If it has seemed a bit quiet around here in late December it’s for good reason, we took a bit of a break over the holidays. It’s a rare treat for our shore crew to be able to do that – when Picton Castle is on a voyage we’re all on standby, communicating from shore to ship daily and ready to respond to whatever needs the ship has at any time. At the moment, Picton Castle is securely tied to the wharf in Lunenburg and while we’re keeping an eye on her, there is no immediate, pressing work that needs to be done, so we’ve been able to enjoy a few days away from the office.
Ship’s cat Fiji has had a bit of a break from the ship too. She visited office manager Trudi’s house for a while (where Trudi lives with her husband, three children, and cat Aura). Then she spent some time at the Picton Castle office, attending the annual Christmas open house and mixing it up with our local friends who dropped by. Between Christmas and New Year’s she moved to my house where she’ll stay for a while in the coldest part of winter. I am quickly learning that I simply can’t provide the same amount of love and attention as an entire crew can, but I’ll do my best to keep this cute, well-traveled feline happy.
The holiday season always makes us think of others gone by. Celebrating Christmas at sea is a different experience. Each of our crew members have their own family traditions, and while there are some common elements, Christmas at sea in Picton Castle is all about making our own special day with our shipmates aboard. It usually involves preparing days in advance by baking cookies and pies on night watches in the galley, then putting up some sort of decorations around the deck or in the various living compartments, the setting up the little artificial tree on the cargo hatch amidships. On Christmas Day, crew members can put gifts they’ve purchased or made for each other under the tree. After a bit of social time in the afternoon the presents are distributed and opened, followed by a delicious dinner. And of course, no ship’s work aside from steering, lookout and sail handling as required.
The holiday season also makes us think of those who have sailed with us. Once you’re Picton Castle crew, you’re always Picton Castle crew! We are wishing all of our crew a very happy holiday season, and a year of adventures ahead in 2020.