Captain's Log

Archive for the 'Position Available' Category

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Boat Carpenter Internship

In the coming summer of 2019 the Sail Training Ship, the Barque Picton Castle is offering a spot aboard for a scholarship boat carpenter internship.

Picton Castle will join the fleet of sailing ships voyaging the Great Lakes of Canada and the USA on this year’s Tall Ships Challenge series.

Carpenter and shipwright projects that will be carried out this summer will include the ongoing restoration and rebuild of the wooden 16′ South Pacific copra/fishing sloop from Palmerston Atoll, Ann, built in 1958. Caulking and pitching, block repair, ship systems, as well as gaining familiarity and competence in sailing this deep-water square-rigged ship.

This is rare opportunity for the advanced beginner boat carpenter to enrich skills and apply and practice them in a traditional tall ship environment under the direction of the captain. This is a full bursary position including room and board. The successful applicant must provide for travel insurance and is responsible for travel to and from ship. No age restrictions, just a solid sober and work ethic keen to learn. June through mid-September. Join in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. Voyage dates are June 10 to September 11, 2019.

Captain Daniel D. Moreland and Captain Dirk Lorenzen

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Hiring Staff Crew for Rendezvous 2017

Picton Castle carries a full complement of 52 people, which includes 40 trainee crew and 12 professional crew. While trainee crew don’t need to have any experience sailing, our professional crew are qualified, certified, knowledgeable mariners with hands-on experience. Because Picton Castle is a training ship they have to not only be excellent seafarers, they also have to be able to teach and lead by example.

We’re now accepting applications for staff crew positions on our Rendezvous 2017 voyage which takes place next summer. We’re looking for mates, engineers and lead seamen.

All applicants must have, at a minimum, STCW Basic Safety Training and at least a year of experience on traditional sailing vessels (preference is given to those with square rig experience). We prefer to hire lead seamen with their AB (USA), Bridge Watch Rating (Canada) or their national equivalent. Mate applicants must have at least a 500 ton oceans license. Mariners of all nationalities are welcome to apply.

To apply, please email your CV and a cover letter that tells us more about you, your experience and why you want to work aboard Picton Castle to

Taking in topmast studdingsail 2

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Picton Castle Itinerary Update

For those of you who keep up with our website regularly, you’ll notice a change to our voyaging plans for 2016-2017.

Sometimes an opportunity comes along that is worth changing plans for. This is the case this time. This summer, we’ll be involved in a special project that will see Picton Castle make two back-to-back transatlantic crossings. We can’t say too much about this project yet, except that it involves a re-enactment, but we hope you’ll trust us when we say we’re excited to be a part of it and we’re working with some great people on it.

We are actively seeking crew for this voyage, which begins April 18 and runs until July 31. Voyage crew should have some related seagoing experience. With so much time at sea, it’s a great way to gain some ocean-going sea time. While English is the working language of Picton Castle, on this voyage, the ability to also speak French is an asset. And there’s a very attractive reduced price for this voyage only. If you’re interested, please fill in the online application form.

We’re also looking for professional crew on deck and in the engine room for this April – July voyage. All professional crew must have, at a minimum, STCW Basic Safety Training, plus additional experience and qualifications as required for each position. On this voyage, the ability to speak both English and French is an asset, as is being Canadian. Professional crew applicants are welcome to apply by sending your resume/CV and a cover letter by email to

A ship’s doctor is also needed for this voyage. Training and/or experience in remote or wilderness medicine is an asset, is as the ability to speak both English and French. If you’re interested, please send an email to

Once Picton Castle returns to Lunenburg at the end of July this year, we’ll begin a session of the Bosun School, running from August until December 2016. The Bosun School is a land-based skills development program for mariners who already have some seagoing experience. The Bosun School will help you to gain hands-on experience in rigging, carpentry, sailmaking, small boat handling and general ship’s maintenance and upkeep. Lunenburg is the ideal spot for the Bosun School, with an active small boat sailing community and a variety of marine-related industries. To apply, please send your resume/CV and a cover letter to Exact dates and costs will be announced soon.

By January 2017, Picton Castle will be in Bermuda, ready for a new voyage. The Bermuda & The Real West Indies voyage will begin on January 4, 2017 in beautiful Bermuda. After a couple of weeks of preparation, training and orientation in port, the ship and crew will set sail heading south to the islands of the Eastern Caribbean. The first leg of this voyage includes visits to many of our favourite islands in the Windward and Leeward Isles. With steady tradewinds blowing, the sailing between and amongst islands is sure to be spectacular. The second leg of the voyage will see Picton Castle make a loop around the coastline of the Caribbean Sea, visiting Bonaire, Colombia, Panama and Cuba before sailing to the Bahamas and back to Bermuda at the end of May 2017. No sailing experience is necessary to join this voyage (those with experience are equally welcome).

That puts us in the perfect place to meet up with an international fleet of majestic tall ships on the Rendezvous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta. We’ll sail in company, sometimes racing, from Bermuda to Boston to Quebec City, with a few other Canadian ports along the way. Quebec City will be the highlight of the Rendezvous because the event is in celebration of the 150th anniversary of Canadian confederation. Along with the organizers of the Regatta, we’re still working out some of the details of the itinerary for this voyage. We expect to be able to offer short voyage legs, about two or three weeks each, but dates and ports have not yet been confirmed. Please continue to keep an eye on the website for details. No experience is needed to sign aboard for this voyage. In the meantime, if you’re interested in joining us on the voyage and would like us to send you the itinerary when it’s ready, please send us an email at

We’re quite excited about our voyaging plans for the next year and a half. If any of our upcoming voyages pique your interest, drop us a line!

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Medical Officer Wanted

Are you a doctor who is curious about sailing a tall ship?

Picton Castle is seeking a medical officer for our upcoming Westward Bound Voyage. We like to have a medical doctor aboard for our voyages, especially when we’re making big ocean crossings. You should have some experience with emergency medicine, but we’ve had medical officers in the past with specialties ranging from heart surgery to obstetrics. What’s more important to us is your resourcefulness and willingness to work as part of the team.

There’s quite a bit of support for the medical officer. Picton Castle carries a full medical kit with a wide range of supplies. All of our professional crew are first aid trained. We subscribe to a service ashore that is staffed by doctors with experience in remote medicine who can offer consultation and assistance.

As medical officer, you essentially participate in life aboard as a trainee crew member until we need to call on your medical expertise. You’re able to participate in watches, take your turn at the helm, help with setting and taking in sails, and be involved in the daily life of the ship in the same way trainees are. In exchange for your medical expertise, we waive the trainee fee for you.

The Westward Bound voyage begins in Fiji this July and we’re currently seeking medical officers for all legs of the voyage as follows:

Leg 1 – July 1, 2014 to October 1, 2014 – Fiji to Bali
Leg 2 – October 1, 2014 to January 3, 2015 – Bali to Cape Town
Leg 3 – January 3, 2015 to March 20, 2015 – Cape Town to Cape Verde
Leg 4 – March 20, 2015 to May 21, 2015 – Cape Verde to Savannah, USA

If you’re not a doctor but you know a doctor who may be interested, please pass this opportunity along to them.

For more information, contact voyage coordinator Maggie Ostler by email at or by phone at +1 902 634 9984.

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Seeking Ship’s Doctor, Mate and Lead Seaman

Aboard the Picton Castle, new trainees and crew are settling in and getting oriented to their new surroundings. The ship is currently alongside the wharf at Avatiu Harbour on the island of Rarotonga in the Cook Islands. We’re spending a few days in port between Leg 1 and Leg 2 of the Aloha Polynesia Voyage in port in order to refresh provisions, take on more cargo, and do a trainee changeover. There are, of course, some trainees who have signed on for the whole Aloha Polynesia Voyage, so they’re part of the regular routine of watchkeeping and ship’s maintenance that happens even while Picton Castle is in port. We’ve said goodbye to some trainees and hello to others who are quickly finding their way around and joining in with standing watches and learning the ship.

Meanwhile, in our office in Lunenburg, we’re looking ahead to the South Seas Voyage which begins in Rarotonga on August 19th. Berths are still available for trainees. No experience is necessary to sail with us as a trainee, just a good level of physical fitness and a desire to be a full participant in sailing the ship.

There is a berth available for a ship’s medical officer for the South Seas Voyage. This is an ideal position for a medical doctor who wants to sail a square rigger. The medical officer essentially functions as a trainee, fully involved in the life of the ship and sailing her, until we need to call on his or her medical expertise. Picton Castle carries a fully stocked medical kit, and we have back-up resources available ashore to consult and assist as necessary. The position could be filled by one doctor for the full duration of the voyage, or it could be divided amongst a number of doctors. If you’re interested, please get in touch with voyage coordinator Maggie Ostler at

Applications are also being accepted for two professional crew positions. All professional crew must have, at a minimum, STCW Basic Safety Training. We’re looking for a mate, who will function as a watch officer and will be instrumental in delivering our sail training program. Mate applicants must have a license that is suitable for our 284 gross ton ocean-going sail training ship. We’re also looking for a lead seaman, who will assist the officer of the watch and lead and instruct the trainees on their watch. We prefer to hire lead seamen with their AB (USA), Bridge Watch Rating (Canada) or their national equivalent. Applicants of all nationalities are welcome. To apply, please send your resume and a cover letter that tells us more about you, your experience and your motivation for wanting to work aboard Picton Castle to voyage coordinator Maggie Ostler at

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Legs 3 & 4

“It feels like I belong here, like this is home” one of our gang aboard said the other day. Over the past three months, the crew have come to know the ship and each other well, increasingly becoming more than friends or coworkers as we all depend on each other and on the ship to carry us safely on our voyage. There is a word that describes this relationship-shipmates. To be considered a good shipmate is the highest praise for a mariner.

Picton Castle’s deep-sea voyages provide an adventurous seafaring opportunity that is rare and difficult to obtain by any other means. By being a crew member, you are very much an integral part of sailing the ship from port to port. Arriving somewhere having sailed there, having earned your way there, is much different than stepping off an airplane. Long deep ocean passages give you the chance to learn and practice seamanship skills, while short island-hopping passages test your snappy sail handling and ship handling skills. Add in visits to exotic ports and remote islands and a group of people from very different backgrounds who share a common love of their ship, and the result is a truly unique experience.

Crew members work hard and require a certain level of physical fitness in order to haul on lines, climb ladders and walk around a moving deck. While you have your own bunk, it will be in a compartment with a number of other bunks, so you must be able to get along well with other people. And most importantly, you have to make the commitment that other crew members before you have made, to always think of what is best for the ship and to act accordingly. Sailing aboard our beautiful barque is not for everyone but, for those who sign on, it can enrich your life.

All crew spaces on Leg 1 and Leg 2 of this voyage are full, but a few spaces will become available for Legs 3 and 4. Maybe you’ve been following along with the ship’s journeys from your home-now is your chance to step aboard and experience life as a square-rig sailor.

Begin your adventure by joining the ship in exotic Bali in November, then head out to sea for a long tradewind passage across the Indian Ocean. On this passage you will learn the names and functions of all 205 lines of running rigging that come down to deck, learn to steer the ship and keep lookout, and become familiar with the sails, parts of the ship and how things work. Put in at the French island of Reunion and explore this strikingly scenic volcanic isle. We also are looking into putting in to Madagascar and Mozambique. Set sail again for Cape Town, flying around the Cape of Good Hope with the strength of the Agulhas current. Take in South Africa, with off-duty pursuits ranging from shark cage diving to visiting vast game preserves to wine tasting. After a stay at Namibia we will have some of the most consistently perfect trade-wind sailing weather of the whole voyage crossing the South Atlantic, interrupted only for a brief stop at the remote island of St. Helena, site of Napoleon’s final exile. Carry on to Grenada and island-hop through the enchanting Lesser Antilles of the Eastern Caribbean, getting lots of practice with anchoring, sail manoeuvres and small boat handling. Ashore, enjoy local music – reggae, calypso, soca and steel pan- snorkelling, markets and much more. Then sail north next June, pausing at Bermuda, through the North Atlantic to Lunenburg to complete the voyage.

With a full 7 months of certified time at sea, you’ll be eligible to qualify for a first professional seafarer’s certification in most countries. Even if you don’t plan to go to sea again, you’ll find that the skills you’ve developed on board -resourcefulness, teamwork, responsibility-will serve you well. Your shipmates will become lifelong friends and you’ll have a trove of adventure stories to one day tell your grandkids. If the full 7 months is too long, consider joining for either Leg 3 (Bali to Cape Town) or Leg 4 (Cape Town to Lunenburg).

Think you have what it takes to be a good shipmate? Check out additional information on World Voyage 5 or contact our office for more details.

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Getting Close to Pitcairn Island!

With only 375 miles to go for the Picton Castle to reach Pitcairn Island – we are all getting pretty excited!!! In order to look after the ship whether she is anchored or hove-to offshore and also not to put too many of our crew on the island at once (and thus not overwhelming island resources) our gang will go ashore half at a time. Dr. Gary will go ashore for the whole time so as to see if he can be helpful on the medical/dental front – as long as the weather holds we will do 48 hour shifts on the ship and the island, then we’ll do a crew
turnaround with one of the big powerful island launches. The crew have been coming up with, practising and rehearsing their acts for two island concerts, sort of ‘command performances’, a variety of acts for all hands, Picton Castle and Pitcairner, song and dance, mime, guitar, violin, comedy, we’ll see how bad it is. Of course, first we have to unload all the lawn-mowers, lumber, food and turtles (who have been growing by the way and as of today they are all alive and frisky)

Today is sweet and sunny with lighter winds than before but we are still sailing along nicely with stunsles set, counting the miles down we are…

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From Panama the Picton Castle had mostly headwinds and we thus motored plenty more than we would have liked – must have been due to all the pollywogs aboard, now thankfully all gone – we did manage to sail across the Equator under full sail anyway.

Being in the Galapagos is a multileveled treat. First, we are in the “Enchanted Isles”, legendary islands of the Equator and Darwin, that’s pretty good; then being in Galapagos puts us at the jumping off point for a classic trade wind passage. At the edge of the South Pacific Ocean the delightful South East trade winds will draw us along for many thousands of miles to come.

But back to Galapagos. In addition to wandering among the many natural wonders for which these islands are so justly famous, our port, Baquerizo Moreno (aka-Wreck Bay), is also simply a delightful small, friendly and accommodating Latin American, Ecuadorian seaport town. Here we found lovely little hole-in-the-wall eateries, a remarkably well stocked hardware store, excellent inexpensive laundries, fruterias and pensiones for staying ashore – and any number of friendly guides and helpers willing to help us or show us around.

Of course, there are sea lions everywhere. I really mean ‘everywhere’. This is their town. They nap on the pier, or in your skiff, or anywhere else they have a mind to but they are just as likely to wander a bit into town if they find a reason. And marine iguanas have free reign of the rocks along the shore. If you get too close in their opinion, maybe 5 feet, they amble a bit away. Inland and in other bays and coves we found turtles to swim with, whales, big land tortoises and all that National Geographic stuff you would expect. We could shop for fresh provisions, top up our fuel and pick up last minute items for
Pitcairn as well. All in all, a very satisfying visit to the “Las Islas Encantadas”.

Each crew member had two days off and one day on duty, as we have done in every port. The on duty watches were busy with bending on more sail – we now have a flying jib, main t’gallant stays’l
and mizzen stays’l. We expect that these new sails will add some speed to our upcoming trade wind passage.

During their time off duty, the crew have been exploring San Cristobal and discovered for themselves the reasons these islands are famous – sea turtles, frigate birds, marine iguanas, giant tortoises, blue footed boobies and sea lions. The crew have toured the island by bike, scooter and truck taxi, going diving, snorkelling and surfing. One of the more interesting spots some of our crew found was a farm where we bought bamboo -they also grow all kinds of fruit (we provisioned the ship there for fruit) and are the official supplier of food to the Galapagos tortoise breeding sanctuary.

rsz lauren checks out a papaya in galapagos - copy

rsz loading fruit and bamboo aboard the ship in galapagos - copy

rsz lunchtime for tortoises in galapagos

rsz sea lions seek shade in leonards shadow

rsz skiff loading at the wharf behind sleeping sea lions

View the the rest of this Album

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42-42 / 65-03 May 12, 2010

By Captain Daniel D. Moreland

Just before dawn the sky was light in the NE with a tiny fingernail moon against a clear starry sky tugging the sun up to the horizon – breeze making up from the NW so looks like we will shut down the ME and get some sail on her, seas small. Sailed all day we did and took in sail again when it got very light – good drill for the gang anyway – now, all our weather information encourages us to slow down and let this low pass below us – then we can take advantage the fresh northerly and NWly winds on its trailing side – seas are smooth just now – this can change – this will change – change is the constant. So we have stopped and we will wait – Lunch was cream of mushroom soup and tuna melt sandwiches on home-made bread – dinner remains to be seen – just checked – dinner is roast pork, roast potatoes, broccoli, green salad and chocolate cake – not too bad – water temperature has gone up about 5 degrees C since early morning. This is good.

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Engineer Wanted

Picton Castle is looking for an Engineer for our Summer Voyage 2009. The Engineer is responsible for keeping all of the machinery and equipment in the engine room running smoothly, including our 690hp Burmeister & Wain Alpha diesel engine. We also have two Lister generators, a Sabb generator, a bank of gel batteries and a Great Water water maker that turns salt water into fresh water.

This position runs from early June until early September. For more information, or to apply, contact our office in Lunenburg.

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