It was a chilly September morning on the South Shore of Nova Scotia. The sky was endless blue with the sun just starting to grace the sky with its warming presence. The salty air of Lunenburg quickly assaulted our senses with its refreshing embrace as we stepped out of the car and stretched our limbs. Clinking rigging, seagulls calling and water lapping drifted into our ears giving the small town its final ingredient to immerse us in the atmosphere of an old time Maritime harbour.
The Tall Ship Bluenose II sat quietly at the dock, only the occasional crew member making an appearance on deck. We were quite early. My Husband, Father, Brother and I were due to accompany the beautiful ship on
an early morning cruise. In an attempt to kill the time until boarding we earnestly decided on having “second breakfast”—most of us had eaten before leaving two hours before—at a small seaside diner. Eggs, bacon, sausage and toast filled our hungry bellies, preparing us for the voyage ahead.
Pleasantly full and satisfied the four of us made our way down to the dock. We were the first ones there and created the beginning of the line which quickly filled up after us. The sun was rising steadily in the sky as we boarded the Tall Ship.
She was amazingly beautiful with wooden masts, blocks and deck. Everything was clean and polished making her the jewel of the ocean this day. The Bluenose II is one of the best cared for ships I have ever seen. Everything is always clean, polished and in it’s place. She is the pride of Nova Scotia. The sails were still concealed, waiting contently for their chance to feel the kiss of the ocean breeze. We found ourselves a comfortable position and held on as the ship left port and made its way into the bay.
As soon as we were far enough away from the shore the crew appeared all around us. Like a well oiled machine they work in unison to raise the great sails above us. The ivory canvas slid up the masts like a tree reaching towards the sky and flapped slightly before filling with the ocean air. With everything secure, the crew members returned to their assigned positions and once again let us wander the deck. It was fairly chilly out and we were glad to have our sweaters and jackets as a barrier against the sea wind. The ship was moving at a fairly fast speed leaving a white wake behind us as we sailed.
The cruise went on for over two hours and while we were chilled to the bone afterwards, it had to be one of the most exhilarating and beautiful experiences I’ve had. I hope I may add other tall ships to my list of cruises in the future, and perhaps one day have the opportunity to be aboard a Tall Ship in full costume, as she sails upon the ocean. Perhaps here at Man the Capstan we can make that one of our main goals. The Bluenose II will surely be present at Tall Ships 2009 in all its glory.