Captain’s log

Goodbyes, photoshoots, and boat chess.

Drone image of the Bluenose II laid out like a model kit: 1 captain 5 officers 14 deckhands 2 shore crew 8 sails 120 blocks 9 spars 2 dories 90 life jackets 8 life rings & other assorted ship fixtures

What a week it has been here in Lunenburg. The week began with the long-awaited departure of Picton Castle. First hobbled by Covid-19 and then by an unfortunate issue with a broken marine railway, Capt. Moreland and Picton Castle have been stuck in port for several years. We sent the crew along with horns to join the throng of well-wishers. It is such an emotional event to watch a vessel slip her lines. Ships are not built to stay at the wharf they must travel and exercise their crews, however, to watch so many friends and colleagues depart all at the same time tugs at the heart strings.

Work in all weather

How ridiculous has the weather been this week? Torrential rain and wind on Monday and by Wednesday we were all in parkas and wool watch caps. Fog, frost, sunshine, and rain, I'm sure you all have been watching your gardens and wondering when to plant. As the environment changes around us, the wisdom of our elders may no longer hold true anymore.

Off with the winter cover

Schooner Bluenose II crew.

It has been a productive week aboard Bluenose II and our weeks of quiet preparation work have started to pay off. Our crew numbers are starting to increase as well. We are up to twelve deckhands with the last two arriving Monday morning. With a mix of young people who are attending university and those who are not, our joining dates are spread out over the month of April. The last two are cutting it close as they will have one day of work aboard the ship and then go straight into their Marine Emergency Duties course.

Springtime in the shed

Image of staff inside the rigging shed.

It’s Good Friday in the world outside the gate of the rigging shed, inside it’s just another day. If it wasn’t a big Christian holiday, many of us wouldn’t know the day of the week. Life on a ship is measured in weeks or months and occasionally minutes or seconds but rarely days of the week. The crew, for the most part, work straight through from April into October, dedicating their summer to the service of Canadian icon Bluenose and Bluenose II.

The first day of the season

Schooner Bluenose II crew.

Snow — you’ve got to be kidding me. Is this an unfunny April Fools joke? I came aboard this morning early, by myself. Dragging the gangway across the wharf I was reminded of an alumni’s comments about a snowy gangway being a “Lunenburg bobsled”. Bob sledding was added to the Olympics in 1924 so maybe Capt. Angus and his crew, excited by a new sport, pushed a gangway along a wharf. I was not so excited as I pivoted the length of the gangway perpendicular to the wharf and the ship.