The Tall Ships Visit Lunenburg – 2012

24 07 2012

Today, I watched from my window as some of the tall ships battled their way into Lunenburg Harbour.

They were hardly visible though the rain and squall.

But they all made it safely into port.

The Pride of Baltimore is a frequent visitor to Lunenburg and I have already written a Blog about her.

I love looking up into the rigging of these sailing ships. I have taken so many photos of the patterns of the ropes and masts, I feel I should use the patterns in a painting.

The Roseway was designed  to challenge the Bluenose in the international schooner races of the 1920s and ’30s and is an original ship, rather than a replica.

Unfortunately, the Blunose did not make it into the water as hoped. It looks like it will be next year before she sails.

I saw some of these ships at the Tall Ships Festival in Halifax in 2008.

The Tall ship Providence is a replica of America’s first warship.

The Lynx is a replica of it’s namesake that sailed during  the American War of 1812.

In contrast to these ships, the luxury motor yacht, Solaia, also arrived in Lunenburg last night.

I always enjoy the toing and froing around a working harbour.

Shipbuilding at Lunenburg, Nova Scotia

13 04 2010

I saw this report in the local paper last fall.

Dawson Moreland & Associates Ltd., as the Lunenburg Schooner Company, will be laying the keels of two new “Lunenburg Schooners” in the finest Maritime traditions at The Dory Shop on the harbour shores of our famous seafaring town, Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, Canada. We are starting off this exciting enterprise with the design and construction of two classic 48-foot, two-masted schooner yachts, for cruising, racing and ocean voyaging. “Fast and Able” schooners are our aim. An initiative to capture the imagination itself, this project is part of the restoration of The Dory Shop Boatyard as the wooden boat building and repair facility it has been for so long and is also a key component of the efforts to revitalize the Lunenburg Working Waterfront.
Starting this autumn, for the first time in many decades, townsfolk and visitors alike will once again witness wooden sailing vessels under
construction along the water’s edge of Lunenburg  Harbour. For so many generations this was such a common sight that even today in the
21st century Lunenburg is known the world over for her fleets of white-winged sailing ships and abilities to put such vessels together.
The replicas of the Bounty, Bluenose, HMS Rose, the expedition vessel Wanderbird and the world voyaging sail training ship, the Barque Picton
Castle, all sailing today, were crafted by the many area shipwrights, sailmakers, spar makers, block makers,slipways and blacksmiths. Together
they still make Lunenburg the place to build or refit a ship and launch a dream.

This was exciting news for us. Although coming from the East Coast of Scotland, the tradition of shipbuilding has almost died out and it is rare to see the building of any new boat.

We saw the keels when they had just been laid and last week-end went along to get some photos to show the progress.

The history of how they obtained the wood for these boats was also really interesting.
In the spring of 2009 while on the ship’s 18,000-mile Voyage of the Atlantic, the crew of the Picton Castle got permission from the Forestry Department of the Island of Grenada in the West Indies to go into the jungle with the famous Grenadian shipwright “Mr. Bones” and locate timbers for keels, stems and other components to build these schooners. Five days later the crew came out of the jungle with two 3,000- pound, 32’x12”x22” pieces of incredibly durable ‘Mountain Gormier’. These they loaded on the ship and sailed the 1,700 miles North to Lunenburg where they now lay at The Dory Shop with a growing pile of timbers waiting for keel laying day. Timber, carpenters, tools and other supplies are being gathered for the Autumn keel laying.

Here is an amazing video of the whole trip to acquire the wood. It is 25 minutes long, but you can move through it quicker if you wish.








It will be exciting to watch the progress of these two schooners and I’m sure that the Launch will be a day of celebration for the town of Lunenburg.

A Sail on The Eastern Star at Lunenburg

7 09 2009

Last Wednesday was my Birthday and I really wanted to do something different. I fancied going on the Bluenose, but it had headed to Gloucester,Massachusetts for a schooner festival. So we decided to have a sail on the Eastern Star, a 48 foot, wooden ketch which sails 3 times a day during the summer months.

The Eastern Star is below Cameron and Louise. The ship behind them is the Concordia, just preparing to take pupils of the School Afloat off for a 10 month trip.

Cam and Lou

There was a good breeze blowing, so there was no need for the engine, other than to leave and return to our berth. Jeff helped haul up the sail, but that photo seems to be missing. Here he is just admiring his handywork.

Jeff surveying sail

We left the harbour sitting on the seats.


But once we were out of the bay and she heeled over, it was easier to sit on the deck with our feet almost in the water.

Feet at waterWe sailed past the lighthouse at Battery Point which has the fog horn that keeps us awake at night.

our lighthouseOur trip lasted about one and a half hours, before we returned to Lunenburg Harbour.

Return to LunenburgAngus – another Scot, was painting Cameron and Louise’s house and took this photo as we sailed down to Blue Rocks.

Us on yacht

Here is a wee video of our trip.

If you like this, maybe you’ll come for a real trip with us.

The Bluenose sails home to Lunenburg

26 07 2009

Lunenburg is the home port of the Bluenose II.  She sailed up to Halifax for the Tall ships Festival and then returned to Lunenburg on the Tuesday morning. Here she is leaving Halifax on Monday after the Parade of Sail.


And I saw her passing our house early Tuesday morning and headed to the harbour for this video.

The Caledonia, another Lunenburg ship, actually returned on Monday evening as we sat on the deck at Cameron’s and I got this photo below.

Concordia returning

The Unicorn, Larinda, Concordia and PeersFancy  also all sailed in to Lunenburg to continue the festival. This is someone else’s photo of the Unicorn in Halifax.


The Unicorn was built  in 1947 from metal from old German submarines. It was first of all a Dutch motor fishing vessel, but  when its fishing days were over it was converted to a sailing ship and renamed the Unicorn.  It is now a sail training ship for women and is the only all female crewed Tall Ship.

The  Larinda is a replica of a 1767 schooner, built over a period of 26 years by Larry Mahan of Barnstable, Mass.  She was a labour of love, full of wood carvings and fancy and fun. Mahan sailed her in many Tall Ships events, where she was much admired. Then in 2003, having taken shelter in Halifax Harbour during Hurricane Juan, she was rammed by another ship during the storm and sank, right next to a sewerage outlet. It was a big mess, and Mahan despaired of ever being able to repair her.

Larinda's stern, reflected in the waterLarinda’s stern, reflected in the water of Lunenburg Harbour

The salvaged boat was bought by a Nova Scotia couple who live on St. Margaret’s Bay, and is being carefully restored.  Larinda didn’t actually make it to the Halifax Tall Ships event, and hasn’t been fully rigged yet. But she was towed to Lunenburg and rafted up alongside the schooner Unicorn, from whose deck we could admire her. Larinda is sporting a new colour scheme of black, white and bronze instead of green and off-white (see photos of Larinda before the sinking).  Her distinctive red battened junk sails were irreparably damaged, and her new sails will be white. The frog in the tricorner hat still graces her bow, and her brasswork is shiny.

It was nice to see this ship in Lunenburg and hopefully we’ll see her under sail in the not too distant future.

Tall Ships Festival, Halifax

23 07 2009

Last Sunday Jeff and I headed to Halifax to see the Tall Ships Festival. This was quite an outing for us as we haven’t been so far from home – a  75 minute drive – since being in Halifax with Cameron and Louise last October! Well, we have actually driven farther south and west from Lunenburg, but on really quiet roads. As it is such a thought for us to leave the tranquility of the South Shore, we decided that we’d stay the night at the Marriott Hotel, making for a more relaxed trip.

Tall ships arrive from all over the world and many are competing in the Tall Ships Atlantic Challenge. This is a seven heat race that started in Spain in May, then travelled to Tenerife, Bermuda, Charleston, Boston, Halifax and finally to Belfast.

The atmosphere at the waterfront was exciting, especially for us country bumpkins, and I took hundreds of photos. This little video, just gives a feeling of the waterfront and you might recognize the dour Scot.

Bounty 3

The Bounty,above, was built in 1960 for MGM studios’ Mutiny on the Bounty with Marlon Brando. Since then, the new Bounty has starred in several feature-length films and dozens of TV shows and historical documentaries.

The studios commissioned the ship from the shipwrights of Smith and Ruhland in our town of Lunenburg.  The new Bounty was constructed from the original ship’s drawings still on file in the British admiralty archives.

In February of 2001 H.M.S. Bounty was purchased  by HMS Bounty Organization LLC, which is dedicated to keeping the ship sailing and using her as a vehicle for teaching the nearly lost arts of square rigged sailing and seamanship.

SagresThe Sagres , above, is a Portuguese Naval training ship.She was built in 1937 by the German Navy. She was captures by the U. S. Forces in 1945 and given to the Brazil Navy. In 1962 she was purchased by Portugal.

US coastguardThe US coastguard training ship. the Eagle, was also built by the German Navy.

The Concordia, above, is a well known sight in Lunenburg, being the school for the Class Afloat. It will head off from Lunenburg in September on a 9 month long trip.

EuropaThis is the Dutch sail training ship, the Europa, as it prepared for the Parade of Sail.

Fox harbour 1Destination Fox Harbour is actually a Tall Ship – a very modern one, that had Jeff wishing he could win the lottery, but even that wouldn’t buy this ship.

Below you can see just how tall the mast is on this ship as it prepared for the Parade of Sail, alongside The Eagle.

Fox harbour  +

In the evening there was a fantastic fireworks display, from a barge out on the water. We went onto the roof garden at the hotel and had a front seat to observe the pyrotechnics. My video was a bit useless, lots of black sky with some splashes of colour in the distance, but Jeff got some good photos.


All in all, quite an adventure for us Glen folk.

I’ll tell you about the ships that sailed back here to Lunenburg after the Tall Ships event in Halifax, on my next post.

Kayaking around Lunenburg

9 05 2009

Lat weekend we went up to Halifax and bought ourselves a tandem kayak. This is something we have been promising ourselves since we had a day trip around Mahone Bay in a rented kayak last year. Louise and Cameron bought a 17′ canoe and have already had a few trips out, in fact we had a wee shot the first time they put it into the water. (You can read all about their canoe project on Louise’s Blog). Here we are below in their canoe, although I look as if I am paddling a kayak and not a canoe.IMG_0331

I went shopping for life jackets and we had to find a roof rack for our Honda CRV, this week, before we could try out our new toy. So, this morning we rose nice and early and loaded everything up. Yesterday’s fog had gone and it was a lovely morning.

DSC04783We were only driving to the Back Harbour at Lunenburg, a distance of about a mile, but the kayak had to be tied down no matter how far we were travelling. Jeff thought he’d pose to show you how he looks in his new life jacket and kayak skirt, before we set off.

DSC04787We headed across Back Harbour and around the coast past Heckman’s Island.


We saw a tiny island with about 50 cormorants drying their wings, but my camera would not take any photos! Then a seal popped up not faraway, but again no photo! We paddled across to Second Peninsula and then right up the length of  the Peninsula to a little beach, where we hauled up and had our picnic in a field. The black flies were quite bad, so we didn’t sit too long, before almost retracing our route, back to the start. You can see our trip on Google maps here.,-64.311562&spn=0.033669,0.089607&t=h&z=14

This was a great first paddle for us, only about 15 km, but hopefully we’ll have lots of adventures to share with you this summer. And I might get some good photos. I did find out when I got home that the Memory card in the camera was full – still with wedding photos from the evening reception at Insch!

Anyone have any good ideas for a name for our new craft – I wondered about Blue Queen – obviously because of the famous Bluenose here in Lunenburg. Please add your suggestions by clicking on ‘Comment’.

Our town – Lunenburg

27 11 2008

When we moved to Nova Scotia, we were sure that we wanted to live in the country again, as we had in Glenshee. However, after looking around the area for several months we decided to buy at Lunenburg. We are just outside the town, but close enough to walk in if we wish to or have to. Lunenburg is just about the right size of town for us, with only a population of 2,500. Yet, it has everything you would need in a small town. Unlike most American towns, it has pavements (sidewalks) and so you can walk to the Post Office, the Banks, the Library, the supermarket, small stores and the Pub. It also has a small indoor heated swimming pool, an outdoor pool, tennis courts, 9 hole golf course, curling rink, ice hockey rink, recreation centre, theatre and more. There are numerous art galleries and a very good series of concerts performed at the St John’s Church. We have tickets for the ‘Concert of 100 Candles’ next Saturday and I’m sure that will get us all into the Christmas mood.

Lunenburg is an interesting old town with its own history and unique architecture. It is an UNESCO World Heritage site and so attracts many tourists in the summer. We are looking forward to showing you all around next summer. I’ll include some links so that you can look at the old houses, fishing museum and Blue Nose. We watch the Blue Nose from our kitchen window as it takes tourists out for trips. That is a treat we are looking forward to next year – it must be really exciting.

Lunenburg Harbour at night

Lunenburg Harbour at night

Bluenose from our window

Bluenose from our window