Rhode Island is abuzz with excitement for the Ocean State Tall Ships Festival coming to Newport July 6-9, and here is an opportunity to be a part of the experience before the event even starts. The barque Picton Castle, a flagship of the Ocean State Tall Ships Festival, has announced that it will offer its Bosun School for young adults (ages 16-30) in Bristol, RI from June 24-July 3.
Picton Castle’s Bosun School attracts both experienced sailors and novices from around the world to live and work on board and learn the time-honored skills and arts of traditional seamanship. “This is not your typical summer adventure or camp experience. Instead, it is a rare opportunity to learn and live the world of traditional seamanship in one of the world’s premier sailing ships,” said Tall Ships America Executive Director Bert Rogers, whose organization coordinates the annual TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® race series, responsible for assembling the fleet that will be part of the Ocean State Tall Ships® Festival.
Picton Castle operates year-round as a sail training vessel, and it will make its sixth voyage to the South Pacific in the fall of 2012. Some of its 26 crew members will be trainees, with no previous experience on tall ships, and according to Picton Castle’s Captain Daniel Moreland (Lunenburg, Nova Scotia) they will learn the same skill set being taught at the Bosun School this summer.
“Mariners need skills that make them one with their ship and resourceful in all areas,” said Moreland, who conducts Bosun School classes with help from his crew and guest instructors and who also won the 2011 Sail Trainer of the Year Award from Sail Training International for his programs on board the Picton Castle. “They must be competent at small boat handling, splicing, rigging, sail repair, pumps, and should have some familiarity with engines. This is what the Bosun School seeks to provide.”
Moreland added that for young mariners to be successful and safe they also need excellent emergency response training in firefighting, rescue craft and first aid. “The overall goal, however, is to give them the skill sets that will keep their ship and selves in good shape so that they never need to use their emergency training.”
Tall Ships America’s TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® Series and its related maritime festivals alternate between the Great Lakes and the Pacific and Atlantic coasts of North America in a three-year cycle. While in port, the ships are open to the public for viewing, and many feature dockside exhibits and lively interactions with crew. Each ship has its own educational mission and style, providing the public with a rich selection of programs, all conforming to Tall Ships America’s credo: Adventure and Education Under SailTM.
Over the past decade, the series has included more than 60 events in 32 cities, stimulating strong tourism and economic development through associated family-friendly festivals. In 2013, all eyes will be on the TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® Great Lakes Series, when the ships will visit over 20 cities in the U.S. and Canada to continue the commemoration of the events of the War of 1812, including a re-creation of the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Lake Erie.