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'A step back in time'

Ship's Position: 
Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic, Lunenburg, Nova Scotia

It’s beginning to feel like somebody turned the calendar back here on the waterfront. Maybe as far as the 1840’s! There are barrels, crates and bales of cargo piled on the wharf and the modern 1930’s look of Lunenburg waterfront is fading away. Even the museum ship Cape Sable has been towed down the waterfront to the Ocean Gear Wharf to keep the area looking period appropriate. All this kerfuffle because a TV series production crew has descended on Nova Scotia. The book being adapted is Washington Black by Canadian author Esi Edugyan. Ms. Edugyan has won many awards and is, “a great teller of yarns” as you might say here on the south shore of Nova Scotia. It’s a well-crafted story, worth reading. Bluenose II, Picton Castle and various small boats will have parts of the story to tell. The ships will have different names and be barely recognizable, but we and the Lunenburg waterfront will be there!

In more recent news, could it please stop raining for a bit? It is hard to get outside paint and varnish work done on a big glossy schooner if it’s 5 degrees and drizzling. The crew are noticing as well, and we are increasingly asked about when we are taking our winter cover off the ship. It’s like waiting for Christmas morning! The only drawback is that the simple act of removing the cover will cause it to rain for several days in a row. By occupation I am a superstitious person, the certainty of rain and the cover coming off moves from superstition to the failure of the laws of statistics. It’s so obvious that other captains ask me so they can plan inside work for those few days.

The crew keep working long days on the never-ending list to complete. The blocks have finally been put away and the mahogany life jacket boxes are now being attended to along with steps, flag poles, boxes to stand on for the helmsman etc. It’s amazing how many little varnished bits we have on the ship.

In exciting news, our schedule for the season has been published and we have all kinds of public harbour cruises scheduled. These 2-hour cruises are a chance for Nova Scotians and visitors alike to step back in history and sail aboard a Grand Banks schooner. Once clear of the harbour, near battery point, the sails are raised and the engines shut off, passengers and crew alike are always delighted and fascinated as the ships heels to the wind and accelerates away out the bay. Returning to Lunenburg sometime later the town comes into view, and you have a real appreciation of what it must have felt like to return home from the Grand Banks and see home. It’s a special moment in the cruise.

I also had the chance to pop into the ship's gift shop this week. I was staggered by the amount of folding to be done. All the clothing is shipped laid flat and each t-shirt, sweatshirt, jacket must be pulled, cataloged, and folded. They will be open soon, all proceeds help keep your favourite schooner underway and telling the story of the fishing and racing in Nova Scotia.

  • May 1 2022