Sea History 177 - Winter 2021-2022

Page 48


Picton Castle

mariners and paying trainees. This is the voyage originally planned for spring 2020 but postponed because of the global COVID pandemic. The ship and crew will spend about 13 months sailing under square rig, with port visits at Panama, the Galapagos Islands, Pitcairn Island, French Polynesia, the Cook Islands, Fiji, Vanuatu, Bali, Reunion, South Africa, St. Helena, and a little bit of island hopping in the Eastern Caribbean before sailing north for Bermuda and home to Lunenburg. The itinerary is subject to change based on border restrictions and health considerations, both for the ship’s company and the people in its planned ports of call. As of press time, a significant number of islands in the South Pacific are still closed to visitors (including visiting ships) due to limited medical resources in these remote locations. Picton Castle organizers are checking in with their contacts in the various ports every few weeks and will make a final decision about a spring 2022 departure early in the new year. If it is still not possible for the ship to get underway at that time, the voyage will be postponed but not cancelled, with a likely start in October 2022. (Barque Picton Castle, 135 Bluenose Drive, Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, Canada; …

The last steam-powered herring drifter, Lydia Eva, will be making her debut on the silver screen in 2023. The 95-foot steam vessel, now a museum ship in England, has been towed to Lyme Regis to begin filming for the movie Wonka, an original story about the Roald Dahl fictional character Willy Wonka, prior to the establishment of his chocolate factory. The vessel will play the role of the steamer that carries Wonka, portrayed by Timothée Chalamet, to England. Lydia Eva was the last vessel built by the King’s Lynn Slipway Company. After her launch in July 1930, she entered the herring trade, but the industry was already waning and that career was short-lived due to the dwindling market. She was sold in 1939 and contracted out to the UK Air Ministry’s Bombing & Gunnery School in Wales to service buoys. The Ministry of War Transport requisitioned her for salvage work in 1942, and after the war she was transferred to the Air Ministry to work as a mooring vessel under the name Watchmoor. After stints with the Lydia Eva lydia eva & mincarlo trust

Picton Castle’s Capt. Dan Moreland teaches sailmaking handwork.

images courtesy barque picton castle

Built in 1874 by Alexander Stephen & Son of Dundee, Scotland, Bear originally sailed with the sealing fleet off Newfoundland. In 1884 she was purchased by the US Navy to join USS Thetis and USS Alert on a rescue mission to search for the Greely Expedition, which had become stranded in the Arctic. Bear sighted and rescued the remaining survivors. The following year, the vessel was transferred to the US Treasury Department, beginning what was to be a 41-year career patrolling Alaskan waters. She was decommissioned in 1929 and turned over to the city of Oakland, California, to be used as a maritime museum, but was then sold to Admiral Richard E. Byrd Jr., USN, and refitted to participate in what would be two Antarctic expeditions. In 1941 she served in the Greenland Patrol, and then put up for sale in 1944. In March of 1963, while the Bear was being towed to Philadelphia, where a new owner planned to convert her to a museum and restaurant, the ship sank in the North Atlantic when its towline parted in heavy weather. USCG Atlantic Area Historian William Thiesen remarked: “Cutter Bear represents the Coast Guard in a manner similar to the Navy’s Constitution. As Coast Guard historian Stephen Evans wrote 70 years ago: ‘The Bear is more than just a famous ship; she is a symbol for all the service represents—for steadfastness, for courage, and for constant readiness to help men and vessels in distress.’” (www.noaa. gov; …. The Picton Castle Bosun School in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, launched its first-ever session with a specific focus in October (on rigging skills) and will offer a second 6-week session on sailmaking beginning in February 2022. Applications for the sailmaking session are being accepted for the remaining spots. Under the direction of master mariner Captain Dan Moreland, students will learn to work with both natural and synthetic materials, while they work on projects that include repairs and new sail construction. This will be traditional style sailmaking—no Kevlar here. Details and applications are available online at The worldvoyaging barque Picton Castle is planning an April 2022 start to its next circumnavigation, crewed by both professional

Port Auxiliary Service and Marine Services Division, she was purchased by the Maritime Trust for Preservation and restored to her original appearance, displayed first in Great Yarmouth and later at St. Katharine Docks, London. By 2000 her condition had deteriorated to the point where the public was not allowed on board. The Lydia Eva and Mincarlo Trust, the vessel’s present owners, secured a Heritage Lottery Fund grant of £839,000 (about $1.2 million) and raised additional funds to pay for a complete restoration with a price tag of over £1 million (about $1.4 million). The trust oversees both the Lydia Eva and the sidewinder Mincarlo, the last surviving fishing vessel built in Lowestoft with an engine made in that town. The two vessels are maintained as museum ships representing East Anglia’s fishing heritage. ( … SEA HISTORY 177, WINTER 2021–22

Turn static files into dynamic content formats.

Create a flipbook
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.