Captain's Log

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Day’s Run – 4 July 2019


0800 Pilot boards

1200 heave to off Buffalo

1330 set sails

1500 Parade of sail commences

1615 enter south breakwall, all sails now set except Flying Jib and Royals.

1725 parade ends, so we take in sail

1750 docked with pushboat assistance, port side-to, one gangway out

1755 pilot departs

Launch boats, stow kites, second gangway, rig lights

2030 off-watch stood down. Stand into dock and security watches

Captain’s Comments: The parade of sail into Buffalo today was quite the sight, and the day finished with some amazing 4th of July fireworks.  The crew is ready and excited to meet the people of Buffalo and to be a part of their first tall ship festival ever – what an honour!

Position: Alongside Riverwalk Buffalo New York

Weather: Hot and muggy, partly cloudy and calm

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Day’s Run – 3 July 2019

Ship’s work:

Downrig canal fenders

Square yards

Brace bumpkins & davits

Some spot painting


Safety aloft and up & overs

Fire, Man Overboard & Abandon ship drills.

Walk- through of station bill.

Captain’s Notes: All new hands finally had a formal “meet the Captain” (it’s been a busy few days!).

Bluenose II, St Lawrence II and Denis Sullivan joined us at our anchorage. Pride of Baltimore II and U.S. Brig Niagara are approaching Lock 8. I have a hunch they could turn up here, too. That would make for quite a picture. Empire Sandy, HMCS Oriole & Santa Maria in the first third of the canal.

Position: Anchored Port Colborne

Weather: Light Southwesterly winds, partly cloudy and hot. Distant thunderstorms.

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Day’s Run – 2 July 2019

A very early start to the day indeed, with the pilot arriving at 3:30 (yes – 3:30 a.m.). We departed our berth at Toronto for Port Weller at 0408 and at 1230 we entered the locks – here is the ship’s time log of our passage through the locks:

1230: Enter Lock 1. 1305 exit.

1329: Enter Lock 2. 1403 exit.

1451: Enter Lock 3. 1530 exit.

1605: Enter Lock 4. 1657 exit.

1659: Enter Lock 5. 1740 exit.

1742: Enter Lock 6. 1820 exit.

1840: Enter Lock 7. Pilot exchange. 1923 depart.

2223: Enter Lock 8. Walk-through. 2241 exit.

2310: Exit Welland Canal. 

0017 03 July 2019, anchored in 50 feet.

Captains’ Comments: It was a very long day with little opportunity to rest. Tomorrow we will do light work until lunch (undo canal prep and some spot painting), then spend the afternoon with training.  We will have fun, as the next day is set to be another marathon day.

Position: 42 deg 51 min N / 79 deg 10 min W, Nickel Beach, Port Colborne.

Weather: Overcast and misty. Still. Forecast for light to moderate Southwesterly winds and late showers.

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Day’s Run – 1 July 2019


The final day of Redpath Waterfront Festival Toronto, and there was a steady flow of people all day. The busiest day of the festival. 1800 we closed gangway and successfully completed our first Festival of 2019. Being a part of the Redpath Waterfront Festival in Toronto was a fantastic experience – what a way to start the summer voyage. The entire festival was a success – the events, the organizers, our liaison officers – to everyone we encountered including the public – a massive thank you from the crew aboard Picton Castle.

Captain’s Comments: All new trainees have joined as of 1700, and the pilot is firmly booked for 0400 tomorrow morning. Will hoist the boats this evening. We will need to ready ourselves again for entry into the Welland Canal and make our way through the next set of locks.

Position: Berth 283, Toronto

Weather: Partly cloudy, dry and warm with light and variable winds. Forecast steady.

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Day’s Run – 29 June, 2019

Day 1 of the event in Toronto – the Redpath Waterfront Festival Toronto.

Ship’s work:  Dry sails, Launch both boats, Set up second gangway.

Prepare ship to open to public: Put up signage for visitors, rope barriers across areas where the public is not permitted, crew briefing on what to expect at the first tall ship event of the summer!

Captain’s Comments: All is well, with a moderate flow of visitors across the deck. Several Picton Castle alumni came visiting, and it is always a pleasure to have them come.

Position: Alongside berth 283, Toronto.

Weather: Hot and humid, mostly sunny with light winds. Forecast more of same.

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Day’s Run – 27 June, 2019

The time log of our passage through the locks of the Saint Lawrence Seaway continues:

0100 in Snell Lock

0120 Pilot exchange

0135 clear Snell

0220 in Eisenhower Lock

0238 clear Eisenhower

0620 in Eisenhower Lock

0630 Pilot exchange

0650 clear Eisenhower

1445 alongside Clayton, New York, USA

1605 depart Clayton for Toronto

1805 Pilot exchange

Ship’s work: Remember all the work we had to do to prepare the ship to enter the Canal (yards, davits, etc)? Today’s work was to undo all of that work.

Notes from the Captain: Pilot Steve said his time piloting on Picton Castle was “the best thing I have done this year”. Fell in love with our ship cat Fiji (who wouldn’t!).  Nothing feels quite so good as showing Picton Castle to someone so enthusiastic. It is invigorating. Expect calm passage across Lake Ontario.

Position: 1kt South of Point Alexandria, Lake Ontario

Speed: 7 kts

Weather: Sunny with cool Southwesterly breeze F3. Forecast for decreasing winds overnight, filling in again during the day tomorrow.

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Day’s Run – 26 June, 2019

Today was the day we travelled through the locks of the St Lawrence Seaway. This is the time log from the ship, to give you an idea of the time is takes a square rigged barque to travel through the locks.

0830 Heave up port anchor

0900 heave short starboard anchor

0910 Pilot boards, 0920 under way.

1000 enter Lock 1

1030 pilots change 

1045 clear Lock 1

1305 clear Lock 2

1645 clear Lock 3

1720 Pilots change in Lock 4

1735 clear Lock 4

ETA Lock 5 0030

Notes from Captain: All good aboard. Took some video footage between locks 3 and 4, and into lock 4 taken by trainee Jim Lawson.

Position: Transiting Canal de Beauharnois, up from the Upper Beauharnois Lock.

Speed 7kts

Weather: Partly cloudy & warm. Cloud building. Forecast Thunderstorm with heavy gusts in the evening.

Wind: SW F3

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Day’s Run – 25 June 2019

0530 There was a delay with the pilot and Picton Castle was put in the queue. Asked to call again in the evening for an update.

1625 called GLPA for update. Prospect is for 1045 tomorrow morning at St Lambert.

Ship’s work:

Some of the wood on the stairs needed some oiling.

Install new bunk lights in aft cabins.

Training & Workshops:

Workshop: more knots training.

Workshop: Names of parts of ship & rigging

Dustin & Kimba (two trainees for the World Voyage who have stayed with us for the summer voyage) underwent engine room training. They can now start both generators and all pumps, know how to charge air tanks.

Conducted Security drill: stowaway search. Fun and informative.

Notes from the Captain: Gang is in good spirits, pulling together as a crew very nicely. They are looking forward to the festival in Toronto. The professional crew are performing well: Cheerful, lead from the front.

Position: Anchored Longueil, 45 32 N / 73 31.5 W, both anchors down           

Wind: SW F3

Weather: Rain all day, clearing late afternoon

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Day’s Run – 24 June 2019

1345 Seaway inspectors Lauzon and Wood board. Boat transfer through Longueuil Club Nautique and the captain gave the boat’s a new Picton Castle truckers cap to say thanks.

1445 Seaway inspectors depart, inspection successfully passed.

1500 Ordered pilots for 0530 departure tomorrow and 0700 St Lambert GLPA. Linesmen for lock arranged.

Ship’s work:

Lots more painting!

Repair bow of semi dory, lashed in larger bow pudding

Finish whipping “handlines” for seaway


Splicing workshop; eye splice east coast & west coast taper

Security awareness workshop in preparation to Transport Canada inspection.

Commence safety aloft training

Notes from the Captain: Crew in good spirits.

Position: Anchored Longueuil, 45 32 N / 73 31.5 W, both anchors down

Winds: Light Northerly

Weather: Sunny and warm, high cloud moving in

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Day’s Run – 23 June 2019

An early start expected tomorrow morning 0340 for 0400 pilot & heave up both anchors as the Harbour pilot is confirmed for 0400 and will remain aboard during inspection & until inside the lock.

Captain Lorenzen has been in frequent contact with Captain Miles of the Pride of Baltimore II, and also with Captain Watson of Bluenose II.   Ships, including tall ships and foreign flagged ships, entering the St Lawrence Seaway are required to undergo an inspection by Transport Canada or the US Coastguard and to save some time all three ships will meet up at the anchorage for their inspection together.

HMCS Oriole passed us late this morning. Nao Santa Maria was alongside an industrial dock when we came in but has since entered the Seaway.

Position: Anchored Longueil, 45 32 N / 73 31.5 W, both anchors down

Wind: Westerly F5, gusting strong; forecast to veer NW in evening & ease tonight before tending Northerly, light in early AM.

Weather: Mostly sunny; warm and dry

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