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  Tall Ship TV series begins filming
Life Network chronicles voyage of the Picton Castle

by Staff
Tall Ships Newswire

TORONTO, CANADA — Senior Vice President of Programming for Life Network, Barbara Williams, announced that filming has begun on Tall Ship Chronicles, a 26-part, cinema-verité documentary series that follows the real-life experiences of 45 crewmembers, working and living aboard a tall ship sailing around the world for 19 months. Among the crew of the Picton Castle will be Canadian TV host, writer and journalist Andrew Younghusband.

Last week, the three-masted barque Picton Castle departed from Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, heading for the Panama Canal.

At 179 feet in length and with 12,500 square feet of sail, the barque is the only sail-training ship committed wholly to world voyaging. During the current circumnavigation, she will journey 37,000 miles to over 22 countries, returning to Lunenburg in June 2002. Of the 45 people on board, ten are professional crew and 35 are trainees ranging in age from 17 to 57. A multinational crew, they have chosen to participate in this tall-ship experience, leaving behind their friends, families and careers for a year and a half.

Trainee Andrew Younghusband will spend 540 days living at close quarters as he works aboard the ship and acts as crewmember/narrator of Tall Ship Chronicles. A cameraman and director will also live aboard the vessel to document the global tour. The crew will spend as much as one month at sea between stops at various ports including Panama, Tahiti, Bali, Fiji and Cape Town.

"This is not a leisurely cocktail cruise," notes Barbara Williams. "The crew of the Picton Castle, half of whom are women, are living a 19th-century adventure. In the black of night, they must know which of 175 lines to manipulate on command. Working 12 stories above the deck, they must be prepared instantly to furl or loosen sail in response to changing weather conditions. Periodically, they'll go over the side to scrape the hull below the water line in order to clear it of fouling matter. In the course of a world voyage, they will repaint the ship four times and varnish exposed wooden surfaces 10 times. They will not only learn to take the helm in open, storm-ridden seas but to bring the Picton Castle through narrow openings in reef barriers that surround so many atolls in the South Pacific. And every step of way, Younghusband will be filing reports from the very marrow of this experience."

Observes Captain Daniel Moreland, "The crew will be tested but they will also be rewarded. In the Seychelles, off the east coast of Africa, they will swim and snorkle with 45-foot long whale sharks. They will bunk ashore with the descendents of the HMS Bounty mutineers on Pitcairn Island -- one of the world's most isolated places. They'll dive for black pearls, trade with dugout-borne entrepreneurs in the Solomon Islands, and sail and walk the "Ring of Fire" where exist the world's most active volcanoes. And all the while the extraordinary natural beauty never stops. By day, it might be Bora Bora or someplace even rarer. By night, beyond the sky-polluting "cityshine" of urban areas, they'll see the stars with a clarity only enjoyed by users of the Hubble telescope."

Tall Ship Chronicles will debut on Life Network in summer 2001.

The Picton Castle website is

Tall Ships Newswire Copyright © 2001 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast or redistributed.

Photo by Jean Burke
Click on photograph to get enlarged view.
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