lines, we’ll put extra gaskets on the sails to keep them firmly stowed and check everything on deck to make sure it’s lashed down securely.

In the meantime, today is sunny and warm (I was not anticipating wearing shorts in Newfoundland, but I am) and a bunch of the crew are off on an expedition in the skiff to explore some of the small islands that surround us here. MR BONES has been launched and the rig and sails are just being set up, so some of the crew will have her sailing after lunch. We have been welcomed extremely warmly by the people of Burgeo who seem to be as excited to see the ship as we are to see them.

Ferry GALIPOLI through the fog at Burgeo Port
Ollie prepares MR BONES to sail
PICTON CASTLE alongside at fish plant in Burgeo

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Iles de la Madeleine

Picton Castle’s visit to Iles de la Madeleine has been fantastic and the crew have fallen in love with these islands in the middle of the Gulf of St. Lawrence. With a year-round population of about 13,000 people, these islands can almost triple in population in the summer to about 35,000 people. They’re part of Quebec and many visitors come from the mainland of Quebec, but an increasing amount of tourists are coming from farther away. This comes as no surprise to us – how could anyone resist the natural scenic beauty of the place and the friendly warmth of the people who live here?

The first island we spotted on the horizon was Ile d’Entree, or Entry Island in English, with high cliff faces topped by rolling hills with no trees. As we sailed closer, we could see the lighthouse and a few neat homes, with cows grazing on the hills beyond. Entry Island is the only inhabited island that is not connected to any of the other islands by land. It’s also one of two English settlements in the otherwise very French Iles de la Madeleine and has a population of 100 during summer and 80 during winter. All of the other islands are connected by long, narrow, flat sand spits.

We anchored just off Cap Aux Meules, the main commercial centre of the islands and the port where the ferry comes in from PEI and Montreal. There are two parts of the harbour there, one that is bigger for the large ocean-going ferries to dock in along with bigger fishing vessels, then a smaller harbour that is full of lobster fishing boats and pleasure craft. Fishing in the number one industry in the Islands, the harbour at Cap Aux Meules is home to 80 fishing vessels alone. In all of the harbours on all of the islands, there are hundreds of vessels for fishing.

Tourism is the second biggest industry in Iles de la Madeleine, but we found the people to be more than just ordinarily friendly. We all tried our best to communicate with our broken French (except for Cat, whose first language is French), in most cases people jumped in and helped us out in English. By just sitting on a patio with a cold drink or striking up a conversation on the wharf, it was easy to make friends. Manon, from the local radio station, explained to me that people from the Islands are naturally curious, which I recognize as a trait in many small communities, and are particularly curious about things that have to do with boats and the sea, which makes sense because those elements are such a part of daily life. It was amazing to be at a beach on the opposite side of the islands from where the ship was anchored and start a conversation with someone who knew immediately what I was talking about when I said I sail on Picton Castle.

There seem to be a lot of young people in Iles de la Madeleine, and lots of things to do to keep them engaged and occupied. Our crew took in a few different live music shows, all of which received great reviews. Beaches are beautiful, long ribbons of white sand stretching for kilometres at a time. In some of the low areas between islands, salt water lagoons are formed and they are ideal spots for kiteboarding and windsurfing with lots of wind but less waves than the open ocean. With caves to explore, trails to hike, there are all sorts of beautiful sights to see. Many of the Islands’ residents are artists and craftspeople, there are little studios everywhere. Dining out on the Islands is also fantastic with great restaurants, well-stocked little grocery stores and outstanding bakeries and delis that would be found in big cosmopolitan cities.

Donald, Buddy and I made friends with a local excursion boat driver named Michel who offered to show us around the islands one day. We drove from one end of the archipelago to the other, stopping several times along the way to eat, drink, walk on beaches, take photos and generally enjoy the day. La Grave was one of the most interesting places we stopped, the original settlement on the Islands. While it doesn’t appear that very many people live there now, the old buildings have been turned into restaurants and shops. The buildings are all made of wood with wood shingles on the outside walls, all are quite small and fairly close together along the water. One of the buildings now houses a restaurant with live music – they have instruments there and on nights when no performers are scheduled to play, restaurant patrons are welcome to take the stage. We also saw artists’ studios where jewellery and sand sculptures are made, a cheese house, a place that makes Bagosse (the local home made alcohol), interesting churches and lots and lots of fishing boats.

When the ship is anchored, we make scheduled runs in the skiff to transport people between the ship and the shore. The skiff run was a fairly long one here, so it was a good chance to do some small boat handling instruction and practice. Our 15 foot Grenadian boat that we built onboard last winter, MR BONES, was launched again here, this time with a new sailing rig and two new sails. The sails are made out of green and orange tarps, sewn together where they could be and stuck together in other places with contact cement. The wind was good for sailing and MR BONES sailed well, shooting off to windward.

After a one day delay in sailing to wait for favourable winds, Picton Castle sailed from Iles de la Madeleine this morning, bound for Newfoundland and the French islands of St Pierre & Miquelon, not far away.

at anchor just off Cap Aux Meules
Dave and Cat stow headsails
Entry Island over the braces
fishing boats in harbour at Cap Aux Meules
hiking through sand dunes to the best beach

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Summerside to Iles de la Madeleine

Picton Castle sailed from Summerside, PEI last Tuesday, bound for Iles de la Madeleine. Twelve new crew members joined us in Summerside and they were all oriented to the ship and began their instruction in safety procedures and the sails and rigging while at anchor. We did two drills on Tuesday, one simulating a man overboard where we deployed gear, launched and recovered the rescue boat, the other simulating a fire in the rag bin where we ran out and charged the fire hoses. We sailed off the hook in Summerside, then out the channel and into the Northumberland Strait.

The wind was more favourable for us to head east in the Strait (we could have gone west around PEI), passing under the Confederation Bridge once again. We passed through the centre span under sail late Tuesday afternoon, then headed to anchor on the PEI coast just on the other side of the bridge. Wednesday morning we continued sailing east in the Northumberland Strait, turning on the main engine for a few hours to help push us along in the light wind. We anchored again that evening, on the Nova Scotia side of the Northumberland Strait.

Thursday brought the first overnight sail for our new crew. We broke into watches shortly after heaving up the anchor and started sailing around the east end of PEI. By Thursday evening, we could see the lights of Souris in north eastern PEI, then we sailed out into the Gulf of St. Lawrence, out of sight of land, towards Iles de la Madeleine.

Being at sea for a few days means that the crew can fall into a comfortable rhythm of watches and ship’s work. On this passage, the pin rails on the foc’sle head were scraped, sanded and varnished, the breezeway overhead was painted, rust was chipped from the starboard bulwarks on the well deck, ratlines were replaced, the mizzen shrouds were tarred, and blocks were oiled on deck and aloft. Sailmaker David was working on a sail he laid out in Summerside for MR BONES, our Grenadian boat built on board this past winter. MR BONES was on the hatch to get the final bits of a sailing rig installed, so when the sail was finished we set up the rig in the boat on the hatch to test it out. The mainsail looked great, so David also put together a jib, made of the same green and orange tarp material. This was a busy passage for the sailmaker as David also put the finishing touches on a new main royal, which would be bent on while at anchor.

Friday was a great sailing day as we approached Iles de la Madeleine. We spotted Entry Island, the most south-eastern island in the archipelago first, then sailed past it and into the Baie de Plaisance (which translates to English as Pleasure Bay) and toward the island and town of Cap Aux Meules (which translates to English as Wheel Cape, as in a cheese wheel, not sure why that’s its name) where we would anchor.

Hayley learns to replace ratline
Jackie chipping rust
Marie sands the pin rail
new sail and rig for MR BONES
NickSA tars the mizzen

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Summerside, Part 2

Summerside was hardly all work and no play. Each crew member had a couple of days off to explore the town and the beautiful countryside of Prince Edward Island. A group of our crew had tickets to a big concert on the day the ship sailed in, so they drove across the Confederation Bridge (which we had just sailed under the day before) to see AC/DC in Moncton, New Brunswick. From all reports, the concert was outstanding. More than 90,000 people attended. Wow!

Low Tide Golf Tournament

On Saturday night, the off-watch was invited to Ron Casey’s house for the 22nd annual Sand Bar golf tournament. Every year, Ron waits for a day in August when the tide is out for a long time and sets up an eight hole golf course on the sand below the high tide mark. All the equipment needed to play was provided, including clubs, balls, tees and score cards. Some of the holes were quite challenging with water hazards and obstructions from seaweed, rocks, tall grass, ridges in the sand and jellyfish. The unusual terrain of the course meant that luck was required almost as much as skill in order to get a good score. Maria won two prizes, one for top female golfer and one for coming from the farthest distance away (she’s from South Africa). The golf game was followed by a huge BBQ and corn and mussel boil, along with a bonfire. All of our crew who attended the sand bar golf were also “Spudded In”, making us honorary Prince Edward Islanders. We were each given a potato to kiss, then we had to hop across the lawn in a potato sack, kiss the potato again and drink a shot of rum if you were old enough. Official certificates were issued at the end of the ceremony and we could have our pictures taken with a guy in a potato suit.

Yacht Club

The Silver Fox Yacht Club was our base of operations ashore. They were great about letting us relax, do laundry, take showers, lay out a sail and use their dock for skiff runs. One of the club members, Dick, had some of our crew out to sail his 35′ sloop for small vessel handling training and practice. This Yacht Club facility is pretty unusual, even unique because it’s a combination yacht club and curling club, the only one of its kind in Canada. The two seasonal uses seem to balance each other out well, with a full marina of boats in the summer and a very active curling program in the winter.

New Crew and Drills

In Summerside, we ended the second leg of this summer’s voyage around the Maritimes and began the third leg. We said goodbye to five crew members and welcomed twelve new ones on Monday. There are a few familiar faces joining us again, including Ollie from the fourth world circumnavigation, Grady and Judy from the summer of 2006, and Allison, Hayley and John who have been with us on a few different summer voyages. We also have some new folks who have never been aboard before. As people arrived on Monday, they all received orientation tours. On Tuesday morning, before we sailed from Summerside, we did a review of safety procedures and safety training for the whole crew, followed by a man overboard drill where we launched and recovered the boat and a fire drill where we ran out and charged the hoses.

We got underway late Tuesday morning, sailing off the hook and out of Summerside harbour. We’re bound for the Magdalen Islands, or Les Iles de la Madeleine as they’re called in French, which are in the middle of the Gulf of St. Lawrence and part of the province of Quebec. Then onward towards Newfoundland…

Anne and Allison practice donning life jackets with Marie
Donald rescues his golf ball from a water hazard
Lewis, Nate, Maria and Julie get Spudded In

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