January 29, 2007
This trip was good medicine. Giving it and receiving it ;About lessons learned and lessons taught and maybe even realizing lessons you already knew. It was about hard work, light hearts and good energy.
There are so many different ways to learn and grow. Its no doubt that we learned a lot about the Picton Castle, tallships and what it takes to make and keep a ship and crew going. We also learned invaluable lessons about ourselves and others; life. As I was standing at midships waiting for the skiff to be ready to take us to ashore for the last time, Captain said to me that the real purpose of sailing and sail training was to pull out an even truer you from you. He was saying that its not that you weren’t you before, just that now you have grown within yourself, you have emerged as more aware, stronger, spiritual you.
As our group headed to Fort de France to catch our flight all of our voices said that in our own different ways.
In summary of these past two weeks, I have to say: No shit there I was a sail trainee on the Picton Castle and I’ll never be the same. I loved going aloft. A hard day’s work of scraping and painting was completely worth every time I climbed the ratlines into the rigging. I learned how to run new lines through the yardarm braces to replace swollen old lines. I learned how to tie knots and whippings and then use that knowledge to make gaskets, complete projects and secure tag lines while we cleaned the outboard side of the boat from a skiff. I learned how to do little things everyday to make the 40+ other peoples’ lives a little easier, as a whole or individually. I learned to appreciate a real day off, a five minute break or the easy task. I learned how to think through a job, pay attention to a multiplicity of details by tackling a task, screwing up and doing it again, the right way.
Coming home was a slight shock, it’s cold and quiet and my bed doesn’t rock me to sleep at night. Two and a half weeks is long enough to feel like months, change the way you live, perceive life and open your mind to a whole world of knowledge and ways to live that you didn’t even know existed before you left. Without a doubt, I will keep the lessons I learned, about ships and life, and the energy we had close to my heart. Picton Castle Crew and Trainees, Prof Pyle and MHC, thank you for this experience.