Tuesday, December 5th, 2006
Finally, the weather has given us the patiently anticipated window we were waiting for while all hands stored ship, bent sail and went through their first safety drills. On Tuesday the 5th of December at 1300 the lines were cast off from the Picton Castle dock in Lunenburg and a fine farewell given by Deputy Mayor David Dauphinee and Captain Daniel Moreland. Lots of friends came by to wave us off, including Bill Gilkerson, Bob Higgins, Mikayla Joudrey, and the whole shore office team. Lynsey Rebbetoy, as usual, was busy to the last minute to make sure we have all we need. Chibbley decided to share with us the Caribbean adventure and is getting on with her bunk inspection as we speak.
With temperatures just below freezing point, and a breeze from starboard abeam, the light snow showers make sure we won’t forget to appreciate the fine warm weather we are about to sail in soon. Who was it that said it is fun to sail in snow? Ice was broken off the frozen stiff lines and the snow shuffeled from decks and pin rails; nevertheless, we all have smiles on our faces and are full of good spirits. With a long blast for Lunenburg from our ship’s horn, we left the dock and headed for Battery Point.
With great respect for all those seamen who sailed in stormy winter seas the crew lays aloft and loosens topsails. Cold hands and stiff ropes make us aware of how much we were taking for granted: centrally heated rooms not long ago…The galley soon becomes the most frequented place on board, a fine spot for warming up with hot water for a very welcome noodle soup and tea.
The weather is good to us: with 25 knots of wind on the starboard quarter we motor-sail past Cross Island following the backside of that Low with Hurricane force winds, which kept us waiting so long. Mysteriously enough we did not pick up any lobster pots on our way out, but just as we hit the open sea we happen to encounter one of the Canadian Navy ships. Not too far off we find a submarine operating in periscope height, and our first wearing ship maneuver is due. About time that something happens and makes us move; the ropes, however, seem to think differently.
Accompanying dolphins and a fine smell from the galley round up our first day at sea just fine, and while the moon leaves a wonderful sparkling light on the dark sea we look forward to our sunny and warm days, not too far away anymore.