Wednesday, April 19th, 2006
The Picton Castle is still under full sail and sailing along nicely at about 5 knots. The weather today is gorgeous and a moderate/light breeze keeps the sun from feeling like it is scorching us. I feel particularly thankful for it, especially when I have just heard from our voyage coordinator that it is snowing today in Lunenburg! Yikes, it’s nearly May! We get so spoiled with our weather for the most part.
Today Lynsey continues her work on the Mizzen stay with the help of Jack. Ryan is in the bosun’s chair slushing down the maintop-mast-stay; he shouts down what he wants the line handler to do. The line handler right now is Amanda who is standing right outside my chart-house office window repeating the commands: “EASE AWAY!” “EASE THE GANT LINE!” and “THAT’S WELL!” Before her it was Rebecca repeating them. It’s becoming one of those mantra things and I find myself waiting for the next shout! Oh, there it is, “THAT’S WELL! GANTLINE’S FAST.” Right. Phew.
Anyway, the watch are sprucing up the paint job on the breezeway overhead. I don’t know what the carpenters are doing, but I did note that their mess was not as bad as it usually is—and my window in the office seems to have gone missing, so maybe that is their work for today. Joe made soup and fresh rolls for lunch, which was very nice. This afternoon we have a power shower at 1600 hrs and then the AB workshops and studying will continue afterwards.
We did our second island drive-by yesterday, sailing by Ascension Island five miles off the port side. We had no intentions of stopping, and I don’t think anyone really wanted to; we seem only now to have got back to the easy at-sea routine. I do not know that much about Ascension apart from the fact that it has a military base on it and an airport. But it looked very barren and dry. It is owned by the UK and really only visited by passing yachts crossing the Atlantic. It has a long air strip that can accommodate the space shuttle should it need to land somewhere besides the US. During World War II, Ascension was a major refueling spot for bombers flying to Africa. No GPS navigation back then. So the saying was, “If you don’t find Ascension, you wife gets a pension.” The whole island looked dry and barren, and anyway we are off for greener islands, and we have lots to do at sea—too busy for islands.