Wednesday, September 18th, 2019
Over the past few weeks, my social media feeds have been filled with photos of adorable kids heading to school for the first time, or heading back to school, to a fresh start for a new year. September brings a sense of starting anew, and that’s no different here in Lunenburg. Picton Castle returned from her summer voyage to the Great Lakes, and now we have just begun the Bosun School. I’m happy to report that the first official day, Monday, went well. Students seem excited, focused, and only a bit nervous.
Bosun School is our land-based skills development program for rising mariners. It’s a three-month program that takes place in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, Canada. Students get instruction and hands-on practice in a variety of skills that will make them more valuable employees in the marine industry in the future. The focus for this particular session of the Bosun School is rigging. Students will use Picton Castle as a classroom and workshop, learning to handle heavy loads aloft while sending down yards, t’gallant masts and topmasts, then learn to inspect, repair, and replace rigging components as necessary. In addition, we’ll be instructing small boat handling, sailmaking, wooden and fibreglass boat repair, and general ship maintenance skills.
There’s a real diversity amongst the backgrounds of the students who are attending this year. One gained her sailing skills as a Royal Canadian Sea Cadet, another on a sail training ship based in Ontario, some on extended voyages on Picton Castle, one on dive boats in Hawaii, one on tankers sailing worldwide.
The first week’s focus is site preparation, getting the sail loft, rigging workshop, carpentry shop, and boat launching area organized and ready to work in. We’re also drying Picton Castle’s cotton canvas sails, getting them perfectly dry so they can be sent down and stored for the winter in the sail loft, ready to be inspected and repaired.
We’ll keep bringing you updates from Bosun School over the next three months so you can see the projects our students are working on and the progress they’re making.