This morning the sun shone through the light wispy clouds, adding pinks and yellows to the horizon. The 4-8 watch got out the scrapers and putty knives and started the workday early by scraping the excess putty that was left over from the installation of the new deck planks on the quarterdeck. Sailing along with all square sails and headsails set, the order came to fire up the main engine. It takes roughly 20 minutes for the old gal to be ready to engage. The call to take in and stow royals was called, crew members scurried to the halyards, gear, sheets and braces, and two crew members scampered up the foremast and mainmast to stow and gasket the sail. To take in the royal one must lower the halyard under control, after which crew members will cast off the sheets and haul on the gear in order to bring the sail up to its yard, somewhat like pulling on window blinds to bring them up.
Once the engine was engaged, we motor sailed through the Torres Strait, the channel running north of Australia and south of Papua New Guinea, the same channel Bligh of the Bounty either sailed or rowed his rescue boat crew through. As we plowed through the strait at 7 knots, the workday began with setting up the main deck awning to allow for more shade. The starboard fore bottle screws were given a healthy rust bust. The forward pin rails located on the foc’sl head received a coat of varnish, the turnbuckles were rust busted, primed and top coated. Our ladder leading to the monkey deck, the deck above the charthouse, was painted with its first layer of top coat. The riggers finished the main upper topsail foot rope chafe gear and overhauled it, ie tarred and oiled it. The fore royal halyard was served, to save climbers from its meathooks. “Meathooks” is a term used when a small piece of wire juts out from the rigging and can often cut people, never enough to do serious damage, only ever a small cut that results in the use of few frustrated words. Lastly, the plank on the quarterdeck was completed! A successful Thursday on the Picton Castle.
Date: Thursday, November 8, 2018
Noon Position: 09°38.1′ S – 143°19.4′ E
Course + Speed: SW 1/2 S + 5 kts
Wind direction + Force: SE + 3
Swell Height + Direction: 4m + E
Weather: hot, sunny, ozoneless
Day’s Run: 109.0 nm
Passage Log: 120.3 nm
Distance to Port: 1710 nm (to Bali)
Voyage: 11951.1 nm
Sails Set: Upper tops’ls, lower tops’ls, course, main topmast stays’l, outer jib