Beautiful sunny day as our ship motors through glass top still waters. As we inch our way closer and closer to Rarotonga, crew members who are sadly departing us are slowly packing their personal belongings and thinking ahead to their lives outside of our 180′ barque. It’s a very strange feeling that we will be saying goodbye to a handful of crewmates that have now become like family. Greet each other every morning, witness each other’s ups and downs and in the end we’re the few people on this planet that have shared this experience together.
This morning the main mast fife rail was stripped of its lines and pins in order to scrape and sand the wood and the intricate carvings, to then be varnished. The riggers have more serving work to do. Taking over the starboard side of the galley house the rigging team has foot ropes stretched out in order to apply the servings and tar. Serving is the art of very tightly wrapping greasy tarry hemp marline around the wire to protect it from the outside elements. Our sailmaking team stitch away vigorously on a spare outer jib. For all 20 sails we have at least one or two replacements for each sail, some are considered a light wind sail and others are for heavy wind sailing.
Another lovely day aboard the Picton Castle, it’s hard to believe it’s winter here in the South Pacific, yet our daylight isn’t all that long. As we head more westerly the mornings are darker and the evenings are remaining lighter later. When you’re sailing, it’s up to your captain as to when you want to change your ship’s clocks. During long passages, we often change the ships clocks up to 3-4 times. Although there’s an extra hour, the crew do not get a rest, when we’re underway there’s always a watch on duty which consists of a mate, lead seaman and a number of crew members, on deck for four hours. When we change the clocks each watch stands an extra 20 minutes through the night, and by the time it’s morning all of the clocks are reset.
From: Mangareva, French Polynesia
Towards: Rarotonga, Cook Islands
Date: August 16th, 2018
Noon Position: 20°42.5’S x 154°50.7′ W
Course + Speed: WxS + 7 knots
Wind direction + Force: Calm
Swell Height + Direction: 1m + SW
Weather: Bright, sunny
Day’s Run: 169.5nm
Passage Log: 170.7nm
Distance to Port: 277nm
Sails Set: None, motoring