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Westward Bound

A Month At Sea

By Amy Barlow, Lead Seaman To explain a month ocean passage to a non-sailor is pretty tough. Daily life is keeping the ship running, looking after her so she looks after you. Relying on your fellow shipmates to take care of things on deck while you sleep. knowing it will be your turn soon. Being […]

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Westward Bound

Morning 4 to 8 Watch, Approaching the Equator

Studdingsail Tradewind Dawn We came up on the quarterdeck this morning for watch at 0400 to find the ship sailing along easily under studding sails on a big moon, shimmering sea night. A warm easterly trade wind was blowing softly over the starboard quarter. Yards are braced ahead from square a point or so. The […]

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Day's Run Westward Bound

Day’s Run – March 9, 2015

Saw a big mahi mahi jump several feet out of the water today, just off the port beam – it looked like it was being chased by dolphins. Nothing on the fishing lines though, maybe we’re not going fast enough to be tempting. We seem to be past the worst of the squalls now, and […]

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Day's Run Westward Bound

Day’s Run – March 8, 2015

Sunday at sea. More squalls, alternating beautiful sunshine and heavy, soaked-to-the-underwear showers. Amy and Turi organised a games afternoon in the salon before supper with popcorn – pictionary, backgammon and a very silly pirate card game were the most popular. SHIPS WORK: No ship’s work today, but lots of sail handling and bracing for the […]

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Day's Run Westward Bound

Day’s Run – March 7, 2015

Sunshine and squalls all day today. Heavy, tropical rain in the squalls – enough for a fresh-water shampoo and rinse, but more importantly some of the squalls bring wind shifts and gusts – the crew need to be snappy at taking in the light-air sails, and bracing around while the helmsman bears away to keep […]

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Day's Run Westward Bound

Day’s Run – March 6, 2015

Another fine day of trade wind sailing. A sea bird came to hang out on the aloha deck rail today – from the bird book I think was a noddy. And a very happy birthday to Mark B, who celebrated his 50th onboard today – Elvira made a great cake for the occasion. SHIPS WORK: […]

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Day's Run Westward Bound

Day’s Run – March 5, 2015

Perfect weather so the Captain held a dinner last night for a handful of invited crew – it’s nice to get dressed up and eat at a table once in a while. Donald made a wonderful supper of steak, wedges, coleslaw and broccoli. SHIPS WORK: Fairing royal yard and attaching the hardware today. Varnish on […]

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Westward Bound

St Helena, Part Two

Ann’s Place The Picton Castle crew always find a meeting place in every port we sail into. Ann’s Place is a sweet cafĂ© set deep into a lovely park near the waterfront under tall shade trees with cats sleeping lazily in the sun and birds chattering away high above. It was closed on Sunday but […]

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Day's Run Westward Bound

Day’s Run – February 14, 2015

Happy St. Valentine’s Day! We’re expecting to make St Helena tomorrow morning, so we had an impromptu Valentine’s marlinspike party this evening since we’ll be in port tomorrow night. We retarded the clocks last night to Greenwich Mean Time. A clear night and almost no swell made for a great evening for star sights tonight […]

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Westward Bound

Caribbean Bound

We understand aboard the Picton Castle here in Namibia, southern Africa, that there have been some serious proper winter going on in North America. Seems that there has been a big old winter storm in New England and Ontario that went on to Nova Scotia – even made the news here on the radio in […]