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Work in all weather

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

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.

On board Bluenose II we are watching the weather and beside the daily forecast, we are also watching the sea surface temperature. Surface temperature will become very important as we move into hurricane season next month. As a hurricane or tropical storm approaches us, the ocean will either impart energy or sap energy from a weather system. Having warmer than usual temperatures already leads us to worry about storms with a more severe impact than usual.

The crew have been busy this week, but you all knew that already. They are busy all the time. Long days are the norm, and they rarely knock off before 19:00 (7pm). We have managed to keep up with the mates’ work list — our goal right now is to have everything ready to rig once we lift in our foremast. We will be busy beavers then.

In happy news, our Company Store has opened for the season. Janet and Mike are back with a few other familiar faces and have been joined by some new shipmates. Running a store is a lot of work, more than I ever imagined. Boxes and boxes of product have been received and carried upstairs to our office and shipping area, everything sorted and counted and then the art of how to display products for maximum effect. The store serves two purposes in the life of Bluenose and Bluenose II: the first is to generate funds to help run the ship. This is very important to us, as the shop raises a significant amount of money for the operation of Bluenose II. The second purpose of the store is to help raise awareness of the legacy of Capt. Angus and Bluenose. We all obviously believe strongly in the icon that is Bluenose and her importance in Canadian history. We also believe that Bluenose II plays an important role in Nova Scotia’s tourism industry and spreading the name Bluenose across the globe helps complete our mission. So, every sweatshirt, book, glass, jacket that the store sells becomes a very important part of our yearly goal.

This weekend, with the weather finally warming up, the crew have cleaned and oiled the decks. There is often a great misconception that the decks are varnished, but in fact we use a product called Deks Olje by Owatrol — an oil-based product that we have been using for over 40 years. In our busiest times, we might have over 100,000 people cross the deck in a season. Any product that we use must be able to stand up to our environment, both at sea and alongside the wharf!

This week we will continue to get things ready for our big uprig, and also get ready to say goodbye to Picton Castle as they head off around the world. Be sure to follow along with their adventure as they carry the Lunenburg flag to far off corners of the world.