Captain's Log

Archive for April, 2011

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Sailing The Classic Regatta

The Picton Castle spent an entire week in Antigua and even as we sailed away from this beautiful island the crew was still buzzing with enthusiasm and brimming with tales of victory, or of racing anyway.

The Classic Regatta was a complete success, from the point of view of the organizers, the participating Classic boats and our crew. Whoever of our crew who wanted all found spots on boats and most went out racing at least twice – revelling in a different sort of sailing experience and walking away richer because of it. Some of our crew sailed on the Rosa. The Rosa is a beautiful, old gaff-rigged wooden fishing smack where the sailors play music even in the heat of the races and everybody has a good time. Some of the crew sailed on the Ocean Star – the sister schooner to the Argo (both sail training ships) where Abbey knew some of the crew from her days in the SeaMester program on the Argo. Some sailed on the Pipe Dream with Deb (who sailed on the Atlantic Voyage) and her partner Laurie. Pipe Dream is a lovely Carriacou sloop which they just purchased and the races enabled them to test her ability on the water. She did very well and all had a good time. Others got out on Genesis –another handsome Carriacou sloop owned by Alexis who happens to be a good friend of the Captain and of our very own Ollie Campbell.

I went out sailing on the Farfarer with fellow Lunenburgers Peter and Martha Kinley and John and Maddie Steele – John and Peter are key members of the Lunenburg Shipyard Alliance currently reconstructing the magnificent schooner Bluenose II. On her maiden voyage, Farfarer is a brand new classic fusion schooner built by Lunenburg’s own Covey Island Boatworks. Captain Frank Blair and his crew showed me a great time and we sailed one fast race in his thrillingly remarkable vessel!

And then of course there was our very own dory Sea Never Dry and longboat. The longboat was kitted out with a new jackyard topsail, a bowsprit and a new jib. Sea Never Dry got a new paint job and with bright Pan-African colours of red, yellow, blue and green and designs based upon both Zulu and Senegal motifs and her ever-colourful mainsail was quite a sight to see. Despite the fact that we did not race with the boats, we still took them out every day and our crew took turns sailing and rowing them around Falmouth and English Harbours for a good view of the races. And pretty wild to be sailing our dory next to a 140′ J-class sloop. While I was out on the Farfarer I could see Sea Never Dry sailing in the distance. Two hours later we passed her starboard side as we were running downwind going at least 9 knots. Mike, Dave, Davey and Dan shouted their approval and we congratulated them on their hutzspa as we raced toward our marker.

At the end of second day of races the boats participated in a parade of sail around English Harbour. It seemed as though thousands of people were chanting our names and applauding. The blaring of boat horns and noise-makers was almost deafening as each boat rounded the bend and motored into the delicate harbour. Passing other Picton Castle crew we all waved to one another. Although on separate boats we shared a communal experience and we were giddy with excitement. With the sun just edging down the western sky and plenty of light, the evening lay out before us and so did the celebrations!!

*Thank you to Dan Eden for the use of some of his pictures for this log.

Bronwen on Farfarer
Katelinn jams on the ROSA
Niko, Liam and Joani on OCEAN STAR
Robert sails the ROSA
Robert, Dave, Joh and Wendy enjoy the ROSA
The SEA NEVER DRY watches the races

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Arriving in Antigua

On the morning of April 15th, 2011 Antigua came into view. As it always is after spending a month at sea, it was surreal to see a tropical and mountainous island reaching out of the ocean to touch the clouds. They mountain peaks and idyllic covers seemed to beckon to us – calling us to come and partake and enjoy. The whole scene was made even more surreal by the fact that we were sailing into Antigua during their annual Classic Regatta. The waters surrounding the island were filled with traditional sailing craft and boats with sails of all shapes, sizes and colours. It was an international affair. They tacked and gibed and weaved their way to the starting line, all vying for the most advantageous position, all vying for the wind and the win. We on the otherhand were a 180 foot long steel square-rigged sailing ship under full sail carrying studding sails.

The crew lined up on the pin-rails in appreciation, listening as the radio announced the commencement of the races. The Captain and the Mates kept an ever-watchful eye on the boats as we sailed toward our anchorage in Falmouth Harbour. With all sails set, including stuns’ls, we were no doubt a distracting display for the racers and the photographer alike. To add to the spectacle we launched the long boat a couple miles off and let her sail in on her own canvas. We carried our stunsls up until within a mile of the coast, then we took those in, hove too, shortened down, then braced up again and sailed right up to the anchorage without using the motor at all. A good way to end a long passage!

Antigua is part of the island group known as the Leeward Islands of the Lesser Antilles in the northern half of the Eastern Caribbean. Long inhabited by Sibony and the Arawak Indians the island eventually fell into the hands of Colonial Britain. It remained a British colony and sugar exporter until it gained its independence in 1981. With little industry Antigua relies mostly on tourism and has been working hard to attract visitors. The Classic Regatta this year brought in over 60 classic boats which participated in the five days of races. This number does not, of course, account for the hundreds of charter boats and cruising yachts which speckled the harbours, beaches and restaurants with enthusiasts and Eastern Caribbean notes.

And then there was us. We had been invited to the Regatta as honoured guests and why not? While the Picton Castle is not a racing ship by any means, who wouldn’t want a tall ship in their harbour? The ship was here for the Regatta two years ago and had made such an impression that they wanted us back. The Captain encouraged the crew to take advantage of the opportunity right in front of us and try to sail in the races as crew on other boats.

And there were some beauties. The crew was abnormally quite as we rode into shore on the skiff. We motored past schooners, ketches, sloops, cutters, J-boats, yawls, the Maltese Falcon (the fastest square-rigger in the world and all automatic). Multi-million dollar J-boats were tied up alongside sail-training ships and old and beautiful Carriacou sloops. As we got out of the skiff and stretched our legs on land for the first time in over a month, we glanced around at the busy marina. The patio seating was overflowing with men and women, still dressed in their crew shirts, talking excitedly about the results of the day’s races. The feeling in the wind was one of elation with an undercurrent of friendly competition. Everyone on the waterfront was here for the love of sailing ships, boats, racing and good times.

Catching the race
Katelinn drives the skiff
Launching the Monomoy
Rebecca and the Maltese Falcon
Sailing into Falmouth Harbour
The monomoy in Falmouth Harbour

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Name That Newfoundland Tune

I’m always better at remembering something when I can sing it. Learning the alphabet? Much easier with the alphabet song than to remember a long string of letters. Canadian provinces? The tune started with “the provinces of Canada are fun to remember, fun to remember…” and it still helps me get them in the right order from east to west.

Studying Newfoundland charts has caused me to pause at times, uncertain of why the name of a community or body of water sounds familiar. And then I realize it’s from a song.

Imagine my delight when a councillor of the town of Harbour Grace phoned to invite Picton Castle for a visit this summer. My mind immediately went to “Excursion Around the Bay” in which the man whose wife becomes ill on board a vessel seeks something to give her to make her better.

I tried every place in Harbour Grace, tried every store and shop…

In researching icebergs and where we’re most likely to encounter them, Iceberg Alley and the town of Twillingate are mentioned in all of the tourism brochures and websites. Sure enough, like in the song “I’se the B’y”, Fogo and Moreton’s Harbour are right nearby, or “all around the circle.”

While we’re not planning to stop, we will sail past the ecological reserve at Cape St. Mary’s, a famous point of land on the south coast of the Avalon Peninsula that inspired the hauntingly beautiful song of the same name.

But when we sail to old St. John’s, will all the girls be dancing? Guess we’ll have to wait and see, or take it upon ourselves to make it true.


Spaces are still available on Picton Castle‘s Newfoundland voyage this summer. Sail for two, four, six or eight weeks in July and August 2011.

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Delicious Warmth and Chest Pounding

This Sunday was a near perfect day of sailing in this barque of ours. With all sails set, including stuns’ls, we were smoking along at an average of 8 knots, sometimes 9. The current raced beneath our hull and the wind through the rigging sang of promises yet to come and held the sails in its strong embraces. The sun shone down through veils of cirrus clouds with delicious warmth. The doldrums seemed a thing of the distant past and even the front of squalls we experienced on Friday and Saturday morning were nearly forgotten.

“I love Sunday galley duty” Dave Farrall confided in me as he passed around homemade chocolate croissants. I sipped my coffee. I was not quite awake yet, but there was a buzz of activity on deck that had pulled me from my Sunday morning slumber.

It had been a long week of getting much work done on the ship. Now all around me the crew were working on individual projects of their own. On the well deck Dan Eden was washing his laundry. Joh sat beside him, repairing her sandals. Brad planed the handle of the serving board that he was making. Niko, who had his new serving board in the vice grip, was busy doing the same. Ali had two projects on the go, she was painting the lid of her sea bench and varnishing the bottom of her ditty bag. On the hatch Nadja cut circles of leather for the bottom of her sea bag. Dan R and Suzanne made and tarred the new lanyards for their knife/spike rigs. On the focs’le head Robert strummed guitar, Doc Petran read his book, Siri stitched her sea-bag and Katelinn practiced scales on her violin.

After a spaghetti lunch Taia and Pania announced the first of a series of Polynesian dance lessons. The ladies went first. We all donned sarongs and lined up on the hatch where Taia taught us the first steps to two Polynesian dances. To say that we were out of practice would be a serious understatement. It has been almost 8 months since we had danced barefoot in the sand under the palm trees on Palmerston Atoll and told stories with our hips and arms. For many of the women onboard this was also their first introduction to Polynesian dancing. Still, it was a productive first practice.

Afterwards Pania led the men in a raucous Haka dance practice. This something of a New Zealand Maori war dance. The All Blacks rugby team dances a Haka on the field before each game. When a new police staion opens in New Zealand, a Haka by the police leads the ribbon cutting ceremony. The thumping of our boys feet reverberated throughout the ship as they answered her war calls with strength of voice and manly chest pounding.

At 4 pm the smell of popcorn and BBQ smoke roused the crew from their bunks or their individual activities. Even the monopoly game in the salon came to an early end as everyone made their way toward the hatch. The crew munched on popcorn as Paul threw pork chops and fresh caught mahi mahi on the BBQ. Two different iPods played competing reggae music, much like you would find on Caribbean street corners.

While the meat sizzled some crew danced on the hatch while others played a rowdy game of dominos on the well deck. Captain says that in the Caribbean, dominos is a contact sport. With just a few days to go til we get to Antigua we were all dressed for the occasion in colourful sarongs, big earrings, snazzy tropical shirts and sunhats. We were not just celebrating our imminent arrival in the Caribbean, but also commemorating our last long passage at sea. The music and dancing continued long after we had filled our bellies and the sun had put itself to bed for the night.

Ali and her projects
Hatch activities
Pania leads the men
Robert plays guitar on the focs le head
Taia teaches the girls dances

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Dealing With The Dull Doldrums

April 5, 2011

3 15.745′ N 43 20.639′ W

The Picton Castle and her crew have been slogging through the doldrums for close to a week now. The doldrums generally spread a few degrees on either side of the equator and can be characterized as an area of low pressure with high humidity, clouds, rain and squalls breaking up calm winds.

The term itself is derived from an old English word meaning dull and was most frequently used by the mariners of the time who feared they would get stuck in these equatorial latitudes. Luckily for us we have our hefty diesel engine which we can fire up if the winds continue to evade us. However what we have experienced could not, in good faith, be called an area of calm winds. To be certain there have been moments where the wind dies down to nothing more than a breath and the jibs, spanker and staysails flog in protest until we strike them. But there have been far more moments where the wind throws a mighty temper tantrum and the crew must immediately rush to take in and furl the royals and the topgallants. An engineless vessel could esily get stuck for three weeks trying to cross the doldrums.

For days the ship has been tossing on large white-crested seas and the horizon has appeared as a continuous line of squalls. When the rains do come, whether in short sputtering bursts or heavy prolonged showers, they quickly put an end to the majority of the projects on deck. When a squall gets close, its’ put down tools and take in flying jib, spanker and maybe the royals then up and stow! Watch your helm and maybe run her off. It is the watch officers most important job to watch out for squalls. Our crew is fast to adapt though and ship is still a hum of activity.

The sailmaking team of Joani, Taia and Tammy have set up their sails in the salon and are busy sewing grommets and seaming. The carpenter team of Jan and Niko have been working in the carpenter’s shop or in the hold. WT (Bosun) and Pania (Bosun’s Mate) have been cleaning the boats and garbage cans and scrubbing the decks –the rain greatly aiding their efforts. Chris, Fred and Cody are, of course, safe from the squalls painting and maintaining in the warmth of the engine room. Many of the daymen, including Nadja, Meredith, Brad and Shawn have been reassigned to watches for the time being, to augment the numbers to make for snappy sail-handling.

Our deck maintenance class has been put on hold – varnishing and painting best kept for a time of somewhat prolonged dry weather. However we all did have a chance, over the past couple of weeks, to take the charthouse and navigation class. This class included a day when we discussed weather patterns. Since we entered the doldrums almost everyone has done more research to find out about the weather we now find ourselves experiencing. This is just one of the benefits of an education at sea and one that cannot be replicated in a classroom.

The warm air around the equator (heated continuously by the sun) rises, as hot air does, and heads out toward the poles. Clouds are formed as the warm air rises in these low pressure areas. Cold fronts are also more often associated with low pressure systems and with cold fronts we find all sorts of capricious weather. All one has to do to see examples of this are to look to the darkened sky. This intense frontal system might also be an example of cyclogenesis which occurs when warm currents, like the one we are in, interact with cooler sinking air. You see, some of the warm rising air from the equator becomes cool as it moves toward the poles and sinks at approx 30 degrees north and 30 degrees south. Since air consistently moves from high to low pressure, this wind – moving from these high pressure areas back toward the equator – creates the trade winds… the trade winds which we should find, fresh and consistent, just on the other side of the doldrums and we cannot wait!

None of us are complaining too bitterly though. The rains briefly carry away the humidity endemic in this part of the world. And a thorough warm fresh water rinse off is not be decried. The winds, though inconsistent, bring cool refreshment with them to our sleeping quarters. The fish persistently bite at our lines. Donald continues to make scrumptious meals which the crew gather together in the salon to eat if it is raining. Life is still good and all of this grey weather will only make the Caribbean sweeter!

A rainbow in the North Atlantic
A sqaull breaks for a spectacular view
Davey, Shawn and Dave show off the latest catch
Donald in the Galley
Even Chibley studies the weather!
WT wire splices

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A Bird’s Eye View

By Paula Washington

Looking to my left all that can be seen is broad blue ocean, the occasional flying fish breaks the surface as it glides with wing-like fins away from predators lurking below the waves. Out to my right cumulus clouds are beginning to form into a heavy line obscuring the horizon. Looking aft the water swoops and swirls as we make five knots through it. Our stern trailing five fishing lines is pulled through the swell by 23 sails. Every inch of canvas we can have up is set and I am sitting on the t’gallant yard at the outer end splicing wire rope which will soon become our newest piece of safety gear. We have been busy all week making these back ropes, which run along the yards at ones lower back providing both a place to clip into and an extra support behind a sailor when up on a yard. My 80 foot high vantage point high aloft on a t’gallant yard of the Barque Picton Castle gives me a unique look at the ship below and our way of life onboard.

Occasional glimpses between my work show people at the stern busy resetting the fishing lines after hauling in two large mahi mahi. Fishing has proven to be more than a just a hobby, on this voyage we have caught enough fish to feed the entire crew for two or three dinners each week. Just above the fishermen, on the quarterdeck the sailmakers are busy seaming two new sails. We make all of our own sails onboard by hand out of cotton canvas. These traditional methods have been handed down between generations since the beginning of the Age of Sail. Looking down at the t’gallant right below me I can see the workmanship and skill that goes into making each of these sails. Beside the sailmakers, three people stand posed next to the rail wielding sextants. Each practicing celestial navigation by taking a running fix of the sun. Looking forward the green cargo hatch cover is full of students taking a ten o’clock class on engines and electricity taught by our talented engineer. Others are around doing laundry and chatting off watch.

Glancing forward of the galley house the busiest place on the ship becomes visible every time the main topmast stays’l loses its wind and flogs to starboard. Here Donald, our cook, takes a mid morning break from the heat of the diesel stove that runs his galley. Next to him a team of three carpenters cut, plane and sand wood for various projects. New deck boards are being made to replace old ones and trim is being added in the after living quarters. A constant cloud of sawdust engulfs this part of the well deck much to the annoyance of the Bosun who is trying to get the ship varnished and freshly painted for our arrival in the Caribbean. He is pacing around the decks checking and rechecking everyone’s work, always finding places people missed painting and new places to rust bust. The entire 8-12 watch other than a helmsman and a lookout are busy working on the tasks he has assigned. The well-deck is also home to the rigging team, which I am a part of these days. The back ropes we are working on are stretched out in a crisscrossing fashion making the port side look like some sort of jungle gym, making people climb under, over and around the work and workers in order to pass through.

For me this view of the ship shows what we do on board so well. From here I can see all the work, skill and learning that goes into this program and vessel. One of my favourite things about sailing tall ships is the self sufficient feeling you get when you know that everything on board has been built by your hands or the hands of those who worked on board before you. Self sufficiency is so rarely found these days but on board we have all the tools and knowledge to keep this ship and lifestyle going.

fore t gallant set
Joh working aloft on the main
looking down from the mainmast at the cargo hatch and galley house roof
looking down from the mainmast at the mizzenmast and quarterdeck
looking down from the mainmast at the quarterdeck and monomoy in her davits
Paula working aloft on the main

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Swim Call in the South Atlantic Ocean

The Picton Castle had been motoring for several days through the South Atlantic Ocean- an ocean over which the most deliciously constant trade winds in the world normally blow… An ocean which was calmer than a bathtub unoccupied – a lake frozen by a harsh winter (cepting it’s plenty hot…), a puddle undisturbed by children’s play. The air lacked even a whisper of apparent wind. It seemed that a big low off the coast of Brazil had sucked the wind straight out of the sky. Unusual but true nevertheless. We all believed that the delightful trade winds, although currently elusive, still waited for us on the other side of this region of calm and we buckled down to work as usual.

With all sails furled tightly on their yards the riggers (Chief Mate Mike, Paula, Joh and Robert) recruited extra hands from the watches and completed dozens of projects. Since the weather reports all pointed toward at least a few days of doldrums the riggers called on the crew to tar the rig in its entirety. It is normally impossible to thoroughly tar the rig with all sails set, not impossible, just impossible without getting tar all over the sails, a major crime – for the first few days the tar makes the ratlines sticky and encumbers the sailor climbing aloft to loose sail or nip the bunts or furl. The thirsty rig happily drank the tar we slurped on to it – demanding more and more and looked all the better for it. And, of course, it smells heavenly.

The sailmaking team under Rebecca of Joani, Katelinn and Taia up on the quarterdeck worked on seaming and adding chafe gear to the spanker and new upper topsail. The Bosun (WT) and the Bosun’s Mate (Dan) oversaw many projects including painting the masts and overhauling, priming and painting the rigging screws on the fore shrouds. Carpenters Jan and Niko (and Paul) covered wires in the companionway and the charthouse, made new teak graving pieces for the railings on the quarterdeck and fairleads for the monomoy hoisting rudder. As we motored along Shawn, Fred and Chris took shifts in the engine room. It is pretty hot ‘down there’ but then, it is pretty hot everywhere just now.

In addition to all of the regular ship’s work the crew was also going to school. The Captain and Mates, seeing an interest and an aptitude in many of the already accomplished crew, created an advanced curriculum program for further development in seamanship and ships’ technology skills. During the week classes were held at 10 am, 2 pm and 4 pm in Charthouse and Navigation, Engineering, Deck Maintenance and Rigging and Sailmaking…

On Sunday last, with the sun high in the Southern sky, not a breath of wind stirring the surface of the sea on an otherwise bright pretty day, the Captain made an executive decision. The diesel engine shuddered to a stop. The yards were braced square and the Picton Castle – having come to an almost complete stop – rolled gently from port to starboard. Sweat streaked and giddy with anticipation the crew gathered midships for a muster during which the Captain officially announced a mid-ocean swim call!!

How marvelous! The thought of diving into the cool waters of the South Atlantic Ocean… the thousands of fathoms of unknown just below our wriggling toes… the inflatable pool toys… the shrieks and giggles! Some rules first though. The Captain explained that there were some rules that accompanied swimming in the largest swimming pool ever. There were to be three lookouts posted at all times – one on the bridge watchimg the swimmers, one on the mainmast and one on the foremast looking about for any fins in the water approaching; we were to stay on the starboard side of the ship amidships and in plain view at all times, never swim under the ship; we were to look out for one another and for anything amiss. With a life ring in the water trailing off the stern, the scrambler net secured -in case of rapid exit being called for – in addition to the two boarding ladders starboard, the lookouts in position and the swing rope rigged up – the pool was open! And, of, by the way, don’t use the starboard heads for the duration of the swim call! Seems obvious, but…

Diving into the azure, clear water of the South Atlantic Ocean was every bit as satisfying as we had hoped it would be. We spent the better part of the next hour washing away the heat, lounging on the plethora of available pool toys, snorkelling (though to what limits could we see?) and making daring flips and jumps from the rope swing off the fore yardarm.

Once we had satisfied our desire for a refreshing dip and our appendages were sufficiently pruned we clambered over the side to prepare for a Sunday BBQ. Smells of springbok and mahi mahi mingled with the heat of the day –to which we were now impervious – and ice cold refreshments appeared on the hatch.

As the sun retreated for the night the crew gathered on the well-deck for a Gypsy Band jam session. The music lasted well into the evening – as did the sound of satisfied laughter… imagine that, a swimming pool 11,000 feet deep!

crew and their pool toys in the South Atlantic
relaxing on an air mattress in the South Atlantic
rope swinging in the South Atlantic
swim call in the middle of the ocean

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Advanced Ship’s Skills Workshops

As this world voyage in the Picton Castle is almost on the home stretch and our gang both keen and accomplished, we have set up an extra series of workshops for the long tradewind passage from South Africa to the West Indies in order to hone skill sets – many of our crew seek to sail further in ships of all types – here what we intend to cover is laid out below. If you are intending to work in ships professionally or even go crusing in a serious manner these are all important things with which to be familiar or better. In addition to the below we will, naturally, keep up with ship’s maintenance and sail handling as well as all the myriad duties for seafarers in a sailing ship at sea.

Professional Advancement Curriculum
Barque Picton Castle
South Atlantic Crossing 2011

Professional Advancement Overview

-Open to Any Crew Member-

This four week course of intensive instruction, to take place while underway from Africa to the Caribbean has been designed to focus and hone skill sets and competency in important areas of shipboard operation that the Barque Picton Castle and her officers are in a position to teach. This is based upon the premise that most of the crew have already developed a high level of familiarisation with much of the subjects. It will be a focused introduction and hands-on training in small groups for any crew member who is interested in advancing his or her skills professionally and rounding out their training to take forward to their next ship or vocation. It will require a full commitment and will be conducted and prepared for on the crew member’s off-watch. Assigned readings will be completed before each lesson as to bring a familiarity to the topic beforehand. Books will be made available in the tween-decks salon, where they shall remain for the duration of the course.

In short, we believe this will be a valuable opportunity for those wishing to further their career at sea or those who seek to acquire skill sets more seriously, not only for the hands on-lessons but also the focused daily study and book resource familiarization. Again, we ask for a full commitment for the entirety of the course, as this is a fair amount of effort on the part of all of us. However, some individual lessons within this course are likely to be covered during in-port or at-sea workshops. Regular ship workshops in ship technology skills will still be held.

Engine Room
– Outboard motors and Marine Engines
        Fuel Mixes, 4 stroke vs 2 stroke, flushing, fuel manifold, cleaning and greasing, spark plugs
Assigned Reading: RYA Outboards pgs 4-11, 28-32, and 33-39 and Nigel Calder’s Diesel Engines pgs 1-11
– Marine Toilets
Overhaul, preventive maintenance, valves, rubber gaskets
Assigned Reading: Jabsco Manual
– Plumbing and Pumps
Check valves, gate valves, piston pumps, bilge pumps, priming, power
Assigned Reading: Nigel Calder’s Marine Systems pgs 358-364, 382-385, 388-391
– Generators
Starting up, maintaining a charge, volts and amps, amp hours
Assigned Reading: Chris’s Electrical Crash Course, Calder’s Systems pgs 48-50, 198-200, and 42-43
– Stoves and Boilers
Fuel lines, fans, heat exchangers, maintenance, overhaul

Chart House and Navigation
– Communication
VHF, MF, Inmarsat C, Navtex; range, application, propagation
Assigned Reading: Chapmans Chapter 24; pgs 544-558
– Radar
Tuning, gain, sea, rain, EBL, VRM, relative motion, true motion, squalls
Assigned Reading: Chapmans Chapter 25; pgs 565-568
– Collision Avoidance
CPA, TCPA, Radar plotting sheets, ARPA, visual bearings, rules of the road
Assigned Reading: Marine Radionavigation pgs 232-240 and Chapmans Chapter 7
– WX Observation and routing
Reading sea state, accurate wind estimation, prevailing winds, sea breezes, land’s effect on local winds, global circulation
Assigned Reading: Aux Sail Operations Chapter 12 and Chapmans Chapter 14
– Plotting and Piloting
Running fix, relative bearings, special case bearings, chart symbols
Assigned Reading: Chapmans Chapter 20

Rigging and Sailmaking
– Seizing
Renew seizing around deck; flat, round, racking, strop a block
Assigned Reading: Sam Svenson’s Handbook of Seaman’s Ropework pgs 134-144
– Ratling down
Rig up plank to stand on, work from left to right, heave clove hitches tight, proper ratline seizing
– Use and application of cordage
SWL, BS, classification of wire rope, characteristics of different types of rope, loads on tackles
Assigned Reading: American Merchant Seamans Manual (AMSM) Chapters 1 and 2 and Sam Svenson pgs 13-38
– Seaming
Flat stitch, round stitch, herringbone, baseball,
Assigned Reading: Sam Svenson pgs 156-168
– Wire Splicing
Assigned Reading: Sam Svenson pgs 145-155

Deck Maintenance
– Paints and coatings for steel and wood
Mixing, thinning, theory, surface preparation for steel, different types of paints, varnishing, deck oil, epoxy
Assigned Reading: Sam Svenson pgs 169-185 and AMSM Chapter 7
– Steel work
Cutting, grinding, fairing, oxygen and acetaline, welding theory
– Deck Gear
Windlass operation and maintenance, steering gear, Edison deck pump,
Assigned Reading: AMSM Chapter 8
– Carpentry
Tool use and application, tool sharpening, fasteners, wood types
Assigned Reading: Boatbuilding Manual pgs 19-45
– Caulking
Reefing, oakum, cotton, laying pitch, caulking irons, large caulking projects

Small Boat Seamanship – While In Port
– Coxswain Monomoy under oars
Proficient in use of commands, competent at docking, close quarters maneuvering
Assigned Reading: Knights Modern Seamanship pgs 239-253 and AMSM Chapter 11
– Coxswain Sea Never Dry under sail
Correctly set mainsail, trimming boat, sail on and off the dock, jibe, chicken jibe, actions to take if swamped
Assigned Reading: Knights Modern Seamanship pgs 228-236, AMSM Chapter 12, and Aux Sail Operations Chapter 6
– Skiff Driving
Beach landing, coming alongside in seas, making up a tow
Assigned Reading: Chapmans Chapter 9
– Be prepared to practice a great deal in small boats among the islands of the Lesser Antilles, Eastern Caribbean.

Chris teaches a class on 2-stoke vs 4 stroke engines
Joh and Paula work on wire splices
Mike teaching a rigging class
stuns ls set on the starboard side
Week 1 of classes, Paul teaching

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