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Blue Water Blogs: Picton Castle

Posted by Tall Ships America on November 12, 2014

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Join the PICTON CASTLE world-voyaging crew in Cape Town, South Africa, January 2015

The Barque PICTON CASTLE has been sailing the worlds’ oceans for nearly 20 years in the wake of the great square rigged ships of the Age of Sail. Her epic voyages have already inspired hundreds of people to come together to sail, to explore this salt water globe and to seek to learn all that a ship on the open ocean has to teach.

Our crew connect with people and places across the world. Transcending boundaries of geography, culture and race we return to villages where we have made friends, often bringing essential supplies, donated educational materials and medical care to some of the most remote and isolated communities on Earth. By working together we grow strong and learn to trust our shipmates and ourselves. By harnessing the power of the wind in our hand-stitched cotton sails we learn awareness and how to spot a problem before it arises. By watching the slowly processing stars on night watch, and the glorious ocean sunsets each evening, we learn to see the sublime in the every day. The things you learn aboard PICTON CASTLE, and the friendships you make aboard, last a lifetime.

Aboard the ship right now, sailing westwards across the Indian Ocean, we have an exceptional gang of men and women of all ages and all backgrounds, hailing from a dozen different countries and every corner of the globe; Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Canada, USA, Tonga, Fiji, England and more. What brings them together is a commitment to experiencing a life at sea under sail, to the ship, her voyages; a down-to-Earth saltiness and a sense of adventure.

Now we are looking for the next generation of mariners to join our crew and write the next chapter of the PICTON CASTLE story. No sailing experience is necessary – it’s far more important to be a good shipmate, though you must be reasonably fit. More than anything you must want to join us on this adventure and want to see the world beyond your horizons.

Soon PICTON CASTLE will be rounding the Cape of Good Hope and entering the South Atlantic, there to sail up the coast of Africa and cross to the Caribbean calling at Grenada, Carriacou, Barbados and Dominica before heading north via Bermuda, to her homecoming in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, Canada. After three years voyaging westwards around the world, it’s set to be quite the celebration.

Join us in Cape Town, South Africa in January 2015 or in Cape Verde in March 2015. Sail with us as we cross the Atlantic Ocean, cross the equator and cruise the magical islands of the real Caribbean. We will be visiting friends we have made over the years, sailing our small boats in the crystal clear water and practicing beach landings on the perfect white sand. We’ll be sailing on and off the hook, tacking the ship about, climbing aloft and handling sails. We’ll learn sailmaking, rigging, small boat handling and celestial navigation, but first we’ll learn to sail our ship across oceans.

If you’ve never been afloat before, or if you already have one foot in the sea and want to advance into traditional seamanship, then now is the time. The world’s oceans and its trade winds are waiting, come join the adventure!

Cape Town to Cape Verde, Jan 3 to March 20: Cape Town, South Africa to Luderitz Namibia, St Helena UK, Dakar Senegal, Cape Verde Islands. Cape Verde to Lunenburg, March 20 to May 16: Cape Verde, transatlantic to the Eastern Caribbean: Grenada and the Grenadines, St Vincent, Bequia, Dominica, Martinique, and other islands of the Caribbean, Bermuda and Lunenburg.

 

Full moon last night (Photo Courtesy of Picton Castle)

Full moon last night (Photo Courtesy of Picton Castle)

Ship's cat Fiji helps John (USA) patch a sail (Photo Courtesy of Picton Castle)

Ship’s cat Fiji helps John (USA) patch a sail (Photo Courtesy of Picton Castle)

Bo's'un Erin lashing footrope on the fore upper topsail (Photo Courtesy of Picton Castle)

Bo’s’un Erin lashing footrope on the fore upper topsail (Photo Courtesy of Picton Castle)

intro to celestial (Photo Courtesy of Picton Castle)

intro to celestial (Photo Courtesy of Picton Castle)

Anne-Mette, Karoline, and Morton (All from Denmark) on the fo'c'sle head. (Photo Courtesy of Picton Castle)

Anne-Mette, Karoline, and Morton (All from Denmark) on the fo’c’sle head. (Photo Courtesy of Picton Castle)

Joe (Fiji) working on the starboard pinrail (Photo Courtesy of Picton Castle)

Joe (Fiji) working on the starboard pinrail (Photo Courtesy of Picton Castle)

Dkembe (Bermuda), Nikolaj (Denmark), and Anne-Mette (Denmark) take noon sights (Photo Courtesy of Picton Castle

Dkembe (Bermuda), Nikolaj (Denmark), and Anne-Mette (Denmark) take noon sights (Photo Courtesy of Picton Castle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Follow the daily adventures of PICTON CASTLE as you prepare for your adventure

November 6, 2014 – 15°44.9’S x 092°44.5’’E (Bali, Indonesia to Reunion Island, France, Indian Ocean)
“It’s the final ditty bag workshop: splicing and serving the rope becket that serves as a handle, and tacking on the wooden base. Moon getting full and casting a shimmer on the seas at night.”

November 7, 2014 – 16°13.8’S x 090°22.0’’E (Bali, Indonesia to Reunion Island, France, Indian Ocean)
“No workshop today to give people more time to work on their ditty bags before we start celestial navigation tomorrow! We caught the first fish of this passage: a medium sized tuna.”

November 8, 2014 – 16°44.6’S x 088°03.5’’E (Bali, Indonesia to Reunion Island, France, Indian Ocean)
“Power shower today!  We rig the fire hose up in the main shrouds and everyone has a salt water scrub. Fun, refreshing in the heat, and it saves fresh water!”

November 9, 2014 – 17°09.8’S x 085°52.4’’E (Bali, Indonesia to Reunion Island, France, Indian Ocean)
“We’re more than half way to Reunion!  Marlinspike party this afternoon to celebrate.  Terry was a great DJ. Today’s cooks: Karoline, Elvira and Kurt did a great job: French toast, sausages, eggs and beans for breakfast, bean and lentil curry with home made naan bread for lunch and lasagna for supper.”

November 10, 2014 – 17°41.3’S x 083°10.6’’E (Bali, Indonesia to Reunion Island, France, Indian Ocean)
“Caught a huge wahoo on the fishing lines this afternoon, and Donald cooked it up for supper in a delicious spicy sauce, served with lentils, pumpkin and rice.  Yum.  We retarded the clocks last night and we’re now in the same time zone as Ekaterinburg, Russia. This is where the Tsar Nicholas II and family ended their days after the revolution.”

November 11, 2014 – 18°03.6’S x 080°47.0’’E (Bali, Indonesia to Reunion Island, France, Indian Ocean)
“Two more big wahoo on the lines today, Mark Russell and Dkembe reeled them in, Donald is happy.  Today’s afternoon workshop is on the use of stoppers to take the strain off a line.”

November 12, 2014 – 18°18.8’S x 078°52.2’’E (Bali, Indonesia to Reunion Island, France, Indian Ocean)
“Today’s afternoon workshop is on making ‘baggywrinkle’ – nothing to do with saggy old ladies, it’s the odd but traditional name for a large number of short pieces of rope yarn, hitched closely together onto a stretched line to make something that looks like a long, slightly fluffy snake.  It’s used by wrapping tightly round the stays to prevent chafe between the stay and sail.”

Learn more at www.picton-castle.com.

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