Back-To-Back Transatlantics Voyage 2016

Day’s Run – 21 May, 2016

This day came in with a solid breeze a little to the north of west and after having been shortened down for the night we set more sail in the morning watch.

But before setting sails we did some training with the on deck watch and the daymen in the morning. PICTON CASTLE has a standard type of worm screw steering gear, of a type that was common on almost every ship by the end of the 19th century. Our particular steering gear is sized for a ship larger than this one and as such is very stout. As prudent seamanship dictates, we have a backup steering system and this is what we drilled the watch in this morning. Without using the rudder they had to get the ship hove-to (stopped using just the sails) and then rig up a metal tiller to the rudder post on the aft deck with tackles running outboard to control it.  Drill went well and the crew had the emergency tiller rigged up in no time. After this we downrigged all of the gear and gave it a good greasing so it would be well ready in the very unlikely event that we need it.

Another great sailing day has presented itself and again a good number of the crew came up in their off-watch to work about the deck and rigging. The sail makers have finished some patch work on our old Flying Jib and a gang have sent it out into the headrig for bending.  In the afternoon all hands were called for a ship manoeuvring workshop.  The goal of getting proficient at the evolution of wearing ship (turning the ship’s stern through the wind). The crew did the evolution a few times with all hands and then broke in to watches to have a little competition of which watch could get the ship turned around the fastest.  All three watches came out just about the same with the 4 – 8 watch squeaking out just a little faster.  After the workshop we put the ship back on course for Cape Finisterre.

We are expecting the wind to get light over the coming night, but we can’t complain, it’s been good sailing and we are still making a very good passage toward France.

Example of a dutchman
Example of a dutchman

SHIP’S WORK: Coatings in the forward head – reinstall sink, coatings on focs’le head hand rails, replace port Main Royal brace, bend Flying Jib, dutchman in galley house side, sand smooth windlass friction wheels and grease windlass, grease rigging screws in headrig.

FROM: Lunenburg, NS, Canada

TOWARDS: La Rochelle, France


NOON POSITION: 43°34.6’N / 019°50.7’W

DAYS RUN: 131nm




WIND: WNW, Force 5

WEATHER: Light cloud cover, air temp: 18°C, water temp: 15°C

SWELL HEIGHT & DIRECTION: 4 to 6 ft, W’rly

SAILS SET: All square sail to the Royals, Inner & Outer jibs, Main & Mizzen Topmast Staysails, Mizzen Staysail, and Spanker