Captain's Log

Archive for October, 2009

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Tell Us What You Think About Our Website

Now that Picton Castle is tied up for the fall and winter in Lunenburg, we are spending more time on our computers, on the phone and on the internet. We have computers on board the ship and use them daily for electronic charts and navigation and also for communications, but we don’t have access to the internet on board and our phones aren’t constantly ringing. Coming back to the office is a bit of an adjustment that way.

One of the things we’ve been looking at lately is our own website, trying to figure out what works well and what should be changed. Because we’re so familiar with it, it can be hard to see the site from the perspective of someone who visits it occasionally, or even for the first time. So, we’re asking for some feedback from you. Please send us an email at to let us know what you like about our website, what you don’t like and what you would like to see change. All comments and suggestions are welcome.

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September in Lunenburg

September is, in my opinion, the most beautiful month of the year in Lunenburg. The weather is fairly consistenly nice, with lots of sun, good wind and not too much rain or fog. It’s warm in the sun and just a bit cool in the shade. People around here start to relax as the busiest part of their year, the peak of the summer, is over and they can start to unwind a bit.

The great weather has allowed the Bosun School students as well as the crew to spend a fair amount of time in small boats, sailing on Wednesday evenings for the weekly Hump Cup race as well as other days. Sea Never Dry, the ship’s dory with the pink hull and bright Senegalese cotton sails, along with Mr Bones, the 16 foot wooden boat built on board during the Voyage of the Atlantic with sails made of green and orange tarps, have been seen sailing regularly in Lunenburg harbour. Our crew will also be doing some sailing in Kitty Cochran, the schooner that they helped to rig and launch just recently at the Dory Shop.

Last week, the students and crew had a big schooner sailing experience aboard Bluenose II. They were aboard for the morning sail on the last sailing day of the season, learning how a big, fast schooner sails. Captain Phil Watson was generous with his time to explain some of the workings of the vessel to our students and crew. The strain that some of the lines aboard Bluenose II are under is pretty incredible, and so is the electric winch that helps to raise the enormous mainsail. Bluenose II is scheduled for a major refit, so it was important to get aboard now for a sail.

As always, there are lots of projects going on aboard Picton Castle. The ship looks significantly different now at the end of the month than it did a few weeks ago when we sailed into Lunenburg at the end of the summer voyage. Sails and running rigging have all been sent down and stored in the warehouse for the winter. A lot of the ship’s equipment and supplies have also been moved into the warehouse, to stay safe and dry through the coming months. T’gallant and royal yards have been sent down to be inspected and overhauled, and the most obvious change is that the t’gallant masts have been sent down as well. Without t’gallant masts, the overall height of the rig is reduced by about a third, making Picton Castle look unusually small across the dock from Bluenose II.

Although the days may be getting shorter, we’re doing all we can to make the most of the pleasant fall weather while we have it.

Bluenose II gets off the dock for a daysail
Captain Phil Watson of Bluenose II
Paul, Dave, Craig and Sarah sail the dory
setting sails for Hump Cup

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