Captain's Log

Archive for the 'World Voyage 7' Category

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Day’s Run – 16 August, 2018

Beautiful sunny day as our ship motors through glass top still waters. As we inch our way closer and closer to Rarotonga, crew members who are sadly departing us are slowly packing their personal belongings and thinking ahead to their lives outside of our 180′ barque. It’s a very strange feeling that we will be saying goodbye to a handful of crewmates that have now become like family. Greet each other every morning, witness each other’s ups and downs and in the end we’re the few people on this planet that have shared this experience together.

This morning the main mast fife rail was stripped of its lines and pins in order to scrape and sand the wood and the intricate carvings, to then be varnished. The riggers have more serving work to do. Taking over the starboard side of the galley house the rigging team has foot ropes stretched out in order to apply the servings and tar. Serving is the art of very tightly wrapping greasy tarry hemp marline around the wire to protect it from the outside elements. Our sailmaking team stitch away vigorously on a spare outer jib. For all 20 sails we have at least one or two replacements for each sail, some are considered a light wind sail and others are for heavy wind sailing.

Another lovely day aboard the Picton Castle, it’s hard to believe it’s winter here in the South Pacific, yet our daylight isn’t all that long. As we head more westerly the mornings are darker and the evenings are remaining lighter later. When you’re sailing, it’s up to your captain as to when you want to change your ship’s clocks. During long passages, we often change the ships clocks up to 3-4 times. Although there’s an extra hour, the crew do not get a rest, when we’re underway there’s always a watch on duty which consists of a mate, lead seaman and a number of crew members, on deck for four hours. When we change the clocks each watch stands an extra 20 minutes through the night, and by the time it’s morning all of the clocks are reset.

From: Mangareva, French Polynesia
Towards: Rarotonga, Cook Islands
Date: August 16th, 2018
Noon Position: 20°42.5’S x 154°50.7′ W
Course + Speed: WxS + 7 knots
Wind direction + Force: Calm
Swell Height + Direction: 1m + SW
Weather: Bright, sunny
Day’s Run: 169.5nm
Passage Log: 170.7nm
Distance to Port: 277nm
Voyage: 7953.2nm
Sails Set: None, motoring

 

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Captain’s Log – Westward Bound 2

August 10, 2018 – Westward Bound 2

Just after dawn, Picton Castle 22-10S / 143-05W. Yards braced up, royals in and stowed, making good speed. Winds northerly at 18 knots, seas not so big at 6-8 feet, sky partly cloudy, low scudding clouds…

Bright seas and skies. Some spray coming over the weather rail amidships from time to time. Good idea to know where not to stand sometimes. Fishing lines trailing astern, got a mahi-mahi and a wahoo yesterday. Small wonder how the Polynesian explorers got around. Not always easterly tradewinds hereabouts. Plenty westerlies and southerlies and northerlies. Who got the idea that it always blew from the east in the South Pacific? Pretty much does blow from the east in the Atlantic/Caribbean tradewind belt but not so here. In a big sailing vaka, you could make some time in these winds making this ocean feel a lot smaller… Sailing just fine here though, at least for now. Dawson is planning his Big 6 Year Old Birthday Party. Turns out that “All are Invited”. Blue cake and presents are on the agenda.

 

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Day’s Run – 8 August, 2018

Picton Castle sails along on a westerly course, rolling side to side through the South Pacific waters with a beautifully painted hull. A fresh coat of white paint was added in Mangareva. Wind filling our canvas, a breeze blows across the deck and to living quarters below as the sun shines down warming our tanned skin. For many of us that live north of 30° longitude, it’s hard to believe this is considered winter here in the South Pacific.

Ship’s Work: Tinkering, hammering, and scraping echo throughout the ship. The bosun is keeping the daymen and watch-standers busy. The riggers are replacing grommets on blocks and seizings on the foremast.

Mike of British Columbia, Canada is practicing his hand seaming on a new t’gallant as our sailmaker John of Boston, USA mends an old t’gallant.

Tony of England continues his hand at carpentry by upgrading our jerry-can holder, while Carlos of Ontario, Canada works steadily on the quarterdeck replacing parts of deck planks. Considering our white pine deck is 22 years old and the amount of wear and tear and hot burning tropical sun she receives it’s impressive what good shape it’s in.  Captain says this is due to being oiled frequently and plenty of salt water.

Our inside head is being prepped for a fresh coat of paint, the windlass is being rust busted and a seamanship workshop will take place at 1600. Beautiful day aboard the Picton Castle, it can’t get much better than this.

From: Mangareva, French Polynesia
Towards: Rarotonga, Cook Islands
Date: August 8th, 2018
Noon Position: 22°22′ S x 138°57 W
Course + Speed: W x N + 3.6 knots
Wind direction + Force: NExE + 4
Swell Height + Direction: 2m + ENE
Weather: bright, sunny
Day’s Run: 85.2nm
Distance to Port: 1161nmVoyage: 6883.2nm
Sails Set: All square sails, spanker, all four head sails (flying jib, outer jib, inner jib + fore topmast stays’l), main topmast stays’l and main t’gallant stays’l, mizzen topmast stays’l

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Day’s Run – 27 July, 2018

With heavy hearts, the Picton Castle crew motored away from Pitcairn Island, our home away from home, with the island the near distance off port side. We motored as there is no useful wind for sailing.

At 1300 the longboat was loaded with our bags, souvenirs and fruit, oh so much delicious fruit, at the Landing at Bounty Bay. We were lucky enough to spend a total of 8 days at anchor or hove to off the island, giving the two watches four nights ashore each!

There are no words to describe the hospitality, warmth and friendship that was given by the islanders. We have it on good authority that our crew represented the Picton Castle very well. Always lending a hand when needed, joining in on the fun and embracing a new way of doing things. Many crew members put their skills to use in order to assist our gracious hosts. Our physical therapist Suzanne of New York City nearly spent every day ashore mending and putting back together a few patients, our engineer Deyan of Switzerland was able to diagnose a couple of washing machines that were in need of a fix. Sue of England, who is a veterinarian, was able to examine Miss T, the island’s only Galapagos tortoise, as well as a few goats.

There is much more to say about our visit to this amazing paradise island and it’s going to take some time for the entire experience to sink in. We’re leaving with our hearts full of love and our food lockers full of fruits and vegetables, so much so we have extra totes on deck to hold the overflow. Farewell Pitcairn Island, farewell.

From: Pitkern
Towards: Mangareva
Date: July 27 2018
Noon Position: Bounty Bay
Course + Speed: NWxW + 6.6 kts
Wind direction + Force: Northerly + 1
Swell Height + Direction: 2m + ENE
Weather: Bright, Sunny
Day’s Run: 0
Passage Log: 0
Distance to Port: 290 nm
Voyage: 6310.7 nm
Sails Set: Spanker, motor sailing

*information taken from 1300 log

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Day’s Run – 10 July, 2018

Blue skies, trade wind clouds, blue seas, a few white caps.  Wind has picked up enough today, averaging 3 – 4 knots. Weather is gorgeous, making it comfortable and enjoyable to work in. At 0630 the quarter-deck was filled with eager crew members sporting headlamps, watches, and sextants in order to take a morning star sight.

As the sun rises it’s always astounding to see how the day unfolds on deck.

Our 180′ ship goes from a quiet, orderly, clean deck and transforms into a sail loft, a carpenters’ shop, a blacksmith, and rigging shop. Today the two stuns’l booms are sitting on sawhorses midships being sanded and prepped for varnishing. Stunsails are extra sails that you see on the outboard side of the square sails. They are rigged up in low wind conditions in order to help the ship gain a half to a full knot of speed.

The rigging department spent time this morning assembling and checking over the stunsail gear, ensuring we have everything we need to set the outboard sails. Today at 1600 the Captain will explain in further detail where stunsails originated from, how they are rigged and what effect they have on the vessel. The sail makers continue their window patching work from yesterday on an inner jib. The teak bridge deck bench is receiving a heavy sanding and will be prepped for varnish. The bosun has a handful of crew members in the rigging today, tarring and slushing shrouds, gear, and lifts.

More and more finished ditty bags are seen around deck and hanging outside of bunks. Some crew members are engraving or decorating the bottoms of their ditty bags, a neat way to personalize their ditty bag.

From: Galapagos
Towards: Pitcairn
Date: July 10, 2018
Noon Position: 18°48.5′ S x 118°04.1′ W
Course + Speed: SWxS + 3.1 knots
Wind direction + Force: ExN + 4
Swell Height + Direction: 1.5m + NExE
Weather: Bright, sunny
Day’s Run: 74.2nm
Passage Log: 1960nm
Distance to Port: 766nm|
Voyage: 5436.8nm
Sails Set: All square sails, mainsail is goose winged, main topmast staysail, mizzen topmast staysail

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Day’s Run – 5 July, 2018

Wind has laid down and is almost aft.

As the sun rose through the clouds this morning a handful of bright eyed and bushy tailed souls appeared on deck. In these moments they’re able to sip a cup of coffee or tea and have a moment to themselves while preparing for the day. Some may get a head start on laundry or put a couple more stitches into their ditty bag. Despite only a few exchanges of words between shipmates, it’s a shared feeling that we are all admiring the glorious sight at hand – the beginning of a new day.

The previous evening, with only the occasional cloud, offered up a beautiful vision of stars and other celestial beings. Jupiter, Saturn, Venus and Mars could all be clearly seen, as well as other notable constellations such as Centaurus and Scorpio and, of course, the ever-present Southern Cross – as well known in the southern hemisphere as the Big Dipper is in the north. At around 2300, the darkest hour just before the moon began its rise, the sky was so brilliant and clear that (according to the mate) the “dust” of the Milky Way appeared to have a blue glow. Such sights are rarely seen ashore, perhaps on mountaintops, due to so much light pollution, but it is truly majestic to experience – just one more thing that makes our long ocean passages so, well, awesome.

This morning the rigging gang is nowhere to been seen on deck. Of course, one must look up in order to find the riggers. They’ve been working on the t’gallant yard, the second from the top, unlashing the sail from the spar to send it down to deck. They will then prepare the alternate t’gallant sail, hoist it up the foremast and bend it on. Our ever so colourful dory Sea Never Dry is receiving some tender loving and care, the 12-4 on watch are scraping its paint to prep it for a fresh coat or two. Those who have sailed the ever fun, ever wet dory know what a blast she is to zoom around a harbour in and race other small boats. The porthole over the inside head tub has received a bit of makeover, having been scraped then covered with a fresh coat of primer to prepare it for a final coat of white paint. As well, the windlass brake band was removed, scraped, cleaned up, painted, and left hanging to dry on the well deck.

Sea Never Dry at Mangareva – 2013

From: Galapagos
Towards: Pitcairn
Date: July 5, 2018
Noon Position: 15°58.3′ S x 114°24.9′ W
Course + Speed: SWxS + 5.2′
Wind direction + Force: ExN + 4
Swell Height + Direction: 3m + E
Weather: Overcast
Day’s Run: 123nm
Passage Log: 124.8nm
Distance to Port: 1034nm
Voyage: 5152.8nm
Sail Set: All square sails except the fore t’gallant, inner jib

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Day’s Run – 30 June, 2018

Picton Castle made great headway last night, averaging 7 knots, staying on a southwest course falling off when the wind picked up. The advantage of being the only vessel for 1000+ miles, we have ample ocean room to play with.

This morning the rigging gang headed out into the head rig with tar buckets tied securely to their harnesses in order to slurp some tar on the rig. The sailmakers busted out their sewing palms and needles and carried on with stitching the bright white canvas for two royal sails. Today marks the last day of the rotation for these daymen, Monday a new group of crew members will have the chance to get their hands dirty with the riggers or enjoy their days under the warm sun on the quarterdeck to sew canvas as sailmakers. The well deck was busy as ever, Colin of Nova Scotia, Canada was at the wheel of the wire bench grinder cleaning tools etc. Vaiufia of Tonga was busy keeping the paint locker organized and our Chief Engineer Deyan of Switzerland was welding a replacement piece of steel into the carpenter shop door frame.

At 1358 keen navigators took to the quarterdeck, sextants in hand, to catch a noon sight of the sun. Then relocating below decks to the main salon where they could work out the math, read the nautical almanac and calculate their latitude. The mates have begun to get the crew involved in filling out the passage log. Every hour the log book is documented with such information as the latitude and longitude, course and speed, weather etc. This has been a great exercise for crew members to get involved with, knowing and understanding the world that goes on around them makes them become more aware of their surroundings. Today is the last day for the watches to prep for tomorrow’s Seamanship Derby, team uniforms are getting underway, lead seamen are encouraging their watches to practice knots and splices. It’ll be a great afternoon of good old-fashioned seamanship display, along with bribing, stealing and sabotage (all in good fun, of course).

From: Galapagos
Towards: Pitcairn
Date: June 30, 2018
Noon Position: 10°05.4’S x 104°26.9’W
Course + Speed: SW + 5.7′
Wind direction + Force: SExE + 4
Swell Height + Direction: 2m + SExS
Weather: Sunny, light showers
Day’s Run: 136.2nm
Passage Log: 136.5nm
Distance to Port: 1712nm
Voyage: 4462.7nm
Sail Set: All sails are set

 

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Day’s Run – June 29, 2018

An absolutely beautiful South Pacific tradewind day. All sails set, sailing mile after mile, in the groove.

Gorgeous blue sky filled with puffy cotton-like clouds surrounding the ship and sea. Sounds of rust busting steel rails on the foc’sle, scraping and sanding Fijian mahogany pinrails on the quarterdeck, brushing on varnish and paint and sawing wood all echo throughout the ship today. The sailmakers are spread out on the sunny quarterdeck, needles in hand, seaming and roping two royals. The rigging gang finished off the last of the servings on the fore t’gallant footropes and re-secured them to the yard. The rig rat Lars of Norway continued his parceling work on the fore mast rigging, as Valerie of British Columbia spent her morning tarring the headrig. At 1252 ship’s time all sextants were in the hands of eager navi-guessers taking a noon sight.

This afternoon will be the last in the series of ditty bag workshops, soon everyone on board should have a canvas ditty bag completed and deeper understanding of basic sailmaking – always a rewarding task, and it provides a great storage bag for a sailor’s tools. Sunday is the Seamanship Competition, consisting of rope work, pin rail chases, boxing the compass, and most importantly the costume contest. Here’s hoping the judges accept bribes, the teams may need to muster up some alternative methods in order to come out on top.

From: Galapagos
Towards: Pitcairn
Date: June 29 2018
Noon Position: 08°55.4’S x 102°28.4’W
Course + Speed: SW 1/2 S + 4.8′
Wind direction + Force: SExE + 3
Swell Height + Direction: 2m + ESE
Weather: Bright, Sunny
Day’s Run: 108.3nm
Passage Log: 115.5nm
Distance to Port: 1842nm
Voyage: 4326.2nm
Sail Set: All sails

 

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Pitcairn’s Island and the Bounty

Pitcairn Island is a pretty small spot on a very big ocean. First discovered by Europeans in 1767 and named for the midshipman who sighted it. They came close, looked about, recorded its location inaccurately due to not having sorted longitude quite yet. By the time Bounty sailed this had been solved. The island had been a thriving Polynesian community between 700 and about 1400 AD. It seems as if Pitcairn was part of a very extended supply trade network producing stone adzes found all over Polynesia today. At 25-04S and 130-06W it is at the very spear tip of the eastern end of the Polynesian triangle apart from Rapa Nui (Easter Island) some very long and lonely 1,000 miles to the east. One and three quarter miles long and almost a mile wide makes it pretty small as islands go. But it is 1,200 feet high making it visible over an 80 mile circle in best visibility. And it’s almost 1,200 miles to windward of Tahiti. All this Fletcher Christian knew and more and no doubt contributed strongly to his choosing this ever so remote island to settle with his fellow mutineers and the men and women from the islands that had joined them. He was rightly confident that the Royal Navy would send a ship out sooner or later to search for either the lost Bounty expedition or, should Bligh ever so unlikely reach England, search for the mutineers. Bligh did reach England in a feat of seamanship, willpower and endurance almost unprecedented in maritime history. And a ship did come and search for the mutineers and the Bounty. Perhaps I should back up.

After Captain James Cook’s expeditions to the South Pacific, word came back of this marvelous vegetable or fruit that grew on trees to the size of a volleyball called breadfruit. It was described are nutritious, filling, tasty like a rich dense starchy bread. I can testify that these are all true. And it fell off trees with no labour in particular. Mana from heaven. Free food. Would that it could grow in England but it was a tropical plant. It grew on large shade trees and was all over the South Pacific. The famous naturalist and companion to Cook, and highly well placed in society, Sir Joseph Banks, sang its praises in the great houses of the elite in England. Now many of these same houses owed their extreme wealth to the extreme misery meted out to enslaved Africans and their descendants on Jamaican and other West Indian island sugar plantations. Stolen land, stolen resources and stolen labour in the form of people from Africa in chains. Some 20 million Africans had been captured and sold into slavery before it was all over in the mid-19th century with only half surviving the grueling trek across Africa to the slave ports followed by the deadly passage to the West Indies to begin a typically short and brutal life in the charnel house that was West Indian slavery on the sugar plantations. These islands had been razed of their natural flora and almost to an acre converted to some form of plantation to produce a cash crop to make Europeans wealthy. Sugar, a product with no redeeming health qualities or intrinsic value at all, was the product of choice. It worked and great wealth was amassed by a narrow few funding the Industrial Revolution and much else besides. Wealth that exists to this day in one form or another. While slaves on a tropical plantation do not cost much to keep, they do need to eat. The system that evolved was, and in order to save money, that the slaves would grow their own food in some corner of the plantation. But this took time. Time away from working the crops. And thus took away profits from the owners of these plantations, most of whom lived far from the heat and fevers of Jamaica and Barbados, safely in England. So, word was about of this magical food that fell off trees. If these trees were all over the Caribbean slave plantations maybe one more day a week of labour could be squeezed out of those so brutally enslaved. The notion quickly developed among these absentee plantation owners in England that it would be a brilliant idea to get some of these wonder trees and put them to work to make the extremely wealthy of England, including so many members of Parliament, just that much more so.

How to do this? Well, it would be a simple matter for a small consortium of these wealthy planters to put together a small ship, hire the right crew and sail to Tahiti with some appropriate gifts and trade items and get some breadfruit plants. Would have been maybe a two or three million dollar project in today’s coin, a small financial commitment for such an incredible bounty. Some risk to be sure, but the rewards would be high. But no, this is not what happened. They had a much better idea that was risk-free. In the grand tradition of getting the government to pay for things to advance the elite, these members of Parliament, with Sir Joseph’s enthusiastic pushing, got the job handed to the Royal Navy. The Royal Navy was not very interested in this assignment. They did not see themselves as fetchers of vegetables for anyone. They were the Wooden Walls of England not some grocer’s cart. They also had a few wars on the go or nearly so. The American Revolution was not long over and you never knew what those pesky French were going to do next. But orders are orders. While never quite seeing the breadfruit acquisition task as much of a Naval priority they did set about finding a little ship and refitting her for fetching these breadfruit trees. The ship was of course, renamed the Bounty. For a commander they pulled William Bligh off his well paying merchant marine master’s job sailing back and forth to the West Indies. Bligh had been a very young and capable sailing master under Cook and was a logical choice. And Bligh was very keen to sail in the wake of his mentor, James Cook, perhaps too keen. This would be his first naval command and if I am not mistaken, he had been out of the active Navy for quite a few years. His rank was lieutenant. He wisely if a bit arrogantly asked to be made a “post captain” for the sake of authority and discipline but this was denied, just run along and get yer bread fruities and come back, what can go wrong? We shall see. His sailing master was a man named Fryer. Fryer was older than Bligh and did not see himself as inferior to Bligh and barely subordinate to him. The famous Fletcher Christian – evidently a young man who had sailed with Bligh quite a bit but as a civilian – it is well believed that they were on quite friendly and cordial terms, even bonds of affection, from their previous experience together. Later this mutual affection would be destroyed by Bligh in his stress of command. It is one thing to hate a man you never knew or cared for, its another thing altogether to come to hate someone you once called a friend. The pain is so much deeper. And far as I understand, most, if not all, of the rest of the crew were volunteers, this in the day of brutal impressments into the Navy. What does this mean? Sounds good at first glance, what better than men who wish to be there? On second thought under these conditions there would likely be in the midst of the Bounty crew sailors with no hope in England, many who longed for the already legendary South Pacific and with no particular ties to the notion of returning to England. Why return to England to be impressed in a Navy ship to die a gory death in a battle with the French or starve unemployed and unemployable in grungy seafront towns ashore in England when you could live out your days as a minor island king in this paradise you have heard so much about?

The fault lines begin to show themselves to those that could see but still too early to be plainly seen by all. Then, once all ready to sail in the autumn of 1787, no orders to sail were forthcoming from the Admiralty. The ship sat in port and swung at anchor losing precious time to make southing in decent weather out of the English Channel. The Admiralty could not be bothered to send the ship off. Minor layers of bureaucracy kept her in port. Such a small ship on such an un-naval-like mission. No one bothered to send her along her way. Of course, eventually she sailed, but with no marines to enforce discipline and Bligh the only Naval officer aboard the Bounty, and no lofty rank to lord over his sailing master. A large crew, a good number of whom might not care if they ever returned to England’s shores, sailing for paradise. And tens of thousands of miles between his ship and any other Royal Naval vessel or base. Bligh was on his own. Again, what could go wrong? Ordered to sail in December, finally she was sent by way of Cape Horn, but it was too late in the year to pull this off in such a little ship, try as Bligh might. After valiantly fighting to the westward into the endless storms at the brutal Horn he had to give up and turned the ships head east and sailed for Cape of Good Hope, south of Australia and eventually, Tahiti after many many months.

The ship would spend about six months in Tahiti. This long visit was in part due to her late arrival thus necessitating waiting out cyclone season there before pushing on west and perhaps something to do with nurturing the 1,000 odd breadfruit fingerlings to a point they could safely travel transplanted into pots. At any rate spending six months in a place like the Tahiti of the day was a very hazardous prospect with respect to maintaining ship’s order and discipline. I can speak with some authority when I say that even a two or three week visit to any port at all takes its toll on a ship’s order – imagine six months in Tahiti where the seamen were so well treated back in the day? And remember, Bligh was the only naval officer aboard. So they sailed for the west with all their breadfruit plants after half a year in Tahiti. We can only guess what the Bounty crew were feeling that day. But we can guess pretty well I think. Bligh was carrying out his mission as assigned and could look forward to honours in the Royal Navy, to be made Post Captain, earn the respect of Sir Joseph Banks and the Royal Society and such. Christian could expect to be made a Royal Navy Lieutenant upon return to England, an excellent bump up the ladder. The rest of the gang? Harder to say but safe enough to say some aboard the Bounty were not pleased at the idea of sailing for England.

Bligh was not the flog-happy tyrant portrayed in some of the films, on the contrary it appears that he was lenient on corporal punishments. But it does seem that he was under enormous personal stress to make this voyage a success, had little help from the powers that were to do so and last but not least, Bligh had a famously vile temper. A vicious nasty temper and one that visited itself on those it would damage the most and hurt Bligh’s ability to maintain command even further. Bligh had raised Christian to second in command, a vast honour yet evidently Bligh did not hesitate to upbraid his second in command in front of all the men and to do so over the most minor of incidents in which Bligh found Christian wanting. This a completely unacceptable breach of sound management in a ship today, but more to the point, this was just as much the case in the Royal Navy at the time of Bligh and Bounty. Bligh’s temper did him in. A good man in a pinch, the attempt at rounding Cape Horn showed that well enough. His open boat voyage from the stern of the Bounty off Tofua, Tonga 3,700 miles to west Timor through uncharted waters without losing a man at sea clinches this assessment. But in smooth waters in tradewinds in a well found ship homeward bound after a successful portion of his mission complete he was irascible and the architect of his own overthrow. Apparently this mutiny lead by Christian had no long planning, it all happened, planning, such as it was, to execution in almost a matter of minutes. A transcript of the events even reads as if Christian had second thoughts on the whole affair as Bligh was getting in the longboat – but he knew there was no going back.

To make a very long and interesting story far too short, a little over half the Bounty‘s crew got in the longboat with Bligh rather than stay with Christian in the ship even as it was logically presumed that this was to their certain deaths. The longboat sailed with 19 and got to Timor and only then did the men start to die off from disease. Bligh and many of the Bounty crew got home to England. He was exonerated at his court-martial for losing the ship and after a long career, not without controversy, he retired an Admiral. Christian and the mutineers had quite an argosy for many months with many half started attempts to settle here and there. But first they went back to Tahiti. After these near-misses at finding a place to go and not get caught Christian found reference to this small island well to the southeast of Tahiti, with ample water, trees and all manner of flora and it seemed an island that the Navy would never find. To get to Pitcairn’s Island the Bounty would have most likely sailed far south to reach the westerlies in those higher latitudes and then turn north on a starboard tack to fetch the latitude of this little island, but he would have done so well to east of its given position in the papers among Bligh’s books. He knew that the Royal Navy did not have a good longitude for the island but that the latitude would have been good. He knew that any Royal Navy ship sent after them would sail around the southern tip of South America, right past Pitcairn, and make straight for Tahiti first, but that would put that ship very far downwind from Pitcairn. He may have reasonably presumed that any search for the Bounty would take place downwind, to the west of Tahiti and it would not occur to anyone to look to the eastward and to windward. He was right. There would not be a British Royal Navy ship to visit Pitcairn for about 25 years, and that is another story.

The Bounty got to Pitcairn in 1790, quickly landed as much as they could, ran the ship on the rocks in Bounty Bay and then she was set afire to get rid of any telltale masts and obvious wreckage that might be seen from a passing ship. The Bounty mutineers, and women and men from the islands settled down for what was to come. Eventually by the early 19th century there was a community of children, women and one remaining mutineer before the world heard about what happened to the Bounty. To this day descendants of the Bounty voyage live on Pitcairn Island and on an island called Norfolk near Australia. And we are sailing for Pitcairn Island. The story does not end there but I will.

PS: Straight away the Navy sent Bligh out on a second breadfruit expedition, with two ships, lots of Navy officers and Marines and they got their breadfruit. Delivered it to St. Vincent and Jamaica. Perhaps an effort by the Royal Navy to make things right. All the breadfruit in the West Indies today is descendant from that voyage. Bligh’s temper was as crusty but more under control or so says his nephew who made that voyage. Breadfruit failed to become the mana from heaven in the West Indies it was supposed to be. It is too seasonal and does not keep well once fallen from the tree. Oh well. It is pretty tasty though, fire roasted, cut up and boiled like potatoes, makes great fries and chips. My friend Meralda, 7th generation descendant of the Bounty gang makes a divine “Breadfruit Puff”. I can’t wait.

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Day’s Run – June 28, 2018

Blue sky, seas laid down, a tropic bird passing over head, easy winds, ocean for as far as the eye can see on this clear South Pacific day.

The wind has calmed down today, the ship is sailing at a speed of about 4-5 knots. Work on deck is in full swing, calmer seas allows work on deck to run smoothly, with less chance of a paint can tipping over or a tool rolling off the hatch.

The rigging department continued serving the t’gallant foot ropes. This consists of using marlin and wrapping it ever so tightly around the wire with the use of a mallet and marlinspike tightening the end with a marlin hitch. Of course applying a sizeable amount of tar; tar is like sunscreen for the rig, it’s a great preservative.

The sail making department was busy sewing on roping and seaming the new royal sail. The teak door and frame to the carpenter shop, that hail from Norway circa 1952, were scraped by Kirsten of Alberta, Canada and Tony of England, in preparation for varnishing. The port breezeway head door and frame received another coat of varnish.

At 1230 eager celestial navigators got out the ship’s sextants and took a noon sight, using the sextant to measure the angle of the sun above the horizon, marking for some their first ever!

Dawson, the Captain’s five and a half year old son, and Annie, both of Canada, enjoyed a healthy game of broom hockey, preparing for this Sunday’s July 1st Canada Day celebrations.

At 1530 all hands mustered on the quarterdeck for continued lessons on ditty bag making. Today’s topic was grommets, which represents the roping portion of sail making. We’re now officially less than 2000 nautical miles away from Pitcairn Island!

From: Galapagos
Towards: Pitcairn
Date: Thrusday June 28 2018
Noon Position: 07°55.6’S x 100°57.7’W
Course + Speed: SW + 4.9 knots
Wind direction + Force: SExE + 3
Swell Height + Direction: 2 + SExS
Weather: Bright and sunny
Day’s Run: 124.7nm
Passage Log: 127.2nm
Distance to Port: 1957nm
Voyage: 4210.7nm
Sail Set: All sails

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