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New Adventures and Ties to the Past

It’s a day of remembrance on our good ship today. This week I had the honour to represent Bluenose II at the celebration of life for Capt. Douglas Himmelman. I sailed aboard Bluenose II as Capt. Himmelman’s bosun/3rd officer. This was one of those gifts life gives you that you do not understand until it has passed and done. Capt. H was such an accomplished mariner with a breadth of experience rarely seen today. The master mariners in the church were impressive in their own right, mariners whose careers I hold as exemplary. Pilots, deep sea masters, yachtsmen, all Bluenose II Alumni, all there to pay homage to a man they looked at with deepest respect. 

This week we are getting ready for our first voyage with the crew. In the morning we will set off for Yarmouth and the Bay of Fundy tides! This will be our first night passage and I think the crew are getting excited. With some big tides ahead of us, navigating will be interesting and being tied to the wharf will be a new experience for the crew. One moment welcoming the public aboard and the next (six hours later) staring at a wet dripping dock that stretches twenty feet above. 

The cruises this week have been exciting and spread the entire range of Nova Scotia June weather. Cruises in the fog with zero visibility, cruises in the pouring rain, cruises with a reef in the mainsail, close reaching at 11-12 knots out of Lunenburg Bay with the scuppers inches from the surface of the water. Each cruise has its own flavour and interest and is a remarkably different experience for our guests. Being wrapped in the cotton wool of the Atlantic Ocean fog as the ship silently glides ahead is almost ethereal. The fog horn blaring regularly is a reminder of the dangers the schooner faced while anchored on the Grand Banks  and in the steamer lanes. Many schooners were cut down with no survivors or anybody really knowing their fate. 

Roaring along, with the scuppers near the water and the rig straining elicits the images of racing for the International Fisherman's Cup and you can imagine Capt. Angus urging his charge ahead, willing her to the line ahead of the Henry Ford or Gertrude Thebaud, his arch nemesis Capt. Ben Pine working for every inch of the race course. Every cruise is indeed different and the attachment to history is real and tangible. 

OK, I’m off to get my last minute chores done before departure. We hope to see you during one of our port visits or when we return to Lunenburg!