The last day of October and we’re sailing northwesterly into November. This morning, half sleepy-eyed and messy-haired, shipmates gathered on the aloha deck, sipping their morning coffee as the sun shone brightly on their backs. The port side fishing line became taut and Abbey, of North Carolina, jumped up with excitement and began hauling in the line. Fish on! And it’s not even 0730. She hauled the fish in and Braham, of Texas, gaffed the wahoo and together they lifted the fish onto deck. All before breakfast was served!
Being nearly a week out at sea, we’re plowing through our to do lists. Rigger Abbey works on end for ending the monomoy’s boat falls. The boat falls are the two tackles that are hooked to the boat, one at the bow, one at the stern to haul it up into the davits. End for ending the lines essentially means switching the ends of the lines, as one end is attached to a shackle that then immediately follows through a three-part block, attaches to the davit and runs down to deck. Abbey is switching the end that is attached to the shackle with the bitter end that is hauled on to hoist the boat. By doing so, this distributes the wear and tear of the line.
Dustin, of Nova Scotia, works on the foc’sle head, replacing the fish tackle’s chafe gear that has completely worn away where it rests on the forward pin rail. The sailmakers, John and Kirsten, along with helpers, Kimba, John-Boy and Annie, stitch away at the new spanker cloths and sew grommets into the new main topmast staysail. Whilst members of the on-duty watch paint the bottle screws on the mainmast rigging, Colin scrapes the old varnish off of the starboard forward pin rail that secures the sheets for the head rig.
On today’s notice board it has been announced that next week, weather permitting, we will have a farewell to the South Pacific celebration! The South Pacific is held dear to the hearts of Picton Castle crew. After sailing this ocean, experiencing the islands first hand and meeting the beautiful people, Picton Castle itself begins to make more sense. Our ship has many ancestors that embody her, and the South Pacific is a big part of what makes the ship what she is. We will miss the pleasant crystal blue seas, the food; breadfruit and fresh coconuts, her gentle winds and the people who’ve we’ve been so immensely lucky to have met. Thank you South Pacific, let’s enjoy the last few days together.
Date: Wednesday, October 31, 2018
Noon Position: 14°40.6′ S x 157°18.6′ E
Course + Speed: NW + 5.3 kts
Wind direction + Force: ESE + 4
Swell Height + Direction: 2m + ESE
Weather: Sunny, hot
Day’s Run: 125 nm
Passage Log: 127.2 nm
Distance to Port: 855 nm
Voyage: 10960.9 nm
Sails Set: All square sails, flying jib, main topmast stays’l, mizzen topmast stays’l