The Picton Castle is in town. In case you are not inclined to follow web links, it is not a real castle, but rather a sailing ship, a Barque to be specific. No, today I won't be giving you an incomplete lesson in Marine and Maritime lore (though I know you're all studying ferverishly for your upcoming seamanship exams). Instead the surprise appearance of the Picton Castle brought back some memories so you're going to get navel-gazing, instead of naval-gazing.
The year: 2002. It was the "International Year of Ecotourism and Mountains". On January 13, George W. Bush fainted after choking on a pretzel and the Picton Castle was the subject of a t.v. show called Tallship Chronicles. The host, and his intrepid cameraman, signed-on for a true adventure that by June of that year would see them having covered 37,000 nautical miles and over 22 countries before ending the voyage back in Lunenberg, Nova Scotia. I, on the other hand, had some time on my hands. I had just finished a couple of contracts and was looking for something to do. Having seen this adventure, I was definitely attracted. It was about time for the final leg of the voyage: from South Africa back to Lunenberg. I contacted the offices. There were a couple of berths still available. Then the other shoe dropped: It was going to cost over $10,000 USD to participate. That would've been a little steep and I realized that I would be joining a crew where many of whom had been together for a year or so. Only to be with them for the final leg didn't fit for me. So, the Picton Castle was not to be. Granted, in lieu of that, I spent 3 months in Europe seeing much and generally enjoying myself. That led to S.E. Asia, New Zealand and Australia the next year, and the work I find myself doing now in the year after that. With the docking of the Picton Castle things may be coming full circle. Or maybe I need to sign on for a voyage for it truly to come full circle. As nice as it would be to learn many seamanship skills over 6 months in the Caribbean, the $24,150 CAD they're asking for is a little steep. Maybe I'll start by going and checking out their Cargo Sale.