Friday, August 30th, 2019
Every voyage Picton Castle makes is different – partly because of the itinerary or the weather conditions, but most significantly because of the people who are aboard. Each voyage has its own unique character because of the crew.
We’re gearing up for our next big voyage, which will start in the spring of 2020. It’s a year-long voyage around the North Atlantic, starting and ending in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, Canada. Along the way, we’ll visit ports in the Azores, England, France, Ireland, Germany, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Portugal, Morocco, Senegal, Grenada, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Martinique, Dominica, Guadeloupe, St. Bart’s, Anguilla, and Bermuda. The voyage includes two Atlantic crossings, some amazing sailing festivals in Europe, a pilgrimage to what we think of as “square rig mecca” in the Aaland Islands, and a winter of island-hopping in the authentic West Indies.
While we’re working on all the logistics of ports and the sailing passages between them, we’re also building our crew for the voyage. In this entry in the Captain’s Log, we want to highlight the new and improved application process we’ve implemented for this voyage.
All crew members in Picton Castle, including trainee crew members, must be accepted through an application process in order to sign aboard. The application process is started when an applicant fills in the application form on our website. From there, we ask for two things; first, a doctor’s note that says you’re in good health and can do moderately strenuous physical activity; and second, a deposit towards your trainee fee to hold your spot. We hold spots in the order in which we receive deposits.
Once we have the deposit and doctor’s note in place, the next step is the interview. This is where things are a bit different for this voyage. In the past, for voyages of 3+ months, we have required applicants to come in person to see Picton Castle, usually while she’s between voyages and docked in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, Canada. While we still think it’s important for people to make an informed choice about what they’re signing on for, we have adjusted the process and will now require interviews by phone or Skype instead. There are a number of videos on YouTube that show Picton Castle and what life aboard is like (and we hope to add some new ones soon). There will be some required viewing for applicants so you have a good understanding what the bunks are like, how we eat meals, how to flush the head (marine toilet), what standing a watch and doing galley duty is like, and all the other little things that go together to make up the experience of life aboard.
By doing interviews by phone/Skype instead, we’re hoping to make it easier to sail with us. You don’t need to incur the extra expense, either in money or time, of traveling to Lunenburg. And we’ll still have time to talk and to get to know one another, to talk about the voyage and to see if it’s a good fit for both of us.
Following the interview and video watching, we’ll carry on as we normally would with reference checks, followed by a second interview if necessary.
So, if you’ve been on the fence about applying for the next voyage, this just made it easier for you!