Bluenose II – In the Water Soon?

31 07 2013
On 3rd February, 2011,  I wrote about the restoration of the Bluenose II.
Last year, I took this photo once it was out of its shed and was hopeful that we’d see the Bluenose II sailing out of the bay this summer.
Yesterday, I took these photos in the Lunenburg fog, as the Bluenose still sits in the dry dock!
Definite progress has been made.
The masts are in place.

So why the delays

On June 13th, the news was that they were working on the rudder.
That the refit was well over a year behind schedule and the $16-million pricetag for the work was expected to go up!
Then the news this week -July 22nd

The much-delayed Bluenose II rebuild has suffered another setback.

The schooner was to start sea trials this month, but Communities, Culture and Heritage spokesperson Michael Noonan told CBC News that plan has been delayed.

Noonan said a machinist suffered a serious injury this weekend and he will need to be replaced. The man’s injury has nothing to do with work, it occurred off-site.

Noonan said the machinist is one of the key members of the rebuild’s staff as builders prepare to install a steel rudder, the last step before the sea trials begin.

However, the injury means the sea trials won’t start on schedule, but will be delayed by a week or two as the builders try to find a replacement for the injured man.

We can only hope that there will be no more delays and that we will soon see the Bluenose II back in the water.

Like this photo of the old Bluenose  I took in 2009.


Until then you can watch this Petro Canada Commercial from 1985 showing this icon in action.

The Picton Castle Returns to Lunenburg

18 06 2011

It was March 2010, that I watched the Picton Castle sail out of Lunenburg Harbour on her 5th World trip.

She headed to Panama, Ecuador and on to Tahiti and the Cook Islands on the first leg.

Here is a video  I found on youtube of here arriving at the Cook Islands, where she is registered.

From August until November she sailed to Tonga, Fiji and Bali.

Leg 3 took her from Bali, to Cape Town.   She then sailed from South Africa to Bermuda and back to Lunenburg.

The captain’s log makes interesting reading of this voyage.

Today, the Picton Castle returned to her home port – but I was not in town to watch her sail back!

I walked to the harbour and took these photos.

Most of the crew had left the ship.

The rain wasn’t far away.

Lunenburg was pleased to see her safe return.

She proudly flies the Canadian flag, as well as that of the Cook Islands.

Wouldn’t it be something to travel the world in one of these ships?

This summer you can sail on her to Newfoundland, the most eastern piece of land in North America – as a crew member.

And discover for yourself what life is like aboard.

You will learn everything you need to know about sailing. The trip starts in July and takes 8 weeks. Anyone interested?

The Fryderyk Chopin – Tall Ship in Distress

29 10 2010

In February, I wrote about the sinking of the Concordia, the tall ship used by the Class Afloat, which was based here in Lunenburg.

Since then, the Class Afloat have chartered the Sail Training Ship, Sorlandet, of Norway, and are at this moment heading for Barcelona.

Today I was shocked to hear of the distress of another tall ship, the Fryderik Chopin.

The BBC news report said that she was drifting at sea, about 100 miles south west of the Isles of Scilly, after losing her masts in gale force winds. On board was a crew of 47; 36 of these being 14 year olds.

Although the vessel had an engine, the skipper was reluctant to use it in case debris and rigging from the masts got caught in the propeller.

A container ship, the MSC Narissa, responded to coastguard calls for assistance and acted as a windbreak to shelter the ship from the weather.

A bulk carrier, a lifeboat from the Isles of Scilly and a large fishing vessel also responded to an appeal for assistance.

The Newlyn fishing vessel, Nova Spirro, attached a line to the vessel and began towing it to Plymouth early on Friday evening.  The trip was expected to take about three days but was dependent on the weather.

There have been no reported injuries and the captain has confirmed that all are well.

The thing that drew my attention to this story was the fact that I watched last year as the Fryderyk Chopin sailed into Lunenburg with its crew. Then, it was – like the Concordia – the second ship for the Class Afloat Programme.

That it too, nearly came to the same end as the Concordia, in the same year, is scary and shows the power of the sea under difficult weather conditions.

Like the story of the Concordia, the main thing is that everyone is safe.

I found this  Blog written by Morgan Brown, during his year on the Fryderyk Chopin. It has some great photos and I noticed that the vessel was in Leith Port last June. There are some photos of trips to Edinburgh and St Andrews.


Tall Ship Europa, Sails into Lunenburg

13 09 2010

Today’s excitement was watching the arrival of the Europa into the Bay at Lunenburg.  We had seen this ship at Halifax last year in the Tall Ships Festival. She looked wonderful sailing in under full sail.

She was flying the flags of the Netherlands and the European Communities.

The figurehead is the Goddess Europa with Zeus the bull.

The ship’s dog seemed happy to have arrived at port.

The ship edged slowly into a berth beside the Fisheries Museum.

And was secured.



After Lunenburg, the Europa heads to Brazil, before sailing on to Antarctica.

This web site tell you all about the Europa and her expeditions.

Her trips to Antarctica look amazing. Here is just one of the photos from the site.

Anyone who fancies a trip of a lifetime should check out the schedules.

Tall Ship Concordia Sinks Off Brazil

19 02 2010

We’ve just heard the upsetting news that the tall ship Concordia has gone down off the coast of Brazil. The good news is that all of the Class Afloat has been rescued.

Here is the latest news report.

The Class Afloat was set up in 1984 to give young people the opportunity to travel the world on a sailing ship whilst continuing their academic studies.

We watched it sail out of Lunenburg last September and the town was abuzz with parents seeing their children off on this 9 month long trip.

Here is one of the students thoughts, written in the ship’s log this month .
Reflection – Sam G.

15 months, 18 different countries, 20 ports of call, over 40 cities, 1 ocean, 6 seas, 31 350 nautical miles later, 109 influential people. This combination has been my Class Afloat experience. All of these adventures, experiences and people add up and contribute to molding who I have become. As much as I would love to, I do not know how to explain nor share this past year and a half with you. This experience has been rich with the best and worst times of my life, a rollercoaster of emotions, and indescribable events. I hate that when we try to help you understand it sounds cliché. I hate that we can’t share the joy it brings to be a part of this crew. I hate that we can’t share the peace we experience when sitting on deck watching the mast against the starts. I’m happy you will never have to endure the green plague of seasickness, but sad that you cannot experience the victory of overcoming and defeating it. I wish we could share the cultures we experience and the relationships we form. I wish that we could share the simple pleasures that life at sea can bring. I wish that we could lift the burdens of society and ease the stresses of money. There is a peace of mind you accomplish when you are not being judged by superficial appearances or pressured by others. These things allow you to reflect, learn about yourself, and explore your role as a global citizen. Class Afloat has been more than traveling, more than community, and more than self-discovery- it has become a choice of lifestyle.

I had links here to the Class Afloat web site, but that seems to be disabled at the moment. The gallery on it had some amazing photos.

Instead you can see a video of life on the Concordia at

This loss of this ship will be felt here in Lunenburg and we wonder if it will ever be replaced.

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.