It has been a long winter for Picton Castle alongside. She longs for her crew. Crew in this and any ship are the life-blood of a ship. With isolation restrictions now easing in Nova Scotia (no cases in western Nova Scotia in some time) allowing for groups of 10 to gather, the Captain and Maggie organized an afternoon of spring cleaning yesterday, to give the ship some love and attention.
It was another beautiful day on the Lunenburg waterfront when we gathered midships for a muster. The ship needed a breath of fresh air, and so the first task of the day was to open all of the hatches, portholes, and watertight doors on the ship – to bring in the light, and the breeze. Air her out good and proper.
There is much to do in de-wintering our ship. Plenty. For the afternoon we got started and focused on cleaning the salon, the foc’sle, the forward cabin, and the carpenter’s workshop up under the foc’sle head. We removed curtains, sheets, blankets, miscellaneous items left behind, harnesses, foul weather gear and organized them for overhaul, inspection, and laundry.
Then we split into smaller groups and we scrubbed, swept, and mopped our designated areas. It felt good to care for the ship, as she has cared for so many of us over the years, over the voyages, over the oceans and seas. It felt good to be together again as well. We reminisced about voyages past as we sorted through bunks, good memories came flooding back with smells, familiar spaces, and the finding of lost treasures. And, yes, there was eau de mildew as well. Nothing we didn’t expect after a cold clammy winter though.
Now the main salon is clean and fresh, as is the foc’sle. Next are other areas below: the ‘batcave’, forepeak, cabins, cargo hold and engine room. And more on deck.
Some of those that came to help out had never sailed on the Picton Castle, but they had been involved with other ships or maritime programs – and were eager, helpful, capable hands to have aboard for the day, and we welcome them back anytime.
As the spring (we call it “Juneuary” around here, it’s cool) slowly turns to summer, we will continue to organize workdays on the ship, getting her ready for the time when crew can return to fill her with consistent laughter, comradery, and hard work and of course, setting sail and heading out to sea where the Picton Castle belongs.
Thank you to Ellie, Marley, Olivier (Ollie), Dustin, Annie, Danielle, Tammy, and of course Dawson, for all of your good work!