The sail training barque Picton Castle, a square-rigger registered in the Cook Islands and based in Lunenburg Harbor, Nova Scotia, is about to depart its mooring and head off on its fifth circumnavigation. The 14-month, westbound trip will sail through the tropics under the command of its first and only captain, Daniel Moreland.
Some 44 trainees and 12 professional crew have spent the past four weeks finishing preparations for the voyage, including a haulout last month for a new coat of paint on the hull. The upper yards – royals and t’gallants – have been sanded and varnished, all the blocks have been overhauled, lines tarred, and inspections passed.
Picton Castle was built in 1928 as a motorized trawler, served as a Royal Navy minesweeper in World War II, and was converted to sail in 1997. Her crew must master the 175 lines that comprise her standing and running rig. As a barque, Picton Castle has a fore mast and main mast that are square-rigged, and her mizzen mast is rigged fore-and-aft.
Barque Picton Castle
Sparred Length 179′
Draft 14′ 6
Rig Height 97′
Sail Area 12,450 square feet
Tons 284 GRT
Power 690 HP diesel
Here’s the outline itinerary for the fifth World Voyage:
Itinerary for World Voyage 5, 2010-2011
|Leg 1||Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, Canada||April 12, 2010|
|Galapagos Islands, Ecuador|
|Gambier Islands, French Polynesia|
|Rarotonga, Cook Islands||August 15, 2010|
|Leg 2||Rarotonga, Cook Islands||August 16, 2010|
|Palmerston Atoll, Cook Islands|
|Bali, Indonesia||November 12, 2010|
|Leg 3||Bali, Indonesia||November 13, 2010|
|Cape Town, South Africa||February 3 2011|
|Leg 4||Cape Town, South Africa||February 4, 2011|
|Fernando de Noronha, Brazil|
|Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, Canada||June 18, 2011|
You can still sign up for Leg 2 and beyond if you happen to be in a position to do that. And there are lots of ways to follow Picton Castle on its voyage. Captain Moreland keeps a log on the main website and a number of the trainees keep blogs, which are the best way to learn what a sail-training voyage is really all about.
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