Bluenose II sitting pretty in Lunenburg

The newly rebuilt Bluenose II sits at Lunenburg Foundry at the innermost part of the harbour. Sails and rigging make the job seem complete from a distance, though I’m sure there’s lots going on below decks. She’s a beauty.

Bluenose II
Bluenose II at Lunenburg Foundry, October 24, 2013.
Photo by Heather Holm

 

Nova Scotia Sea School Restoring Dorothea

An iconic sight in the waters of Mahone Bay and beyond, Dorothea has taken hundreds of young people on maritime sailing adventures as part of the Nova Scotia Sea School.

It’s the kind of intense, group adventure that teenagers crave and need for their development, and that schools don’t usually provide.

Lives have been changed.

Dorothea needs an overhaul. Compare the $30,000 they’re looking for to the cost of rebuilding Bluenose II! Small projects like this are very satisfying to support as they can have a huge positive impact on individual lives.

Watch the video to find out what Dorothea has done.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=54qqKU8WtJg

Click here to visit the Nova Scotia Sea School website.

A picture out of time

draft horses and wooden sloop
On the beach, it could have been 100 years ago.

The wooden gaff-rigged sloop was on its way from Lunenburg to Mahone Bay.  But the cable used to raise the centerboard had broken.  So the sailor ran her up on Bachman’s Beach, on Second Peninsula, hoping to fix her at low tide.

The team of draft horses was in training, as usual, and was pulling a sledge.  Their driver brings them down to the beach to cool off.  We’d met them before, a couple of years ago, on this beach.

The hull of the sloop was built by David Westergard from a half-model he’d found.  (Westergard is currently building a couple of schooners at the Dory Shop in Lunenburg.)  Only after he’d built it did he learn that it was a particular Pubnico type of fishing vessel that was often fitted with a make-or-break engine.    The sailor (whose name escaped me; add a comment if you read this) had rigged the boat  himself and was bringing it to Mahone Bay for the schooner races.

“Are the schooner races part of Chester Race Week?” I asked, naively.

“Not at all.”

“Do the schooners eschew Chester Race Week?”

“Fiberglass Race Week!”

Right.  The folks who perpetuate the skills of wooden boat building live in a different universe from the carbon fiber and kevlar world of the most serious racers.  But they sail the same waters.

And so do we, on short overnight cruises in our 32-year-old fiberglass sailboat, not belonging to one group or the other, but glad to admire both, from a respectful distance.

Draft horses on beach
Draft horses cool down at Bachman's Beach, July 2008

Concordia Crew’s Rescue a Tribute to Emergency Equipment and Procedures

Concordia
SV Concordia at her berth in Lunenburg in 2008.

We are all delighted to hear that the entire crew of 64 aboard the tall ship Concordia, part of Lunenburg-based Class Afloat program, have been rescued off the coast of Brazil.

The high school and university age have certainly had an education in marine safety. The lesson should not be lost on other boaters, whether we take to the sea for pleasure or for work.

While we still don’t know exactly why the Concordia ran into trouble, the 100% survival rate was made possible by the use of proper safety equipment and procedures. An emergency position indicating radio beacon (EPIRB) sounded the alarm, adequate liferafts and zodiac boats were ready to go, and everyone aboard knew what to do. The liferafts kept everyone safe in high seas through the night until rescue could come.

Major Silvio Monteiro Junior, the head of the air command for the Brazil’s Search and Rescue System, speaking with CBC Radio’s As It Happens last night, spoke of the “beautiful” sight that met the rescuers eyes in the morning when the 3 merchant vessels and the liferafts used flares to communicate their positions to each other, and then the “incredible moment” when they knew that all 64 people were safely on board one or another vessel. He pointed out that Brazil and Canada have often worked together in search and rescue operations, and they were pleased to help us out. Thank you, Brazil.

Lennie Gallant plays to the Lunenburg Folk Harbour Festival crowd in August, 2009, with SV Concordia as a backdrop.

Beautiful schooners under sail

Is there any boat more beautiful than a schooner?  What is it about them that draws the eye?  The Schooner Association met in Chester this weekend.  We passed a few heading home on Sunday.  Some photos, taken from our boat:

Schooner in Lunenburg Bay.
Schooner in Lunenburg Bay.
Ocean Racing Class schooner, apparently from Germany, spotted in Mahone Bay on August 9, 2009.
Ocean Racing Class schooner, apparently from Germany, spotted in Mahone Bay on August 9, 2009.

Larinda rises again

Larinda's figurehead frog in a new coat of paint
Larinda's figurehead frog in a new coat of paint

The highlight of the Tall Ships visiting Lunenburg was seeing Larinda. She’s a replica of a 1767 schooner, built over a period of 26 years by Larry Mahan of Barnstable, Mass.  She was a labour of love, full of wood carvings and fancy and fun. Mahan sailed her in many Tall Ships events, where she was much admired. Then in 2003, having taken shelter in Halifax Harbour during Hurricane Juan, she was rammed by another ship during the storm and sank, right next to a sewerage outlet. It was a big mess, and Mahan despaired of ever being able to repair her.

Larinda's stern, reflected in the water
Larinda's stern, reflected in the water of Lunenburg Harbour

The salvaged boat was bought by a Nova Scotia couple who live on St. Margaret’s Bay, and is being carefully restored.  Larinda didn’t actually make it to the Halifax Tall Ships event, and hasn’t been fully rigged yet. But she was towed to Lunenburg and rafted up alongside the schooner Unicorn, from whose deck we could admire her. Larinda is sporting a new colour scheme of black, white and bronze instead of green and off-white (see photos of Larinda before the sinking).  Her distinctive red battened junk sails were irreparably damaged, and her new sails will be white. The frog in the tricorner hat still graces her bow, and her brasswork is shiny.

Larinda truly is a special ship.  It will be exciting to see her sail again.

Larinda's deck, with graceful carvings, is being restored.
Larinda's deck, with graceful carvings, is being restored.