Captain's Log

Archive for the 'Rendezvous 2017' Category

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New Mizzen Topmast

Most of the crew have now arrived aboard Picton Castle in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, Canada for the Rendezvous 2017 voyage. It’s always an exciting time when a voyage begins. There is a flurry of activity around the ship as people move aboard and get settled, ship’s work picks up speed as the number of hands increases. Training and orientation is a big part of what’s going on as well, learning the ship and how everything works.

One of the projects we’ve been working on is replacing the mizzen topmast. Each of Picton Castle’s three masts have multiple parts, they’re not each just one solid piece. The mizzen mast, the mast farthest aft (closest to the back of the ship), is made up of two parts. The lower part is made of steel and the upper part, which is called the topmast, is made of wood.

Picton Castle carries a number of spare timbers so that we have materials to use if we ever need to replace any of the spars. We’ve been carrying a telephone pole from Saint Maarten in the Caribbean for a while now. We’re saving it from a life of mediocrity, just staying in one place and holding up wires. Instead, this long straight timber has been crafted into a new mizzen topmast by local all-around-boat-guy Mike Gray and the crew put it into place yesterday, high above the steel lower mast, where it will support sails and rigging while Picton Castle sails the world.



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Captain’s Log – 18 April 2017

This summer, Picton Castle will take part in the Rendez-vous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta.  Events of this kind are quite rare; they involve tall ships from around the world racing from port to port on both sides of the Atlantic and appearing in festivals in various ports in between the races.  Rendez-vous 2017 kicked off this past weekend in Royal Greenwich in England on what appears to be a wonderful Easter weekend with tall ships moored along the River Thames. 


Ships can choose to sail on some or all of the race legs of the Regatta.  From Royal Greenwich, the ships will race to Sines, Portugal, then to Bermuda.  Picton Castle will start in the feeder port of Charleston, South Carolina, USA then meet up with more of the fleet in Bermuda. 


The next race is from Bermuda to Boston, and we’ll race again from Boston to the Canadian Maritimes.  Once in Canada, the fleet will divide to visit a number of ports in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and St. Lawrence River, gathering together again in Quebec City for the largest tall ships festival in Canada this summer.  Before we get to Quebec City, Picton Castle will visit Summerside, PEI; Sept-Iles, Quebec; and Baie-Comeau, Quebec. 


After Quebec City, the fleet will divide again, with some ships heading for Halifax and then back across the Atlantic to Le Havre in France.  Other ships will continue visiting a number of Canadian ports in Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.  Picton Castle will be bound for Norris Point, Newfoundland; Louisbourg, Nova Scotia; Lunenburg, Nova Scotia; Digby, Nova Scotia; and Saint John, New Brunswick. 


So, although we haven’t yet joined up with this majestic international fleet, the Rendez-vous has begun! 

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Visiting Canada For Rendezvous 2017

Close to a year ago, we decided to sign on for the Rendezvous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta.  This means that in the summer of 2017, Picton Castle will join an international fleet of tall ships for a series of festivals and races.  The Regatta actually starts in Europe, in the UK and Portugal, but we’ll meet up with the fleet in Bermuda in early June and remain with the fleet until the end of August.

We’ve been eagerly awaiting news of which Canadian ports we’ll be assigned to visit.  As you can imagine, it’s a lot of work for the organizers, Sail Training International, to coordinate the visit of 40+ ships to 30+ ports in Canada.  A few weeks ago we were given our list of ports and dates for Picton Castle.

In the summer of 2017, Picton Castle will visit the following ports:



Summerside, PEI

Sept Iles, Quebec

Baie Comeau, Quebec

Quebec City

Norris Point, Newfoundland

Louisbourg, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia

Lunenburg, Nova Scotia

Digby, Nova Scotia

sail past Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia

Saint John, New Brunswick

Some of these ports we know and love.  Some will be first-time visits for us.  We’re excited about them all!

Anyone age 16+ can sign on as a trainee on this voyage, no sailing experience necessary.  Dates, legs and costs are available here.

Picton Castle in Quebec City 2016

Picton Castle in Quebec City 2016

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