It’s been two weeks of victories and losses onboard the schooner. When we last met, we had just passed our annual inspection and we were ready to begin our annual harbour cruise season. We have managed to find enough tourists to make the trips worthwhile in the mornings and have been sold out in the afternoons. As always, we are meeting people from all over the world who come to Nova Scotia for the adventure. As the sign says in Mahone Bay, “We love the beauty around us and welcome you to share it.” While sailing out in the bay we have seen porpoises, and a few tuna as well as a variety of birds hanging around. We have also seen some mackerel circling alongside the ship in the evenings. It seems early to me to have them in the harbour, however our guests certainly appreciate the porpoise. I’m sure with the return of larger fish and mammals, the sharks will be along soon as well. Looking at the shark tracker app on my phone, I see that Ironbound and Mahone aren’t all that far away. I can hear the theme music now! In the past, we used to see sharks quite often as they would follow ships waiting for garbage to be thrown over the side. Now that we all bring our garbage ashore, they are getting out of the habit (and yes, for as long as I have been aboard, and likely always, Bluenose II has landed its garbage ashore.)
Like all of Nova Scotia, we are down a few crew from the viral illness that we are all living with. It is a conundrum to be sure — we have enough crew to operate but we miss the muscle to help get the sails up and down, and the personalities to interact with our guests. Any viral illness aboard a ship with small, shared living spaces is a concern and we always make sure that we clean shared spaces well. As you can imagine, a simple stomach bug can go through the crew quickly. It’s all part of life at sea— not the best part but certainly recognized and dealt with.
By the time I write the next log, we will have taken the crew to sea. Our first trip of the year has us heading “to the westward” and around the corner to Yarmouth where the Travel Media Association of Canada is hosting their annual conference. It’s a tremendous opportunity for an area to host this conference as the media will tour the area and create content for their audience. Nova Scotia is a fantastic place to visit, but with all the competition across Canada and the globe, keeping the name forward is important. Tourism brings well over two billion dollars into the Nova Scotian economy annually and this can’t be dismissed lightly. With hundreds of small businesses offering activities that support the restaurants and hotels and their staff. Good tourism operators bring visitors out of the major centers and help small town economies which in turn helps spread the word about visiting Nova Scotia. We are a beautiful province with an amazing, diverse population and are a lucky, lucky people.