Wednesday, March 26th, 2008
As Picton Castle‘s sailing date draws closer, work continues aboard the ship to prepare for the Voyage of the Atlantic. Many of our professional crew members have already arrived, the rest will be here in the next couple of weeks. As we have more hands, we are able to accomplish more tasks. Many projects that have been ongoing throughout the winter are nearing completion and we’re happy to be able to check things off the giant “to do” list.
Finn has made great progress in the engine room, doing some projects himself and working with local tradespeople on others. New light fixtures have been installed in the engine room and in the breezeway, all with new wiring. Pumps and valves have been sent away for service, returned and re-installed. Sections of piping in the bilge have been taken out and are being replaced with new pipe.
With the combination of steel and salt water, some welding projects are inevitable. Some items, such as the pin rails on the foc’sle head and the ladder from the well deck to the foc’sle head, have been removed from the ship and sent to a local welder’s shop to have sections replaced. We also have a welder working on the ship, with projects like replacing some of the sections of the foc’sle head rail and the quarterdeck edge.
The crew recently checked a huge job off the list by getting the water tanks ready for the voyage. Picton Castle has two big tanks for fresh water, located in the hold. The insides of the tanks needed to be wire brushed and thoroughly cleaned out, then painted with special paint made for water tanks which the crew report is thick like marshmallow fluff.
One of our recent arrivals is David, who will be the sailmaker on the upcoming voyage. He got right to work, laying out sails at the local fire hall to make new sails out of old ones. Patching sails will be another big job, whether it’s replacing rope coverings, patching holes in sails or replacing a worn out sun patch.
Deck and rigging work continues as well, with final coats of oil put on the blocks the crew spent many hours overhauling this winter, priming and painting on deck when the weather permits, getting rigging bits and pieces ready to be sent aloft again.