Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A Day in Pictou and The Hector

Yesterday we found out that the JAFTICA's diesel engine starter switch needed repair. That was soon fixed after finding a very competent shop and the required parts. In the installation process however, Peter and Wayne found a leak in the exhaust cooling system. This is a pipe that feeds seawater to cool the exhaust before it is expelled from the transom -- the flat back end -- of the boat. This calls for a more involved repair where a welder is required to visit the vessel to repair the steel pipe. The welding company is scheduled for tomorrow morning first thing.

This allowed us a day to enjoy the town of Pictou. At the waterfront we saw a replica of the vessel The Hector, a Dutch-built sailing ship that carried 186 Scottish settlers to the Pictou area in September 1773. The Hector exhibit area was closed but the beautiful replica was still quite visible from the sidewalk as pictured in this photo.

After having now sailed for most days of a week I can only appreciate how difficult it must have been to sail a vessel with square rigging, and no auxiliary engine power, no GPS, no Radar, no electronic sounders, no detailed charts etc. The Hector is more than ten times larger than the JAFTICA. Understanding the use of sails one can only imagine that all of the deck hands aboard such a vessel had to work very well together, very coordinated like a well oiled machine to make the vessel sail properly and without going aground. The captain also had to have extremely good command of the crew.

It would be interesting to take a tour of the vessel one day.

My appreciation and admiration for 18th. century sailors has undoubtedly been elevated considerably. Also it is very hard to imagine 186 passengers in such a small vessel.

1 comment:

  1. Hello to the two Peters - you two would have no luck at all were it not for bad luck. Too bad the Hector Quay Museum is not opened (financial reasons) as I think you would have found it most interesting. Keep the posts coming - Regards Tom - VVV