Tag Archives: Bluenose

Bluenose II – In the Water Soon?

I also wrote about the bluenose, even posted a link to a webcam. Now I’m sorry to say the launch has been delayed. Let’s all keep our fingers crossed! My previous post about Bluenose. – tk

Queens new life in Canada

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…

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Halifax Greets Liner

RMS Britannia (1840) Built by: Robert Duncan, ...

RMS Britannia (1840) Built by: Robert Duncan, Cartsdyke Launch Date: 5.2.1840 Date of completion: 6.1840 Tons: 1156 1849 Renamed: BARBAROSSA 1880 Broken up in Kiel (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the days of “wooden ships and iron men,” the people of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick were the most prosperous, per capita, of all the people in British North America.  Shipbuilding yards were turning vessels, like the Marco Polo (see my April 17 post: Marco Polo), which became famous in many parts of the world. This prosperity ended when iron ships powered by steam replaced wooden sailing ships.  Strangely enough, two Nova Scotians were responsible, and one of them founded the greatest steamship company in the world.

Joseph Howe (see my December 31 post “Not Guilty”) had  helped create the shipbuilding industry in Nova Scotia. The original “Bluenoses” had been encouraged to go in for farming.  Howe had other ideas.  Nova Scotian soil was not good enough for prosperous farming, and he urged men to take advantage of the timber resources and fine harbours, and to in for shipbuilding.  In 1838, however, when Howe was crossing the Atlantic in a windjammer, the steamship Sirius came over the horizon and passed his ship “with the speed of a hunter while we were moving with the rapidity of an ox-cart.”  Howe was so impressed that he urged the Colonial Office in Britain to subsidize fast ships to carry the mail between Liverpool and Halifax.

It was then that the other Nova Scotian, Samuel Cunard, who had made a fortune in lumber and sailing ships, stepped into the picture.  he won the contract to carry mail and passengers in fast steamships between Liverpool and Halifax, and joining with some British businessmen, he established the now famous Cunard Line.  The first Cunarder, Britannia, sailed into Halifax on July 4, 1840, and then went on to Boston.  The voyage from Liverpool to Boston was completed in 14 days, 8 hours at a speed of 8½ knots.  The Liverpool to Halifax run was made in 12 days, 10 hours.  Cunard himself was received with great enthusiasm everywhere.  When he arrived in Boston, he received 1,800 invitations to dinner, within twenty-four hours!

The first iron Cunarder was the Scotia (3,871 tons), the largest ship in the world when she was built in 1862.  Scotia would look like a tug boat along the famous Cunarders Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth, both more than 80,000 tons.

Among the most famous Cunard liners of all time have been Lusitania (sunk by a German submarine in World War I), Mauretania, Berengaria, and Aquitania, which was the flagship of the convoy that carried the First Canadian Division to Britain in World War II.

For those of you who want to learn more, I can suggest a few site. There is the History of Nova Scotia (with special attention to Communications and Transportation). Then there’s Chris’ Cunard Page, (a site that’s pretty complete and interesting), and then the Ivory (3D pictures of the Britannia). And finally, as a treat, a new site I just found is the Cunard Queens (from the Liverpool Museum in the UK).


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Bluenose I Launched


Bluenose (Photo credit: lifecreations)

If a poll were taken of the greatest achievements by Canadians in the world of sports, there would be many nominations.  The greatest all-around athlete could be Lionel Conacher, who appeared to be able to play everything well. There would be runners like Tom Longboat and Percy Williams; boxers like Tommy Burns and Jimmy McLarnin; skaters like Barbara Ann Scott, Hockey players like Wayne Gretzky and Bobby Orr … so many athletes in so many sports.

But today, let’s talk about Nova Scotian fishing schooner Bluenose, long commemorated on Canadian 10-cent pieces (diimes).  She was launched at Lunenburg on March 26, 1921, built entirely of Canadian materials except for her masts of Oregon Pine.

In order to challenge in the International  Schooner Racing Trophy, Bluenose had to be a bona fide fishing vessel.  Her job was to go to the Grand Banks and catch fish.  She returned as best of the Lunenburg fleet, having caught more than the others.

Now Bluenose was qualified to race against the champion of the Gloucester, Massachusetts fleet.  The first contest was held in October 1921, and Bluenose was fifteen minutes ahead of the finish line.  From that time until her last race in 1938, Bluenose defeated all other challengers.

In 1935, Bluenose crossed the Atlantic to attend the Silver Jubilee of King George V, and was received with royal honours by the yachtsmen of Britain. She even raced the fastest schooner yachts in Britain and came in third. Well, to be fair, her opponents were designed for racing, not fishing.

W. J. Roue of Halifax, who designed Bluenose, built other vessels to try to beat her, but was unsuccessful.  It is believed there was something freakish about her hull, an accident of building, that could not be detected and copied.

During World War II, Bluenose was sold to the West Indies Trading Company and carried general cargo between Cuba, Haiti, Guatemala and Honduras.  On the night of January 28, 1946, she hit a reef off Haiti and sank the next day.  Not a sliver of her got back to Canada, although a replica now operates in Halifax as a cruise ship.

As commented below, here’s a link to a great article about the Bluenose, including a stamp commemorating her at Cotton Boll — a very good read!

Canadian dime.  Bluenose!

Canadian dime. Bluenose!

To watch in her glory, you can see her on YouTube, and you can watch Bluenose II live at Nova Scotia Webcams.


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