Captain's Log

Archive for June, 2019

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Day’s Run – 29 June, 2019

Day 1 of the event in Toronto – the Redpath Waterfront Festival Toronto.

Ship’s work:  Dry sails, Launch both boats, Set up second gangway.

Prepare ship to open to public: Put up signage for visitors, rope barriers across areas where the public is not permitted, crew briefing on what to expect at the first tall ship event of the summer!

Captain’s Comments: All is well, with a moderate flow of visitors across the deck. Several Picton Castle alumni came visiting, and it is always a pleasure to have them come.

Position: Alongside berth 283, Toronto.

Weather: Hot and humid, mostly sunny with light winds. Forecast more of same.

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Day’s Run – 27 June, 2019

The time log of our passage through the locks of the Saint Lawrence Seaway continues:

0100 in Snell Lock

0120 Pilot exchange

0135 clear Snell

0220 in Eisenhower Lock

0238 clear Eisenhower

0620 in Eisenhower Lock

0630 Pilot exchange

0650 clear Eisenhower

1445 alongside Clayton, New York, USA

1605 depart Clayton for Toronto

1805 Pilot exchange

Ship’s work: Remember all the work we had to do to prepare the ship to enter the Canal (yards, davits, etc)? Today’s work was to undo all of that work.

Notes from the Captain: Pilot Steve said his time piloting on Picton Castle was “the best thing I have done this year”. Fell in love with our ship cat Fiji (who wouldn’t!).  Nothing feels quite so good as showing Picton Castle to someone so enthusiastic. It is invigorating. Expect calm passage across Lake Ontario.

Position: 1kt South of Point Alexandria, Lake Ontario

Speed: 7 kts

Weather: Sunny with cool Southwesterly breeze F3. Forecast for decreasing winds overnight, filling in again during the day tomorrow.

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Day’s Run – 26 June, 2019

Today was the day we travelled through the locks of the St Lawrence Seaway. This is the time log from the ship, to give you an idea of the time is takes a square rigged barque to travel through the locks.

0830 Heave up port anchor

0900 heave short starboard anchor

0910 Pilot boards, 0920 under way.

1000 enter Lock 1

1030 pilots change 

1045 clear Lock 1

1305 clear Lock 2

1645 clear Lock 3

1720 Pilots change in Lock 4

1735 clear Lock 4

ETA Lock 5 0030

Notes from Captain: All good aboard. Took some video footage between locks 3 and 4, and into lock 4 taken by trainee Jim Lawson.

Position: Transiting Canal de Beauharnois, up from the Upper Beauharnois Lock.

Speed 7kts

Weather: Partly cloudy & warm. Cloud building. Forecast Thunderstorm with heavy gusts in the evening.

Wind: SW F3

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Day’s Run – 25 June 2019

0530 There was a delay with the pilot and Picton Castle was put in the queue. Asked to call again in the evening for an update.

1625 called GLPA for update. Prospect is for 1045 tomorrow morning at St Lambert.

Ship’s work:

Some of the wood on the stairs needed some oiling.

Install new bunk lights in aft cabins.

Training & Workshops:

Workshop: more knots training.

Workshop: Names of parts of ship & rigging

Dustin & Kimba (two trainees for the World Voyage who have stayed with us for the summer voyage) underwent engine room training. They can now start both generators and all pumps, know how to charge air tanks.

Conducted Security drill: stowaway search. Fun and informative.

Notes from the Captain: Gang is in good spirits, pulling together as a crew very nicely. They are looking forward to the festival in Toronto. The professional crew are performing well: Cheerful, lead from the front.

Position: Anchored Longueil, 45 32 N / 73 31.5 W, both anchors down           

Wind: SW F3

Weather: Rain all day, clearing late afternoon

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Day’s Run – 24 June 2019

1345 Seaway inspectors Lauzon and Wood board. Boat transfer through Longueuil Club Nautique and the captain gave the boat’s a new Picton Castle truckers cap to say thanks.

1445 Seaway inspectors depart, inspection successfully passed.

1500 Ordered pilots for 0530 departure tomorrow and 0700 St Lambert GLPA. Linesmen for lock arranged.

Ship’s work:

Lots more painting!

Repair bow of semi dory, lashed in larger bow pudding

Finish whipping “handlines” for seaway


Splicing workshop; eye splice east coast & west coast taper

Security awareness workshop in preparation to Transport Canada inspection.

Commence safety aloft training

Notes from the Captain: Crew in good spirits.

Position: Anchored Longueuil, 45 32 N / 73 31.5 W, both anchors down

Winds: Light Northerly

Weather: Sunny and warm, high cloud moving in

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Day’s Run – 23 June 2019

An early start expected tomorrow morning 0340 for 0400 pilot & heave up both anchors as the Harbour pilot is confirmed for 0400 and will remain aboard during inspection & until inside the lock.

Captain Lorenzen has been in frequent contact with Captain Miles of the Pride of Baltimore II, and also with Captain Watson of Bluenose II.   Ships, including tall ships and foreign flagged ships, entering the St Lawrence Seaway are required to undergo an inspection by Transport Canada or the US Coastguard and to save some time all three ships will meet up at the anchorage for their inspection together.

HMCS Oriole passed us late this morning. Nao Santa Maria was alongside an industrial dock when we came in but has since entered the Seaway.

Position: Anchored Longueil, 45 32 N / 73 31.5 W, both anchors down

Wind: Westerly F5, gusting strong; forecast to veer NW in evening & ease tonight before tending Northerly, light in early AM.

Weather: Mostly sunny; warm and dry

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Day’s Run – 22 June 2019

Ship’s work:

To get through the St Lawrence Seaway locks, we need to make ourselves as skinny as possible – so take in anything that would make us wider than the hull of the ship. In addition to taking and stowing on deck anything that hangs outside of the hull’s footprint (for example boats that are hanging in davits) we also need to cockbill the yards – which means adjusting all of the yards that sit perpendicular to the masts so that they are fixed in line with the masts.  Today we cockbilled the yards.

The Danish Clipper opened his shop today, and even the Captain took advantage of his services after work.

Movie night tonight: S/S Martha

Position: Anchored Longueil, 45 32 N / 73 31.5 W, both anchors down

Wind: NW 5, gusting 6, forecast to ease overnight and fill in again tomorrow; wind athwart (counter to) the current

Weather: Mostly overcast with sunny spells; warm and dry

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Day’s Run – 21 June 2019

Ship’s work:

Paint buff bulwarks, lower masts, port side galley house & fo’c’sl head trim, spot paint buff where possible

Spot paint red and green.  Paint fiddley deck & engine room ladders

0430 Pilot transfer at Trois Rivieres meant a very early start to the day! 1700 the pilots disembarked and at

1730 the wind filled in, gusting strong.

Gang smiling & cheerful.

Position: Anchored Longueil, 45 32 N / 73 31.5 W

Wind: NNW F5, gusting strong

Weather: partly cloudy and warm

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Day’s Run – 20 June 2019

20 June 2019

Ship’s work:

Finish rigging canal fenders, stowing the hold and commenced painting fiddley deck plates, finish prep engine room ladders for painting as well.

Pilot exchange off Quebec 1000 this morning, without a hitch. Good and friendly new pilots who are very interested in the ship & what she does.

Position: At anchor Pointe Platon 46 40 N / 71 50 W.

Weather: Overcast and drizzle, gentle North-Easterly

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Bound for the Great Lakes

It’s been a bit quiet here on the Captain’s Log for the past couple of weeks while we’ve all been busy getting Picton Castle ready to sail again.  She arrived in Lunenburg on June 1, completing her seventh world circumnavigation voyage, and sailed again on June 15 to start her summer voyage to the Great Lakes.  In between, there was a lot going on. 

Arriving in Lunenburg at the end of a long voyage, especially an around the world voyage, is always a big event.  There were hundreds of friends and family of the crew and friends and fans of the ship on the Lunenburg waterfront on Saturday, June 1 to welcome Picton Castle home.  It makes for a celebratory atmosphere, with people waving, horns honking, and cameras snapping. 

View of the Bluenose II which sailed out to welcome us home

The crew had a little BBQ at the Dory Shop that night, eating a delicious dinner cooked by ship’s cook extraordinaire Donald one last time, then received their sea service certificates in a ceremony on the deck between the two buildings with Picton Castle in clear sight at the next dock over.  On Sunday, we hosted an event at the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic for the crew, their families, and friends of the ship in Lunenburg.  Three crew members spoke, Ted, James and Dustin, and we also had presentations from John McGee, Lunenburg’s Deputy Mayor, Suzanne Lohnes-Croft, the MLA for Lunenburg, Mike Rauworth, the Chair of Tall Ships America, Captain Phil Watson, Master of Bluenose II, “Mayor Emeritus” as Captain Moreland calls him, Laurence Mawhinney, and Captain Moreland himself. 

Ted speaking at the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic

Shortly after that, World Voyage 7 crew started to go their separate ways.  It’s a somewhat bittersweet time, as they’re all happy and proud of their accomplishments, excited to go on to whatever is next in their lives, but also need to say goodbye to shipmates who are like family and to the ship herself. 

At the same time, we began the work of transitioning from one voyage to the next.  We unloaded the four barrels of Ironworks rum that have been on board Picton Castle since last February and got them back to the distillery where they will be bottled and available for sale.  The rum smells delicious and has a unique flavour that comes from a long voyage at sea in the tropics. 

We also unloaded the ship’s hold, sending some items ashore and generally taking stock of what we have, then re-stowing it in an orderly fashion.  At the same time, ship’s engineer Deyan was tweaking some of the ship’s systems in preparation for a passage into the Great Lakes, cleaning out the bilge, and taking on fuel. 

On June 10, new trainee crew joined us here in Lunenburg for training, orientation, and the final preparations for the voyage.  They helped load a big order of food provisions, got the Monomoy ashore at the Dory Shop where she’ll get some love this summer, and got the ship’s dory, Sea Never Dry, ready to hoist in the davits on the port side. 

On Friday evening, June 14, after officially signing aboard, the crew had a nice dinner in the main salon, then got away from the dock and anchored just a few dozen metres away to get into watchstanding mode before heading out to sea the next morning. 

Earlier in the week, Pride of Baltimore II, a gorgeous topsail schooner from Baltimore, Maryland, arrived in Lunenburg.  Just at the same time, Bluenose II was leaving Lunenburg to visit Halifax for a few days.  We hosted a BBQ at the Dory Shop for the crews of both Picton Castle and Pride of Baltimore II, giving them a chance to get to know one another. 

Pride of Baltimore II in Lunenburg Harbour

Bluenose II came back to Lunenburg on the evening of Friday June 14 in order to meet up with Picton Castle and Pride of Baltimore II, ready for all three ships to sail out of Lunenburg in company, bound for the Great Lakes. 

Saturday morning came in foggy, but the fog lifted before the ships got underway and it turned into a beautiful day.  We had spread the word locally that three tall ships would be making a mini, unofficial parade of sail out of Lunenburg, so we had plenty of spectators lining the waterfront and the coast of Lunenburg Bay.  Bluenose II led the way, getting off the dock first. Pride of Baltimore II sailed off the dock, falling in behind, then Picton Castle heaved up the anchor and followed on.  All three ships had sails set, which made for some beautiful photos and videos of them sailing in company. 

Bluenose II, Pride of Baltimore II & Picton Castle sail from Lunenburg

After the photo op, Bluenose II and Pride of Baltimore II carried on up the Nova Scotia coast, while Picton Castle took in sail so that we could do a compass adjustment.  This involves motoring around in circles while a compass adjuster does something akin to magic to calibrate the ship’s magnetic compass.  With this small but important task taken care of, Picton Castle motor-sailed out of Lunenburg Bay and on her way, bound for the Great Lakes. 

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