From tropical Raro to icy US lakes ‘the old-fashioned way’

Friday July 12, 2019 Written by Published in Local
Cook Islands-flagged Picton Castle enters Lake Erie, accompanied by the smaller St Lawrence III. Sharon Cantillon / Buffalo News. 19071106 Cook Islands-flagged Picton Castle enters Lake Erie, accompanied by the smaller St Lawrence III. Sharon Cantillon / Buffalo News. 19071106

The difference could barely be more stark: from the tropical atolls of the Cook Islands, to the Great Lakes on the border of Canada and the US, that ice over in winter.

 

Flying its Cook Islands flag, the tall ship Picton Castle is making it way inland up through the lakes as part of the 2019 Cleveland Tall Ships Challenge.

Less than a year ago, the old-fashioned sailing barque was tied up at her home port of Avatiu, and the crew were guiding well-wishers and schoolkids on tours of the boat. The ship also visited Palmerston, where the ship’s doctor ran a medical clinic.

Captain Daniel Moreland said: “We’re not here often enough, but it’s always good when we are.”

Now, the 55-metre Picton Castle is visiting nine inland ports, the biggest of the 11 tall ships taking part in spectacular ceremonial Parades of Sail at each city they visit.

The replicas and restored ships from the US, Canada and faraway Cook Islands received a military salute as they entered Lake Erie Harbour yesterday, where they will dock until Sunday.

The Barque Picton Castle is a three-masted tall ship best known for her international voyages to exotic, remote island ports around the world, deep ocean sailing passages and award-winning seamanship training program.

The tall ship, which is on its way to Buffalo this week, began as a steam-powered fishing vessel, then swept for mines during World War II and later delivered cargo around Europe.

The traditionally-rigged 24-tonne ship is now operated as a sail training ship based in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, Canada. She carries the Cook Islands flag with Avatiu, Cook Islands her home port.

“Our program is to teach people the old ways, traditional seamanship and how to actually sail a ship like this,” ship’s master Dirk P. Lorenzen told the Buffalo News. “Everything’s done by hand. We do it the old-fashioned way.”

1 comment

  • Comment Link Anneke Myers Tuesday, 23 July 2019 09:07 posted by Anneke Myers

    Greetings from Michigan we saw the Picton Castle in the Straits of Mackinac, near Mackinac Island today.

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