As I write, a beautiful double rainbow crowns the ship. Six or eight small boats crammed with people ‘ooh’ and ‘ahh’ as they take photos of a freshly washed ship anchored just outside their little community. A social media post promises Bluenose pub night ashore with live music and cold beverages. As we made our way up Chedabucto Bay, we were followed by 10 or 15 boats who would occasionally break out into cheers as they saw their prodigal daughter/cousin/friend make an appearance on deck. There were hand-drawn signs proclaiming how much she was missed and that pirates were going to kidnap her and take her home for the night. They may have been the best signs I have seen for a long time. They were full of positivity and family pride in the adventures experienced by a local, and full of pride in the provincial icon making a stop in their community. We often have a flotilla meet us and every time it is special. Every time, I take pictures of jet skis, and speed boats and Cape Island boats full of people having a family gathering and sharing stories. Having a crew member from your community is extra special!
Tomorrow, we heave up our anchor and head down the bay to Louisbourg, a National Historic Site that is embedded in the roots of our country. The “crew” in the fortress are as deeply proud of their part of history as we are of ours — caretakers of special places for future generations. We will exchange cannon fire. Our little pop gun versus their proper cannon— not fair in a fight, but the salute is greatly appreciated. I often wonder if they can even hear ours or it’s just a puff of smoke.
From Louisbourg, we are headed to the Northern Yacht Club for a very exciting event. NYC is hosting the Mobility Cup where sailors with different abilities race for pride and friendship and for the joy of being on the water. Aboard Martin16 sailboats, these sailors will tack, gybe and scheme with the best of them. We always say the sea is a great equalizer, it doesn’t care who or what you are, it will challenge you and often reward you for your hard work. Just coming from the Opti nationals at Lunenburg Yacht Club, I am excited to see some of the races and meet the sailors.
Upon leaving North Sydney, we will work our way down the coast to St. Margaret’s Bay for the 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 World Championships. Hosted by the sailing clubs in Hubbards and French Village, 400 sailors from 40 countries are expected to attend. 49ers are much different from an Opti or Martin16. They are high speed machines of the modern era. They zip around the course with sometimes little of their hulls in the water. They are very exciting to watch I’m told.
That makes three national and international sailing events in our province in the last two weeks. A shout out and standing ovation to the planners, race committees, volunteers and hosts who make these events possible.
After our visit at the races, we are headed back to Lunenburg to continue our harbour tour schedule. You can buy tickets online and we are always happy to meet our guests. Lunenburg is a great place to spend the day with the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic, great restaurants and of course the Bluenose II Company Store.