Captain's Log

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By: Purser Allison Steele

With new crew on board, we began training them in basic seamanship techniques such as tying knots and how to handle lines. It can be very overwhelming at first when faced with over 180 lines on board, each serving a different purpose. Once you begin to understand the mechanics of square rig sails it all starts to make sense and the knowledge and understanding starts to click. Often we are asked “do you have to know anything about sailing to sign aboard PICTON CASTLE?” and the answer is always no. We will introduce you to the skills you need and you’ll learn them by actually sailing the ship, all with the careful guidance of our experienced crew.

A view of some of the many lines on Picton Castle

Square rigged ships like PICTON CASTLE are much different than traditional schooner rigged or fore and aft sailing vessels and even seasoned schooner sailors find themselves learning all over again. The wind will always be the wind but how we harness it varies.

Each time we leave port we practice our emergency procedures. It might mean for longer term crew they are performing drills every week or 10 days but it helps to keep us sharp and ready to respond in an emergency. Fire, Abandon Ship and Man Overboard scenarios can often feel hectic but every person has a specific task that needs to be carried out calmly and effectively and repetition helps to establish a good working team. Some of those tasks involve quick line handling so learning where the ropes are and what purpose they serve is important to grasp. Practice makes perfect!


Noon Position: 44°39′.1N 062°02′.8W

Course + Speed: NW 4.5kts

Wind direction + Speed: W Force 3

Swell Height + Direction: W 1m

Weather: overcast and rainy

Day’s Run: 108.9nm

Log: 126 nm

Distance to Port: 105.8nm

Voyage: 5298nm


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