I’m missing Nova Scotia already (fog and rain and all). Also, I didn’t do much today that would interest anyone except my mother. Therefore I shall take the opportunity to inform all and sundry that on this date in 1963 the Bluenose II was launched in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia.
So what is the Bluenose? In the 1920’s there were a series of schooner races between fishermen from Gloucester, Massachusetts, and those from Nova Scotia. There were several wins by the Gloucestermen then, as Mark Kurlansky puts it in his book The Last Fish Tale:
“Then after a season fishing the Grand Banks, the Bluenose, a large schooner . . . defeated the Gloucester Elsiea. During the next seventeen years the Bluenose remained undefeated. The Canadians have put the image of the Bluenose on postage stamps, the Canadian dime, matchbooks, and seemingly most spare surfaces in Nova Scotia.”
So true. The image is also on the provincial license plate. One day we were eating lunch at a tiny café in Port Mouton and looked on the wall next to the table to find a laminated placemat of . . . yep, the Bluenose.
The Bluenose II is a replica built in the spirit of the first ship. It is currently finishing up a refitting in Lunenburg and about to undergo sea trials. You can check it out on its webcam.