Saturday, August 12th, 2006
After delaying our departure from Chicago by a day due to weather, the Picton Castle finally left Navy Pier and headed out into Lake Michigan on Friday morning. There were some nasty thunderstorms predicted on Thursday and the wind was blowing fairly strongly from the northeast—exactly the direction we were planning to go. In addition the sea state was quite lumpy, and we decided that it was best for all concerned to wait until things laid down. It’s strange how conditions in the Great Lakes can change so quickly—by yesterday afternoon we were still heading into the wind but the waves were several feet smaller, and today we have next to no wind at all.
With all sails set the ship is averaging about 1 knot an hour this afternoon. Normally this would drive the crew crazy, but it’s actually kind of relaxing right now. This is probably the first time in our busy summer schedule where we don’t have to rush to be in the next port on time. Of course we do have a date on which we must arrive, but there’s enough time between Chicago and Port Huron that we can sail leisurely instead of firing up the main engine to make our deadline.
The atmosphere on board this afternoon is a quiet one. The watch is diligently working away on tarring the rig, varnishing the fly rail around the bridge and painting in the breezeways. Most of the crew who are off watch have their noses buried in books, finding comfortable spots on the hatch and the well deck to enjoy the warmth of the sun.
We were sad to say goodbye to Andrea Deyling, Greg Bailey, and Billy Campbell in Chicago, they will certainly be missed. On a happy note, Amanda Graham has come back to re-join the crew.
After a week of excitement in Chicago, we are glad to be at sea once again. And this sea is made of fresh water!