Picton Castle sails along steadily between 6.5 and 7 knots. As we surf the 12-foot seas towards Palmerston Atoll, another one of the Cook Islands, our minds are still on Rarotonga, having sailed from Avatiu yesterday morning. Our time in Raro was well spent. Crew members enjoyed days at the beach, hikes inland, eventful island nights full of delicious food, dancers and talented musicians. Days off and on the ship were not wasted. The on-duty watches were busy maintaining the ship’s upkeep as well as hosting various visitors. Not too often during the world voyage is the ship alongside, and on top of that we were docked where the ship is well known from previous visits. Sharing our ship, our home for the next 10 months with curious citizens is a pleasure for us sailors. Three mornings we had school groups visit the ship. The school children are fantastic to show around, they’re extremely enthusiastic and want to know every detail about living aboard a ‘pirate ship’.
In Rarotonga we were happy to welcome 8 fresh new faces to our crew, hailing from all over the globe. During our time in Rarotonga the new trainee crew were able to get a lay of the land, get to know the layout of the ship, running safety drills, routine of the ship and do their up and overs (the first exercise aloft, done at their will, no one is made to climb the rigging). Today marks their first 24 hours at sea aboard a square rigger! They’re doing well. Once the ship is underway she becomes alive. She comfortably rolls with the seas but one has to become accustomed to her lifelike state. Veteran crew members recommend a wide stance, taking it slow and always one hand for you and one for the ship, i.e. always be holding on or have an available hand to grab onto the ship.
Ship’s work: Yesterday our new joiners had a workshop to go over the six knots we most commonly use on board, the protocol of hauling on a line, names of lines and boxing the compass. Today in the warm sun and cool air (at times it feels as though we’re sailing the Atlantic rather than the Pacific) on the quarterdeck sailmaker John stitches the canvas cloths of a new t’gallant, helping him this afternoon is chief mate Erin and second mate Dirk. The all-female rigging team, Vaiufia of Tonga and Anne-Laure of France, are busy prepping and making new ratlines. Later this afternoon the Captain is holding a muster to discuss our visit to Palmerston, where unbelievably we will arrive sometime tomorrow morning. Sadly it’s not enough time to decompress from the “big city” of Rarotonga. It’s hard to imagine that this is the start of Leg 2 for the voyage! These past four months went by way too fast. Good thing our slogan is “we may be slow but we get around!”
From: Rarotonga, Cook Islands
Towards: Palmerston Atoll, Cook Islands
Date: August 29, 2018
Noon Position: 19°27.9′ S x 161°30′ W
Course + Speed: NW 1/2 W + 7kts
Wind direction + Force: ESE + force 6
Swell Height + Direction: 5m + SE
Weather: bright, sunny
Day’s Run: 148 nm
Passage Log: Same
Distance to Port: 120 nm
Voyage: 8,380 nm
Sails Set: square sails up to t’gallants