Man the Capstan Debuts, October 31, 2008

In the Red Parlour at the Blomidon Inn

I thought it might be getting to be high time that we posted a word a two about our recent activities, including our debut outing on October 31st.  So here then is a little tidbit. It’s been a pretty quiet couple of weeks around here since Hallow’een night. Rather nice actually, no deadlines and just a bit of down time. Not having to work on the costumes every waking minute has allowed me to get caught up with some housework, and even spare a thought or two for Christmas, which is really just around the corner!

The Blomidon Inn at Night

We had all agreed that Hallow’een was a great opportunity to go out and try out our costumes, so with that in mind we rushed to complete them to a point that all five could reasonably be worn.  It was a bit of a challenge but all in all we did manage rather well.

David, Steve & Tim

Keeping in mind that it was the first time all five of us would be in costume and taking into consideration the expecting member of the group, we decided that a calm and low key outing would be most appropriate. Thus, it was decided that dinner out was exactly what was called for.  The Blomidon Inn turned out to be the perfect place for us on this night.  It was a great setting for our costumes and offered just the right ambiance.

Surprising to us were the very few diners who had ventured out for dinner that evening;  we and a few other patrons had the place pretty much to ourselves.  Even though it would’ve been nice to see a few more persons about, the quiet did afford us the opportunity to take some really great pictures.

Shara & Johanna

The Blomidon Inn offers fantastic dining and a really affordable meal called “The Captain’s Dinner” which consists of five courses of some really awesome dishes that differ on various evenings.  Our meal included a very spicy Lobster Bisque, a choice of the largest Digby Scallops we had ever seen and a very tasty Mediterranean Chicken dish, and for dessert I had the best Cheese Cake ever!  We took our time over dinner, toured a few of the rooms and lingered in the red parlour where a fire crackled happily in the old fireplace.

It’s a lovely place and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.  We returned home to change into our modern day pajamas and settle down in front of our own fire.


Prepare to Weigh Anchor!

The Blomidon Inn, Wolfville, Nova Scotia

The Blomidon Inn, Wolfville, Nova Scotia

As Johanna mentioned in an earlier post, things have been very busy here at Man the Capstan; she has been working nonstop, every day, stitching, tacking, sewing, serging, cutting, pressing and dressing. It’s more than a full time job, and she really deserves a medal for all this work. The good news, however, is that after Halloween there will be very little left to do, as 90-95% of all the costumes will be done. Behind the Uniform, Part II revealed that the Capstan crew would be heading out on the 31st of October for the first time together, in period dress. In attendance will be Shara, dressed in the English Rose, her husband Tim in his Royal Navy captain’s coat, Johanna of course, in Passage to India, her husband Steve, our Royal Marine, and myself in another Royal Navy captain’s coat. Our destination? A nice little place called the Blomidon Inn.

Cape Blomidon, Nova Scotia

Cape Blomidon, Nova Scotia

The Blomidon Inn resides in the university town of Wolfville, Nova Scotia. Wolfville, originally known as Mud Creek (which was changed hastily in light of a possible Royal visit) is home to Acadia University, where I attend classes on a full-time basis. It’s a charming little town that grows alarmingly quiet in the summer, but is a bustle with activity during the cooler seasons. The Blomidon Inn rests a few kilometres down Main Street, towards the east. The Inn gets his name from Cape Blomidon, a very well-known geographical personality in the Annapolis Valley and particularly in Wolfville, where it is easily spotted. Blomidon sits quite prominently off the coast, an irregular landmass lying on the southeast shore of the Bay of Fundy. The Cape is home to a provincial park and the mighty Glooscap, a legendary Mi’kmaq (a local aboriginal tribe) god responsible for the creation of the Annapolis Valley and the islands within the Minas Basin.

Garden Bridge, Blomidon Inn

Garden Bridge, Blomidon Inn

The Blomidon Inn is described as an “old sea captain’s mansion”, hosting nearly thirty guest rooms, two dining rooms, a dining terrace, and the surrounding gardens. The history of the Blomidon Inn begins in 1881, when a gentleman (a merchant) named Rufus Burgess purchased the lot for a resounding $1,400. The house and lot served as his personal residence. Mister Burgess owned shares in ships, and quickly moved to manufacturing his own. Burgess funded the construction of many tall ships, one of them the Canada (the largest tall ship built in the Dominion at the time). When Georgie, Burgess’ wife, died in 1911 (Rufus preceded her by six years) the property sold at auction. For the next seventy years the property would slip from one owner to another, often experiencing hard financial times. Before it was an Inn, it was once known as the “Blomidon Lodge”, a popular place for travelling salesmen to congregate.

In 1980 it became known as the Blomidon Inn, and in 1988 the current owners, the Laceby family, began operating it. Since then the inn has gained international acclaim as a signature inn in Nova Scotia; residents may enjoy luxurious accommodations, fine dining and a charming atmosphere—the house is beautifully decorated and the surrounding gardens secret the building away into the time period of its birth.

To the King!

The Capstan Crew will be heading to the Blomidon Inn on Halloween, in period costume, for dinner. Hopefully we’ll be able to take some spectacular shots to show with you all. It will be the first time the entire crew will be in costume for a picture, so we’re all looking forward to the occasion. We plan to assume a role of sorts for the venture (I’m Captain William Marinus, RN) and have some fun to boot. I’ll have to do a bit of research on customary naval toasts (“To wives and sweethearts!”) and we’ll take a few turns at the table. At any rate, it should be a good evening spent. It also gets us in costume, and in public, which will be a first for us. Tall Ships 2009 will have us in the costumes for several hours at a time, so this outing (and hopefully more in the future) will prepare us for the eventual hangups that are bound to occur.

We’re in sore need of a “Costume Update” post, to get everyone up to speed on the current status of each project. Obviously, we’re nearing completion, but there are some critical areas we have yet to look at. I’ll leave that for another blog update, however! Also, be sure to check out Man the Capstan’s new Flickr Photostream! We’ll hopefully have it fleshed out and filled with albums and photos soon enough.