Categories
Voyage to the South Pacific

Voyage to the South Pacific Update

Over the past weeks, we’ve been looking at our options in order to work out how to proceed with Picton Castle’s Voyage to the South Pacific.  With all of the various countries and ports having their own travel restrictions and requirements, we’ve been piecing together what the voyage should look like.  We have been in touch with other ships and, of course, our agents and contacts in many ports.  We obviously do not want to radically alter plans any more or more often than we have to.  Lots of pieces to fit together.

We’re keenly committed to making this amazing voyage and, of course, making it a successful and safe one too.  And where better to be in these times of uncertainty than sailing the tradewinds in a stout, age-of-sail square rigger, learning the ways of a ship, making great shipmates and putting into heavenly islands of the South Pacific?  This is what the Barque Picton Castle is all about.  However, there are a number of factors definitely out of our control at the moment.  There is always some flexibility required with the itinerary of any deep-sea voyaging sailing ship.  There could well be some extra flexibility required in these days under these new and challenging circumstances.

Right now we are planning on trainee crew members travel to Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, Canada to sign aboard Picton Castle on June 14, 2020.  For the first few weeks, they will take part in Picton Castle’s rigorous orientation program, getting used to how everything works aboard.  They’ll also go through safety training and drills, and help prepare the ship for the voyage.  Lunenburg is a fantastic place to start a voyage, steeped in maritime heritage, and our trainee crew will get to enjoy that while also getting out in small boats in Lunenburg harbour.  We have lots of sloops, skiffs, dories and schooners at our disposal.

We plan to set sail in early July, bound sound for the island of Grenada in the Caribbean.  We’ll be paying close attention to weather forecasts and choosing a good time to depart from Lunenburg, avoiding adverse weather on the way.  Once we are in the tropics well on our way towards Grenada, we’re pretty much set for tradewind sailing for the rest of the voyage.

From Grenada, we’ll head straight for Panama, hopefully stopping at the “gold port” of Portobelo before we transit the Panama Canal, then visit Panama City on the Pacific side.  Our first Pacific passage will be from Panama City to the Galapagos Islands, then on to Pitcairn Island, then the Marquesas, stopping at Nuku Hiva and Hiva Oa we figure.  Then it’s on to the Tuamotus, visiting Takaroa and other atolls as time permits.  Tahiti and the Society Islands are next, including Moorea, Huahine and Bora Bora.  The rest of the route unfolds as originally planned – Raivavae, Easter Island, Taboga, Las Perlas, Panama, Cartagena or a port nearby, the Yucatan, the Gulf of Mexico with Tall Ships, Bahamas, Bermuda, and returning to Lunenburg.

We typically divide our extended voyages into shorter sections known as legs.  We’ve compacted the first part of the voyage by a bit, which means we’ve combined what we were originally calling Leg 1 and Leg 2.  They’ll become one leg together, which we’re calling Leg 1/2.  From Leg 3 onwards, the itinerary is basically the same as it was before.

For those of you considering signing on, please get in touch if you have any questions.  The best way is to email us at info@picton-castle.com.  We want to make this updated voyage itinerary work for you, so there may be more flexibility on this voyage than we would usually offer.

Full updated details of the voyage, including dates, ports and costs can be found here: https://www.picton-castle.com/voyages/the-voyages/voyage-to-the-south-pacific-2020-2021.html