Sou-easter – update from Lunenburg

Spring in Lunenburg…

Hunkered down in a darkening dusk here in Lunenburg in late spring a few days ago. Outside it was howling holy hooly, with rain smattering on the window tikity-tack, over my shoulder and battering at the shingles. Another South East gale.

Yep. Its spring. Or so it’s what we call spring, hereabouts. Really it’s a long dragged out tail end of a North Atlantic winter. A SE living gale outside and offshore – blowing hard, wet and cold out off the ocean with breaking seas down on the harbour to match. Daffodils will have to wait.

The wharf and or corner of the waterfront is getting made over into a corner of circa 1830 Halifax for a TV production of about to be filmed. Iron Bound Rigging Loft and marine services is going full tilt on our second floor above the “Chandlery” at our warehouse on our Bluenose drive side.  Lots of work in town with the TV shoot. Things coming together to sail in the fall on a year and half voyage. An “Old school” deepwater voyage if there ever was one.

Bosun School Sailmaking session went well. First time for a dedicated sailmaking only session. A good pilot program. And the gang learned a good deal; lots of repair tricks and made a decent gaff sail start to finish. And one of our students got a summer job at an area sail loft. I am pleased with that. And we have a fine Summer 2022 Bosun School session coming up – and we have found some major financial support to make it all very accessible too.

Dawson is looking at 10 years in August. He is full of beans. And he is quite keen on sailing this fall. As is Tammy. I could not do this without their willing support and endorsement. They are both keen on getting back aboard, I am too. It is pretty grand to have a classic age of sail square-rigged barque to sail the tradewinds through the tropics. Not bad at all.

Yes, we have been without tradewinds and swaying palms for far too long at this point. Longer that I can recall since first going to sea in schooners in the West Indies in 1972.

I can hear it howl outside still.

Picton Castle at her wharf, in a SE gale, heaving to the seas and straining at her anchor. Out of sight on her starboard side is the wooden wharf. Breaking swell in the harbour. The starboard anchor of 1,500 pounds and 300 feet of heavy chain doing all the hard work making for a light touch on the old pier. She has been tied up since she sailed in autumn 2019. Raring to set off again she is, it seems. And she will after a little loving up. Captain Henry Kohler told me to moor the ship this way when laid up. So moored part nary a hawser this way. Lunenburg shipmaster Kohler sailed the three-master research vessel VEMA over one million miles all over the world on his voyages of oceanographic research. No one compares. One the very greatest shipmasters of the 20th century. And maybe throw in the 19th as well. I was proud to meet him.