Captain's Log

Archive for July, 2010

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Legs 3 & 4

“It feels like I belong here, like this is home” one of our gang aboard said the other day. Over the past three months, the crew have come to know the ship and each other well, increasingly becoming more than friends or coworkers as we all depend on each other and on the ship to carry us safely on our voyage. There is a word that describes this relationship-shipmates. To be considered a good shipmate is the highest praise for a mariner.

Picton Castle’s deep-sea voyages provide an adventurous seafaring opportunity that is rare and difficult to obtain by any other means. By being a crew member, you are very much an integral part of sailing the ship from port to port. Arriving somewhere having sailed there, having earned your way there, is much different than stepping off an airplane. Long deep ocean passages give you the chance to learn and practice seamanship skills, while short island-hopping passages test your snappy sail handling and ship handling skills. Add in visits to exotic ports and remote islands and a group of people from very different backgrounds who share a common love of their ship, and the result is a truly unique experience.

Crew members work hard and require a certain level of physical fitness in order to haul on lines, climb ladders and walk around a moving deck. While you have your own bunk, it will be in a compartment with a number of other bunks, so you must be able to get along well with other people. And most importantly, you have to make the commitment that other crew members before you have made, to always think of what is best for the ship and to act accordingly. Sailing aboard our beautiful barque is not for everyone but, for those who sign on, it can enrich your life.

All crew spaces on Leg 1 and Leg 2 of this voyage are full, but a few spaces will become available for Legs 3 and 4. Maybe you’ve been following along with the ship’s journeys from your home-now is your chance to step aboard and experience life as a square-rig sailor.

Begin your adventure by joining the ship in exotic Bali in November, then head out to sea for a long tradewind passage across the Indian Ocean. On this passage you will learn the names and functions of all 205 lines of running rigging that come down to deck, learn to steer the ship and keep lookout, and become familiar with the sails, parts of the ship and how things work. Put in at the French island of Reunion and explore this strikingly scenic volcanic isle. We also are looking into putting in to Madagascar and Mozambique. Set sail again for Cape Town, flying around the Cape of Good Hope with the strength of the Agulhas current. Take in South Africa, with off-duty pursuits ranging from shark cage diving to visiting vast game preserves to wine tasting. After a stay at Namibia we will have some of the most consistently perfect trade-wind sailing weather of the whole voyage crossing the South Atlantic, interrupted only for a brief stop at the remote island of St. Helena, site of Napoleon’s final exile. Carry on to Grenada and island-hop through the enchanting Lesser Antilles of the Eastern Caribbean, getting lots of practice with anchoring, sail manoeuvres and small boat handling. Ashore, enjoy local music – reggae, calypso, soca and steel pan- snorkelling, markets and much more. Then sail north next June, pausing at Bermuda, through the North Atlantic to Lunenburg to complete the voyage.

With a full 7 months of certified time at sea, you’ll be eligible to qualify for a first professional seafarer’s certification in most countries. Even if you don’t plan to go to sea again, you’ll find that the skills you’ve developed on board -resourcefulness, teamwork, responsibility-will serve you well. Your shipmates will become lifelong friends and you’ll have a trove of adventure stories to one day tell your grandkids. If the full 7 months is too long, consider joining for either Leg 3 (Bali to Cape Town) or Leg 4 (Cape Town to Lunenburg).

Think you have what it takes to be a good shipmate? Check out additional information on World Voyage 5 or contact our office for more details.

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Pitcairn’s Island

By Captain Daniel Moreland and Maggie Ostler

The Picton Castle is only about 9 miles from Pitcairn Island -we can see the moon setting over the west end of Pitcairn, we are still under full sail including studding sails and the sun rising in the east makes the clouds and our sails look like gold. We are THRILLED to be so close…

After a voyage around the world folks often ask our crew which port or island is their favourite. There are a variety of answers, but it’s often prefaced by “after Pitcairn?…” filled in with Bali or Reunion or somewhere else, all amazing places.

Pitcairn Island is a small, remote patch of land deep in the South Pacific Ocean, about 25 degrees south and 130 west, only a mile and 3/4s long by 3/4s mile wide, but quite high at 1,200 feet. About 3,000 miles from the west coast of South America, 1,200 miles from Tahiti and almost 3,000 miles to New Zealand, lots of ocean all around. As many people know, the folks who call Pitcairn home are mostly 6th to 9th generation descendants of the mutineers of the HMS (or more properly HMAV for HM Armed Vessel) Bounty and their Tahitian wives (Do you know who your gggggreat grandparents from 1790 were and what they were doing?). Others have joined the island over the years from both European and Polynesian backgrounds but not all that much. The island is steep, rocky and lush; it seems that anything can grow in the rich volcanic soil there – the climate is delightful being just subtropical. As small as it is it seems much larger and could easily take more than a day to walk around. It is a stunningly beautiful island with a rich variety of landscapes and dramatic vistas. There is also great fishing all around the island. And two springs of fresh water as well as good rainfall.

‘Pitcairn’s Island’ was first discovered by Europeans in the form of a British Navy vessel HMS Swallow on a voyage from
England around Cape Horn in 1767 and named for the young midshipman who was on lookout and saw the island for the first time. Young Pitcairn’s father later fought at the famous Battle of Bunker Hill in Boston at the beginning of the American War for Independence. This new island was reported as uninhabited at this sighting with no harbour. When the Bounty gang showed up at ‘Pitcairn’s Island’ some 33 years later they found lots of signs of earlier Polynesian inhabitants but no people. More recent archaeology is making the case for a very large settlement of Polynesians perhaps up to two thousand. These studies are suggesting that the island was an important Polynesian settlement from maybe around 700 AD to sometime in the 13-1400’s or maybe even a bit later. On the south edge of the island up in the
cliffs, in an area known as “Tautama” there is a particularly hard grade of stone perfect for the making of adzes and many loose adze heads laying about. Ancient adzes from Pitcairn Island stone are found in archaeological sites all over Polynesia today we are told. But in April 1790 the island was without people and after the mutiny and unsuccessful attempts at settling at populated islands elsewhere, that is just what Fletcher Christian was looking for. Although recorded in some of Bligh’s few books on the South Pacific with a position, Christian
also had every reason to know that the island would have been mis-charted for longitude as only in the years since the islands discovery had mariners been able to readily and accurately determine longitude through the use of recently invented accurate and portable chronometers. The Bounty had one of these early and precious chronometers supplied by the Royal Navy. It would be decades again before such instruments were commonly available to navigators. Back to the Bounty…The band of settlers, ex-mutineers and Tahitians unloaded and stripped the ship at Bounty Bay- we guess they had pretty good weather for a spell – in short order they ran their stout little wooden ship (about 90′) up on the rocks shore right near the current landing at Bounty Bay under “Ship Landing Point”. They
dismantled her some more and soon set the old Bounty afire so as to get rid of the evidence of a stolen Royal Navy vessels hull,
masts and yards sticking up and avoid encouraging any possible passing Royal Navy ship from looking too closely at this island refuge of theirs as Christian, Young and the rest knew they would be pursued by the mightiest navy in the world, and they were chased indeed but that is another story as is the history of Pitcairn Island and her people since.

While the population of Pitcairn has fluctuated over the years, getting as high as 250 or so, there are presently about 55 people living on the island. When Picton Castle, with our 52 crew members, shows up, we double the population. In order not to overwhelm the island’s resources (as well as to look after our dear ship anchored or hove-to offshore), half the crew go ashore at a time. We have friends and connections in many ports, but the connections we have in Pitcairn are particularly strong. Captain Moreland first sailed to Pitcairn as mate in the Danish built Brigantine Romance under the command of renowned sailing ship master Capt Arthur M. Kimberly in the 1970s and has stayed in touch since then. When our ship heaves-to off Bounty Bay after three or so weeks at sea and over 2,700 miles, one of the massive and powerful Pitcairn aluminum longboat comes out to meet us with a big gang of islanders; Steve Christian, Jay Warren, Dennis Christian, Dave Brown, Pawl, Brenda, Meralda, Terry, Randy, Brian and the good Mayor Cookie will be aboard (ashore will be waiting Len, Tom and Betty, Royal, Mavis, Nola, Reynold, Daphne and others). Likely in large heaving seas we will unload some of the supplies we’ve been collecting for the islanders in Canada and Panama, and half of our crew pile into the long-boat and tear off bound ashore.

This boat trip into the jetty or landing can be quite a ride at times. Sometimes the boat has to wait in the enormous Pacific swell before she races in right past where the HMS Bounty was scuttled and burned in on the rocks. Catching the right wave the boat surges around the jetty into the boat landing and lines fly ashore to catch the boat before she rides up on land. At the Landing, which has the boat sheds where all the boats are hauled up when not being used is at the bottom of a very steep mountain known as the “Hill of Difficulty”, things are a bit hectic as the packed boat is unloaded, almost the whole island will be down there to greet us, old friends reunite and crew members there for the first time are chosen out of the crowd with a friendly, “You’ll stay with me.” Where there are no hotels or restaurants on Pitcairn, our crew are taken in by families, to share their homes, eat meals with them and generally become part of the family life. We do what the islanders do more or less; ride around on 4 wheel ATVs, go swimming at St Paul’s (beautiful natural sea pools at the east end of the island), clamber ‘Down Rope’, go fishing, participate in community events in the village square, visit from house to house. But this is also very much a week long holiday for the islanders as well. When we show up is a bit like the circus coming to town! They don’t get so many visitors, not like this anyway. Hey! It is two islands colliding!

Pitcairn is one of the most anticipated ports we ever sail to, the current crew have heard stories from crew who have been there before, they know something of the history of the people or at least the legend. Pitcairn only gets supply ships two or three times a year, so anything they need or want that they cannot make or grow themselves can only be shipped in every few months and those supply ships are expensive too. Part of the excitement of our visit to Pitcairn is that the people who live there look forward to our visit perhaps almost as equally. For months, we’ve been in contact about placing orders for cargo, but also getting updates on islanders planting gardens, cleaning
out spare bedrooms and otherwise preparing in anticipation of our sailing over the horizon. Picton Castle will be at Pitcairn Island in a couple days – It may be hard to get to Pitcairn Island but the Captain says it is harder to leave…

Supplies for Pitcairn: heaps of treated lumber, 6x200L barrels gasoline, 35 miniature turtles, over 11 cases of tinned goods, 300 pounds flour, 90L cooking oil, 14 lawn mowers, 10 pair oars, about 25 machetes, kitchen knives, 85x25kg bags cement, one digital camera, 3 car batteries, 20 band saw blades, tiller, 14 mixing bowls, 48 web belts, 100kg raw sugar, 150kg white sugar, 3 bedside lamps, 31 packets vegetable seeds, 4 hammocks and more…

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Forward Lookout

Introduction by Maggie Ostler
Reflections by Billy Campbell

Maintaining a good lookout is a prime and fundamental tenent of good seamanship. Look-out is a condition. On the Picton Castle we assign a crew to be posted on the focslehead 24 hours a day in one hour shifts by watches. The Forward Look-out scans the seas and horizon for other vessels, shoals and odd things in the ocean that could damage our ship. Yet lookout is not only to protect our ship and crew but also to be on the look-out for anyone in distress. In 1986 the crew of the capsized Schooner Pride of Baltimore drifted in a liferaft off the Bahamas for four days and were passed several times -closely-by large passenger and cargo ships who did not see them for lack of a good lookout…in addition to being the forward eyes of the ship around the clock, Billy Campbell writes…

I love lookout. It blows my skirt up. When I’m assigned a trick on lookout, especially at night I’m thrilled. To bits. Lookout is the the quietest, most thought-provoking duty on this small, heavily populated square-rigger, and the fo’c’sle head at night is the only place in the open air one can feel almost entirely alone while-without fear of a hasty trip to deck-letting the mind wander and the eyes do the work.

It’s on lookout that things pop into my head (and I don’t mean flying fish across the rail); phrases or snatches of dialogue, ideas of poems, stories, letters to people I love (are there any other kind?), things I wish I’d done or said, should say or do. There, under the foot of the fores’l, I’ve been, not infrequently, as content as at any time in my life. More little ditties than I can shake a Chibley at, but here’s one:

There’s nothing like while at sea
To find with whom your heart agrees
For if, you see, your sight is true
If clear of eye and mind too
You a dearest friend may find:
And what a lucky one you’ll be!
To find your heart agrees with you

Wrote that on lookout last night, waxing moon, bright as hell, shining on the water. Balmy trade-wind breeze, stuns’ls set and drawing sweetly, all well with the world, this tiny floating corner of it anyway. Looked aft over the length of her, laughter bubbling up somewhere-probably the salon- (lot of laughter this time around); boats lashed in orderly fashion to her galley roof; countless stories being told (and formed) below deck; friendships growing, dividing, multiplying; the soft glow of light from the chart-house, the silhouette of the helmsman at the wheel; the ever vigilant watch officer nearby; and all bathed in the lustrous and otherworldly light of a sea-bourne moon, which to my eye was a giant wheel of yellow cheese set in black velvet, a handful of tiny diamonds flung over it by some insecure Hollywood billionaire. And then, wishing I could share the moment, it occurs to me that the last time I was standing here, I mean at this latitude and longitude, was five years ago, when my mom was still alive, and -at this hour-likely in a bathrobe sipping green tea up in her bed, dog at her feet, listening to the crickets outside, and just maybe wondering how her children were, or thinking about someone she could never bring back.

I love lookout. Especially night. Makes me feel close to things that are far away, and makes me so happy I sometimes cry.

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Getting Close to Pitcairn Island!

With only 375 miles to go for the Picton Castle to reach Pitcairn Island – we are all getting pretty excited!!! In order to look after the ship whether she is anchored or hove-to offshore and also not to put too many of our crew on the island at once (and thus not overwhelming island resources) our gang will go ashore half at a time. Dr. Gary will go ashore for the whole time so as to see if he can be helpful on the medical/dental front – as long as the weather holds we will do 48 hour shifts on the ship and the island, then we’ll do a crew
turnaround with one of the big powerful island launches. The crew have been coming up with, practising and rehearsing their acts for two island concerts, sort of ‘command performances’, a variety of acts for all hands, Picton Castle and Pitcairner, song and dance, mime, guitar, violin, comedy, we’ll see how bad it is. Of course, first we have to unload all the lawn-mowers, lumber, food and turtles (who have been growing by the way and as of today they are all alive and frisky)

Today is sweet and sunny with lighter winds than before but we are still sailing along nicely with stunsles set, counting the miles down we are…

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Bumpy Ride

Brad was washing his clothes in buckets of salt water on the well deck on Sunday afternoon. He had been putting off this task for a while, thinking that it has been sunny and beautiful for so long that doing his laundry would surely bring rain. His clean clothes supply couldn’t hold out any longer, so Sunday was laundry day for Brad. As he was rinsing, a squall with a bit of wind and some rain came through. By 1600, once his clean laundry was hung up on the clothesline, there were thick dark clouds to windward and the breeze had picked up. Seems that his laundry got an extra fresh water rinse. Since supper time Sunday, we’ve been having a bit of a bumpy ride. There is a large swell coming from SW, right on our nose. There are no big weather patterns in our vicinity that would cause that, so it must be coming from very far south. After about two days of winds between Force 2 and 4, we’re back up to Force 5 and 6 and overcast skies. We set stuns’ls on Friday to add some speed in the light winds, but there’s now too much wind for these light air sails. Under square sails only and no royals, we’re currently making a steady 7 and 8 knots. We expect to arrive at Pitcairn, currently just over 900nm away, maybe in the next week or so, depending on the wind. The Captain held a muster on Saturday to talk about the island, a bit of its history, its people and the nature of our visit. The crew asked all sorts of good questions and we’re all looking forward to our arrival. Very excited indeed!!!

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Halfway to Pitcairn

On a long ocean passage in the tradewinds in the Picton Castle, or any other deep sea sailing ship, life falls easily into a gentle routine. It feels like we left Galapagos ages ago, but then I think back to something that happened last week and it seems like yesterday. Being at sea causes a strange perception of time for me. In some ways, every day is much the same as the one before – wake up, eat a meal, stand watch, steer, lookout, eat again, have a nap or read a book or work on a project, eat again, stand watch, sleep. Look over the horizon, watch the sunset, feel the seas rolling beneath us. Repeat the next day and the day after and the day after that.

Then there are details of each day that distinguish it from the others – some details are environmental and some are of our own making. Sometimes there are squalls of varying intensity to make us look lively. Sometimes what stands out is a good conversation over a cup of tea after supper. Last Sunday was Julie’s birthday, it was also a partial solar eclipse. On Wednesday the sunlight shone just right to take beautiful photos of the ship under full sail. Thursday was filled with marine life – lots of flying fish scooting across the waves in whole schools, two sightings of a whale close to the ship and then, having caught absolutely zero fish since the day we left Panama, all three fishing lines hooked giant wahoo at the same time (110 pounds of fish in total!). Sometime Wednesday night, we passed the halfway point
on this almost 3,000 mile passage to Pitcairn Island. Steering southwest day after day the ship has been under sail alone since our first day out of Galapagos and we’ve hardly touched the braces of the square sails since then. The mates have conducted celestial navigation workshops to get those interested started on this arcane, challenging but delightful craft. There is no better chance to develop this skill than on a passage like this one. Now it is up to each crew member to get up on the quarterdeck, sextant in hand, at noon for the meridian passage of the sun to practice taking sights to determine latitude. You have to get up earlier for sun sights to get lines of position and of course there are also morning and evening star sights at dawn and dusk.

Sitting on his old sailmakers bench on the cargo hatch, the Captain led a 4-part workshop on sailmaking techniques through the making of canvas ditty bags (old fashioned sailor bags looking like canvas buckets, used to hold tools), leaving the crew to finish up their homework and complete their bags. The sailmaker daymen have patched the fore royal and the riggers bent it on the fore royal yard (time for
making a new one the Captain says), the carpenters are working on spars for a sailing rig and a new self stowing rudder for the long boat.

The quiet routine of life at sea will continue for another week or 10 days or so until we reach Pitcairn. Then it will be like the circus came to town!!!

rsz captain introduces sailmaking through making ditty bags - copy
rsz gorgeous day for taking photos under sail - copy
rsz leonard cuts the wooden bottom of his ditty bag - copy
rsz paul uses the gaff to haul in one of the wahoo - copy
rsz rebecca and bob consult over ditty bags

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Taking the 8-12 Watch

By Chief Mate Michael Moreland

After a late wakeup call, a quick glance out to weather from my porthole reveals our near perfect sailing breeze is still with us. She trots along the long Pacific swells with the clean, fresh wind on her port quarter. All sails set and drawing nicely, a pull on a jib sheet here and haul to weather on a brace and she is balanced, tracking true all by herself. Taking the watch from the second mate with a full cup of coffee ready to give me a jump start, we go over the conditions and sail handling done in the past 4 hours. His enthusiasm is usually
high, directly related to the amount of sails taken in or set and how much coffee he has had to drink. Helm and lookout are relieved by the oncoming watch fresh from breakfast and the remaining crew shuffle around into morning cleaning and domestics. I take the time alone on the bridge to review the plan of the day, taking into account sea state, weather, and any new priorities that may have accumulated over the night.

The sailmakers are back on the quarter deck wiping dry the freshly washed deck to lay the fore royal sail out on and I offer them
my short term rain and squall forecast, to help them plan their day. The Bosun is running around checking cleaning progress and has the Bosun’s Mate opening up the paint locker, as well as getting tools out and ready for the upcoming jobs. A quick glance from the bridge to the main deck sets our time to meet briefly in the morning and we confer on the bridge, fine tuning our plan for ships work that day. A mix of painting, localized cleaning, rigging, or scraping and sanding is usually on tap and the specific jobs are handed off to the watch as they finish domestics and report to the Bosun forward on the well deck. The daymen riggers have already started in on their project planned
the night before of sending down the large, heavy anchor tackle and pendant from aloft around the fore-topmast hounds, and I look up to monitor their execution and progress.

An increase in breeze makes me consider taking in our big flying jib, but I wait and enjoy the ride for a minute, watching her pick up speed. 7, 7.5, 8 knots, alright time to get it in. Take in the flying jib! And the crew on deck immediately drops their tools, running to the halyard and downhaul. Off comes the halyard and four people strain against the downhaul, fighting the pressure of the wind, pulling the sail down the stay onto the jib boom. A deckhand quickly scampers out to windward on the end of the headrig and passes a gasket. Lines are coiled and then right back to their respective jobs, without much of a fuss.

Back to the bridge and I notice the sun has risen high enough in the sky for one to catch an honest line of position and I grab my sturdy sextant, check my chronometer and walk aft to the stern, where the sun bears north. No clouds to worry about, I easily bring the sun down, have it kiss the horizon and log my time and sextant angle. After a few calculations I have a line of position that will cross nicely with the next sight at noon. That task complete, I come back to the ship and sea, a glance to weather for squalls, a look aloft for sail trim, and all is well as we sail onward towards the lonely island of Pitcairn.

rsz alex uses the draw knife to shape spars - copy
rsz jan and robert plane spars - copy
rsz lorraine on helm with sophie
rsz nadja covers a splice with leather chafe gear - copy

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A South Pacific Trade-Winds Passage

A voyage around the world in the Barque Picton Castle is many things; a challenging adventure, a voyage of personal discovery, a chance to learn to be an accomplished deepwater seafarer, a
rare, perhaps unique way to access some remote islands and cultures as real crew in a sailing ship from the ‘Age of Sail’, and much else besides. But a major part of all this sailing 30,000+ miles around our watery globe in this square-rigged ship is simply the passage making under sail over miles and miles of bluewater sea miles for days and days, even weeks on end in steady tradewinds. And that is just what we are experiencing right now sailing ever deeper into the South Pacific Ocean, both buffeted and drawn along by the South East trade-winds on this almost 3,000 mile passage to little Pitcairn Island.

Dawn -The day comes in quickly in the tropics, the sun seemingly springing up over the horizon, taking the eastern sky from inky black, burnishing it to rose, orange and yellow smartly. The
stars blink out and the sun takes over. On their toes, the navigators up on the quarterdeck swing their sextants quickly to snag the stars they need for a nice morning fix while the sky is still dark enough to see the stars and yet also have a bright, sharp horizon to bring our star down to. Well before dawn our Cook, Donald has been in the galley, stirring about, boiling water, making coffee, fresh bread and then getting breakfast ready for the oncoming watch. At precisely 0600 our Swiss engineer fires up the generator to charge the batteries and provide the wash down hose with seawater under pressure for the 4 to 8 watch to scrub the oiled pine decks. Due to our system of batteries and charging we need run our generators only six hours a day to provide all the power we need for normal use. This not
only saves a great deal on fuel consumption but this system also helps keep the ship quiet without the noise of motors 3/4rs of the day. We think this is the way a sailing ship ought to be as much as possible. After scrubbing the deck the watch takes small buckets and wipes down and cleans off finger prints and smears that have accumulated here and there. The Mate of the 4-8 will
have the gang take a sway on braces and halyards to get the slack that may have come into them overnight. This also renews the nip where lines bear on sheaves and moves the point of chafe about making for more even wear. If the wind has laid down the mate might call for loosing and setting the flyin jib. If so a couple hands will scramble out on the jib-boom to cast off the gasket and soon it will be set and drawing. It’s a nice puller the flying jib. Every sail this barque can set, apart from stunsles, are set and drawing giving us eight knots much of the time. With washdown finished we have sunny skies, cool breezes on the port quarter, long blue white-capped seas rolling in from so far away – our canvas sails growing from gold into a cream colour as the sun rises higher and strengthens for the day. The helmsmen for this 4-8 watch have had a good run. Soon come the 8 to 12 watch to take over and start the days work at sea.

rsz 1rebecca teaches celestial nav
rsz mate mike introduces celestial nav
rsz nadja rebecca and joh adjust their sextants - copy
rsz the crew attentive in celestial nav class

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Ever deeper into the South Pacific – Daymen on a Tradewind Passage in the Picton Castle.

Wednesday was the first full workday for our new daymen. Now that the crew really know their lines and are comfortable with sail handling steering, ship handling and can follow orders well, we have broken some of the gang off the watch schedule to turn to extra training in classic sailing ship’s work. This is an old deep-water sailing ship tradition, on long trade-wind passages, to break off a ship’s most experienced ABs to get rigging and sailmaking done on their ship when the weather is good while the less experienced crew sail the ship and gain in responsibility and skills doing that, although in our case they will simply take turns. For now Logan, Nadja, Julie and Liam are now daymen riggers under the direction of the Chief Mate; Nadia, Joani and Johanne are daymen sailmakers under the direction of the 3rd Mate Rebecca and the Captain; Jan is a dayman carpenter working with 2nd Mate Paul; Jon is a dayman engineer with Engineer Christian; and Meredith M is now bosun’s mate with Bosun WT. Having all of these people focus entirely on these areas means that the daymen can get lots of experience with these kind of skills and it’s good for the ship too with many projects getting done efficiently. Here’s what we’re working on: 2 new sailmaker benches, patching both old royals and gaff topsail, overhaul port aft head, serve and make leather covers for main yard cranelines, canvas covers around all turnbuckles, overhaul the inside of the longboat, assemble and overhaul all gear for setting studding sails, etc.

Conditions are just perfect with lovely warm trade-wind breezes and seas laying down, beautiful blue skies, flying fish and yesterday we saw a huge whale from up aloft. Not so bad…

rsz carpenter dayman jan makes two sailmakers benches - copy
rsz dayman sailmakers joani nadia and joh sew on a rope covering - copy
rsz julie aloft in the bosuns chair in shadow - copy
rsz julie in the bosuns chair removing baggywrinkle - copy
rsz siri and nadja replace a ratline

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The crew really look forward to receiving mail in port. It is very exciting. Having something from family and friends that we can touch and hold on to when we’re on the other side of the world brings a smile to our faces. There is a lot of time at sea to think, and we’re often thinking of the people we left behind to take on this great adventure. Getting something in the mail from you lets us know you’re thinking of us too. And unlike an email or a phone call, a letter is something we can take to sea with us again. The next port where the crew can receive mail is Rarotonga, Cook Islands, coming up in late August. Right now is the time to send your letters and packages to ensure they arrive on time.

The second mail port of World Voyage 5 will be in Rarotonga. Please allow four weeks for regular mail to reach Rarotonga. All envelopes and packages should be outlined in heavy green waterproof marker and addressed like this:

[Crew member name]
PO BOX 626
*Hold for arrival of Barque PICTON CASTLE on or about August 13, 2010

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