Showing posts with label Clipper Sailing Ships. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Clipper Sailing Ships. Show all posts


Gainey Swept from Barque Picton Castle Deck

On December 8, 2006 Laura Gainey was sailing on board the Barque Picton Castle.

As the ship rode the rough waves in the storm near Cape Cod, Laura was not tethered to the ship, nor was she wearing a life jacket. Tragedy struck when she was swept off deck from a rogue wave!

Only moments before she was swept off by the wave, she was ordered to go below deck, but she never had the chance to comply as the wave took her to sea.

Sadly, Laura's life was lost at sea as they were unable to find her. Years later her story is in the news again, February 2010 - as her father Bob Gainey resigned from his position with the Montreal Canadians hockey team.

As some have reported, the loss of Laura's life could have potentially been prevented if she had she been tethered to the ship, or at least wearing a life jacket.

I guess the best lesson here is that we should never underestimate the power of the high seas, as any of us can be caught unprepared. Even so with the right preparations and precautions the worst can occur.


Tribute to Laura Gainey from Picton Castle

December 8th, 2006:

Laura Gainey was washed overboard from the deck of the Barque Picton Castle. Unfortunately, she was not found. The search for her was called off when the clock passed the 36 hour maximum time-frame, at which time it was unlikely that one would survive hypothermia.

However, the Picton Castle continued the search beyond that time frame. Barque Picton Castle had placed a tribute to Laura on their website, but the link I previously provided here is no longer there.


Picton Castle Captain Moreland

Friday evening December 8th, 2006 aboard the Barque Picton Castle:

Laura Gainey was washed off the deck by a rogue wave! Captain Moreland has commented on the Barque Picton Castle site in regards to the event. (Sorry, but they no longer have the link on their site to the specific event).

It's a very tragic event, but to the men and women who have sailed the seas it is a known risk they all take.

The endless motion of mighty ocean waves is not a force that can be tamed. The oceans power is what makes sailing a thrilling adventure, but the adventure can also become a nightmare.

To a courageous woman like Laura, adventures on the high seas is what they live for, and for some the waves become the caretaker of their soul.

The search continued, but survival beyond the initial 36 hours due to hypothermia left little hope to find her. Unfortunately the odds are that Laura has most likely perished at sea.

They did find several garments of clothing, but sadly there was no sign of the young female sailor.


Barque Picton Castle Woman Overboard!

You may have already heard the terrible news from Friday evening - December 2006: A 25 year old Canadian woman aboard the Barque Picton Castle was washed overboard by a rogue wave! CBC News stated Captain Moreland's report,
"The unidentified woman, who is Canadian and has some experience on boats, was on a shelter deck in the rear of the vessel, which Moreland said is considered a safe area."
Unfortunately, a search has not recovered the missing woman, but there is still possibly hope as she went overboard in warmer waters. Very disheartening news.

It certainly serves as a reminder to us all of how powerful the ocean really is, and even when one is on board such a magnificent sailing vessel as the Barque Picton Castle.


Treasures From Far Places

Did you get an opportunity to see the wonderful treasures the Barque Picton Castle recently sailed home with? Truly a sight for an artistic eye, and for one who appreciates treasures from different cultures.

The Barque Picton Castle came home with many goodies from her travels in the south seas. A room full of exotic decorative items can be see on their site. They offer their treasure load in a Christmas Cargo Sale.

That is one event that I think would truly be a fun adventure, but the distance is quite far from where I live.

If you live too far away as well, you can sail on over to their waters: Barque Picton Castle Ship.


Barque Picton Castle

The greatest sailing adventure stories surround the compelling beauty of the Clipper ships!

Barque Picton Full Sail
Each Clipper Ship has it's own unique character, and tales of adventure. Dangerous challenges as well as fun events are experienced from the decks of the tall ships, as their bows break through the mighty waves at sea!

Their sails captivate the heart as they gracefully yet forcibly, capture the wind to obey their every command. Every tall ship holds it's own mysteries, but few are privileged to these sailing adventures upon the high seas.

The Barque Picton Castle in Nova Scotia may sound like a stone fortress, but indeed she is a wonderful tall sailing ship as you can see!

Barque Picton Sailing 8 Knots
Key Points About the Barque Picton Castle Ship
  • Built in 1928
  • Owned and operated by Windward Isles Sailing Ship Company, Ltd.
  • The ship's mission is deep-ocean sail training, and long-distance education.
  • She carries supplies and educational materials to islands in the South Pacific.
  • The length of he Barque Picton is 179 feet overall.
  • She carries 12,450 square feet of sail.

There is much more to learn about this wonderful ship, including her role during World War II in the Royal Navy.
Barque Picton Anchored

It's time to get your sea worthy legs in position as you take a tall sails adventure to read more about the Barque Picton Castle and her crew.

Barque Picton Castle Ship - 
Crewman Eric
Behind the helm of every good ship is a sea-worthy courageous crew.

One such crew member - Eric is at the helm in the photo. But, let not us forget about the Captain!

Captain Daniel Moreland is one of the most respected sailing ship masters at sea today, and he has sailed the world.

An update to this article (now, more than 10 years after I first wrote about the Barque Picton!)...
"Captain Moreland holds the rarest license issued to Merchant Marine Officers today: Master of Steam, Motor, or Auxiliary Sail, Vessels of Any Gross Tons upon Oceans."
Very impressive credentials! A Master Captain indeed!

You may find it interesting to learn about their Captain's recommended reading list, as it is a must have. We have provided his reading list for you (as it was back in the day!) I imagine his reading list is far more vast by now.

Before we depart to sail back to reality, we must first provide a word of thanks!

Thank you Barque Picton Castle for granting us permission to present your ship's information and photos to our readers!

Special thanks also to David their Voyage Coordinator, for assisting me in obtaining that permission.

As promised above...

Captain Daniel's Recommended Reading List:
  • The Way of a Ship - Captain Alan Villiers
  • Two Years Before the Mast - Richard Henry Dana
  • Billy Budd - Herman Melville
  • The Last Grain Race - Eric Newbey
  • Men, Ships, and the Sea - Captain Alan Villiers
  • Captains Courageous - Rudyard Kipling
  • Youth - Joseph Conrad


Christmas Ship

Have you ever wondered how the concept of a Christmas ship came to be? Well of course Christmas can be celebrated or decorated anywhere, but did you know that St. Nicholas just may have had something to do with the Christmas ship concept? After all, if anyone came up with the idea certainly it should be inspired by St. Nicholas.

These delightful flights of imagination are the origin of the New Amsterdam St. Nicholas legends:

It is said that the first Dutch emigrant ship had a figurehead of St. Nicholas. St. Nicholas Day was observed in the colony, and the first church there was dedicated to him, and yes, St. Nicholas went down chimneys to bring gifts! Oh my, I hope they had large chimneys.

The next time you see a Christmas ship you may now wonder if there was a figurehead of St. Nicholas on the first Dutch emigrant ship! Ahoy sailors! Bring your ship to shore, and get those sails decorated in lights!