Red and Black Victorian Walking Gown – Ensemble

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I made this striking gown to sell in my Etsy shop, but as soon as my daughter Shara saw it,  it became hers. I would say it has “attitude”.  She looked so stunning in it that I had to give it to her, and in retrospect, perhaps I made it for her without realizing that I was doing so!  Shara and her husband like to do a little Steam Punk once in a while and this gown lends itself  to that, as well as to a strictly Victorian look. Shara therefore considers it a pretty versatile addition to have in her historical wardrobe.SLR_2_5600-2 It did look wonderfully festive when it was worn to the Victorian Christmas at the O’Dell House Museum.

For accessories, I bought a plain black, buckled, ladies felted top hat to go with it. I decorated it with red lace, black french netting, a few cocky feathers, a black net train and a big red rose. It also has a black parasol and matching reticule. Shara also wears netted black crocheted gloves, and a black beaded choker. Black brocade Victorian style booties complete this ensemble.

IMG_0014-002This Victorian walking gown consists of a polonaise and a walking skirt. I find it has a French feeling to it and  I also like it as a riding habit. The skirt, which is made from a black embroidered taffeta, has one large ruffle and is trimmed in black and red venise laces and satin ribbon. It is slightly trained at the back.

SLR_2_5437-002The polonaise, is made in a rich blood red and black shot striped taffeta and is fully lined and boned. It incorporates both the bodice and the over-skirt and has a nice large bustle, as well as a pleated basque at the back.  It is trimmed with matching black venise lace, tulle lace at the neckline and sleeves, and  ruched black satin ribbon. I had about a half yard of a very long, red, 8 inch venise lace, which matched the red of the taffeta exactly, so I added that to the front of the polonaise as well. I find it really stands out against the black of the skirt. This bodice closes at the front with black satin fabric self made buttons.

I’m planning to make a variation of this ensemble again as it is so striking. I have more of the striped taffeta, not only in the red but in a blue as well.

Don’t forget to click on the pictures to get the full size and effect!SLR_4_2486-002

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The Waverley Inn, Halifax, Nova Scotia

SLR_8460-003While attending the Festival of Tall Ships, Man The Capstan, had the opportunity to stay at The Waverley Inn in Halifax. This Inn is tucked away at 1266 Barrington Street, and is a reasonable walk to the waterfront. There are many other Hotels and Inns in this downtown core, but none offers quite the same experience and ambiance of this unique three story bed and breakfast.

waverly1-001Once an elite Victorian private residence, the Waverley Inn is definitely pretty special, especially if you’re like me and prefer smaller and more intimate places to stay, and particularly if they are historical houses.

Lobby-I-001This house was built in 1865-66 by a wealthy merchant named Edward W. Chipman and his wife Mahala Jane Northup. Interestingly both these last names are listed in the family trees of certain Man The Capstan Crew members. Could there be a family relationship there? Perhaps!

The Chipman home was purported to be one of the most expensive and extravagant homes in the city of Halifax. Mrs. Chipman was a very fashionable lady, who was well known in Halifax society and she immediately began to host many dances and social events. These were attended by not only the local society, but also by the officers who were stationed at the Garrison. Hence, it seemed just the place for a group of Royal Navy Re-enactors like us, to spend a night or two.Roman-Sisters-II-001

Unfortunately, Mr. Chipman’s dry goods business failed and in just a short while (1870), the family could no longer afford this home. It must have been heartbreaking to see their lovely home turned over to the Sherriff of Halifax. Much of the furnishings were seized, and the house was sold at auction where it was bought by a real estate speculator named Patrick Costin.SLR_8285-001

He sold the house to two spinsters named Sarah and Jane Romans, who had been operating their father’s business, The Waverley Hotel. They added a new wing to the rear of the house and in October of 1876 they moved into their new location. Since then the Waverley has functioned as an Inn, owned by a variety of different owners. In 1960 the Sterling Hotel Company purchased it and did extensive restorations.

SLR_8270-001Today this house still operates as a lovely historical Inn, and Man The Capstan certainly enjoyed their stay there. We stayed in the Vanderbilt room, and the twin room right across from it, and were indeed very comfortable. The house is filled with antiques and period furniture, and beautifully decorated with the opulence of the Victorian period.  The breakfast room downstairs offers a healthful and generous breakfast with lots of variety. The staff is friendly and helpful, and the rooms are beautiful and very clean. I would definitely stay there again, and would recommend it as a place to stay if ever you are visiting Halifax , Nova Scotia.

Don’t for get to click on the pictures to get their full size and effect!waverly4-001

The Bustle Dress at Sherbrooke Village

During the late 1860s, the hoop skirt  gave way to the bustle. Huge skirts advanced into a more slim line with the fabric concentrated and pulled to the back of the dress. The first of these new fashions still had some fullness at the front but the most of it was now centered and pouffed at the back. The 1870s were a transitional period for women and their fashions. Perhaps because of these changes, the era was full of creativity and intriguing ideas; the bustle came back into fashion, albeit much different than it’s predecessor. Trains reappeared and fabric was used in huge quantities, trims too were used to the extreme; a woman could never add too much trim to her gown.

Much of the overindulgence in ladies’ fashions was due to that new fangled invention and the wide spread use of the contraption known as the sewing machine. All those trims, tucks, and pleats that once had to be sewn by hand could now be done by machine. Not too many of us have a very good idea of how slow hand sewing was/is – can you imagine sewing the long and endless seams of the skirts and gowns of that time? We would also likely chuckle at the slowness of middle nineteenth century sewing machines compared with what is available to a seamstress today. I own such a peddle machine, (although I don’t sew on it) it is powered by ones feet, no motors, electricity or computers. I learned to sew on just such a one when I was in my early teens and my mother still has it at home. The early sewing machines sewed over one thousand stitches per minute, and this was at least sixty times faster than hand sewing. The result of this was that what once was very expensive to produce was now much more affordable. What previously only the wealthy could wear, now the middle class could create themselves.

In addition to the laces and trims that were made at home or in a dressmaker’s shop, many trims could be purchased and were produced en mass. Everything from pleated yardage, to flounces, to tucked materials, to bindings and elaborate cut-work could be bought at the general store. Women rushed to take advantage of these advances and even the simplest house dresses were trimmed, frilled and required large amounts of fabric. It must have been so exciting for them!

I have always loved the bustle gown. The distinguished lady with her ruffled or pleated, laced and bustled skirts, the feathered hats tilted smartly to the front or the side of the head, the beautiful laces and trims and the rows of buttons embellishing the bodices, which in contrast to the skirts were fitted snugly. They made a woman look beautiful, feminine and curvaceous. Padding was used in the bodices at the bust and under the arms area giving a woman a soft rounded look; and the seams for the sleeves were set in just slightly off the shoulder.

For the first bustle gown I decided to sew, I secured a Truly Victorian pattern for the polonaise. A piece that became very popular in about 1873 and was styled in many different ways. It was actually a combination bodice and over-skirt, saving the woman of wearing these pieces separately. The fitting process for these patterns is done a little differently then the usual way; (Victorian tailoring methods are used), but once you get the hang of it, it’s not really that hard and it does give one a very good fit. The skirt I designed and drafted myself using fashion plates of the period for my inspiration. I left it untrained as I wanted a walking skirt.

The entire ensemble was sewn using a beautiful green shot taffeta. I trimmed the polonaise with various venise laces – a beautiful four inch floral for around the sleeves and the bottom front, and I edged the entire front with a lovely one inch swagged lace which I also added to the basque back. I found the prettiest gold and black store bought daisy buttons for closures and also pleated black satin ribbon which I added to the bustle at the bottom edge at the back of the polonaise. The skirt was over-layered with a black floral lace to just below where the polonaise ended in the front, and I pleated and added about a 12 inch length of taffeta around the bottom of the skirt; which I trimmed with thick black braided trim. I always add my trims by hand as I find that a sewing machine is just to rough on these beautiful additions, plus I find it a pleasant task to sit in the evening and sew. It also gives my hands something to do as I find it difficult to sit and do nothing.

For matching accessories I bought a smart, green, plain wool hat and trimmed it with gathered and somewhat pleated taffeta to the brim, black embroidered lace over the crown, and satin ribbon left both plain and ruched around the crown. The outside of the brim was also decorated with black braid. I finished by making a matching reticule with a bit of the left over taffeta, braid and beaded trim. Such things as matching hats and reticules are a great way of using up leftover trims and fabrics.

When we went to Sherbrooke Village I also carried a black parasol, wore black elbow length non-shiny gloves and black shoes. Underneath the dress I wore a small bustle, bloomers and cabled stockings. Because it was a 3.5 hour drive to Sherbrooke and I did not have help to lace it up, I did not wear a corset, although I do own one and the dress does have an even better shape when it is worn with it.

I am very happy with this gown! I feel good in it and it’s really pretty comfortable to wear.

Ambrotype Adventure in Sherbrooke!

Earlier this year, four members of Man the Capstan ventured across the province to Sherbrooke, Nova Scotia, where tucked beside the St. Mary’s river sits a picturesque village subsisting still within the late 19th century. Interested in all things historical, especially with respect to Nova Scotian history, the Capstan Crew thoroughly enjoyed themselves and resolved to return, particularly in costume!

We prepared to depart early in the morning on October 10th, this time skipping the Guysborough detour and heading straight down to Sherbrooke from New Glasgow. It was a far quicker drive than last time, and we pulled into the parking lot at a timely 1400 hrs (or thereabouts).

Of particular interest at Sherbrooke was their reputed ambrotype studio, one of the few working studios that still use the original method employed in the 1860s. For an incredible $40.00 tourists can get dressed up in a variety of costumes and outfits and have their picture taken! Having an ambrotype picture taken is a rewarding experience; the very act itself is a historical exercise. Let me tell you, it’s not like heading to Sears and getting your family portrait taken.

Susan, our photographer this time around (different from the lady we dealt with previously) was a true professional; she explained the process and arranged us in a timely manner; for my own picture it was decided it best to sit down, holding my chapeau in my lap and sitting in such a way so as to not cut my larger frame out of the shot—you don’t have a lot of room to work with, and we’d learn fairly quickly that it’s even harder to fit two people into a frame! Our photographer told us that there are a few “tricks” they use in order to get it just right.

In the end we had two shots taken; one with myself, and the other with Johanna and Steve. We were informed the process would take about 20-30 minutes, and that in the meantime Susan could introduce us to the costumers that were responsible for helping to make all the history “come alive” at Sherbrooke. We took a walk across the street and spoke with Meg and her assistant, Andrea. The wardrobe room was filled with dresses and men’s outfits, shoes, hats, simple gowns, fancy gowns, and a workshop that exuded a creative aura; this was indeed the place that old things rose to become something new and engaging.

Andrea and Meg

Both Meg and Andrea were clearly passionate about their work (it seems that has been a trend for us; most history enthusiasts wouldn’t do what they do unless they loved it!) and we had a wonderful conversation with them. The 20-30 minutes passed quickly, and after passing a card to them, we headed back to secure our finished ambrotypes, which were spectacular!

We took the opportunity to take a few more shots within Sherbrooke, getting some splendid ones; we’ve uploaded all of them to our Flickr Photostream; check out the set here!

I’d like to return to Sherbrooke again in uniform, perhaps in a busier part of the year so as to have a bit more fun with some fellow visitors. It’s a great place in Nova Scotia, and I hope that by writing this blog it may engender some additional interest; this sort of living history is rarely seen executed so well. You can visit Sherbrooke’s website here!

Until next time!

Weighing Anchor for Sherbrooke, N.S.!

Not all Man the Capstan endeavours have been about getting dressed up in our respective uniforms and gowns. We also enjoy simply getting together and checking out a local historic site, or doing some research and posting our findings. The wonderfully evocative Sherbrooke Village in Guysborough County, Nova Scotia, has always been a place we’ve been meaning to visit. As we’re located in the heart of the Annapolis Valley, however, the distance has been the chief obstacle in the past. It’s a long haul out to Guysborough. It’s certainly possible to do in a day, but it would mean a lot of driving!

Struck by a recent itch to hit the road, the crew here at Man the Capstan decided that last weekend was a great opportunity to head east and check out Sherbrooke. We also resolved to make a slight detour to check out the Prince Henry Sinclair Monument, located along Route 16 at Halfway Cove.

We were fortunate enough to bring along a new passenger for this venture! A close friend and colleague of mine, Katherine D. has been a great fan of Man the Capstan and has followed our efforts for over a year now. Having invited her along for the trip, she gladly accepted. Many of the photos linked within this post are hers, so just click to head on over to her Flickr Photostream!

Arrangements were made to wake at 0530 and depart for 0700. It was an early morning! Much to our delight Katherine had elected to do some late-night baking the evening before, toiling to produce a batch of cinnamon buns for the day’s driving that was ahead of us. Let me tell you, the cinnamon buns were delicious (completely made from scratch), also making it possible to keep going without too many stops (save to grab a coffee at Tim Hortons, of course—that’s non-negotiable).

Our detour to Guysborough added a good hour or so to the drive. The route was as follows:

We were on the road at just after 0700, and arrived at Sherbrooke at around 1300 or so. Stops included fuelling at Truro, a stop to check out the township of Guysborough and the excursion along route 16 to Halfway Cove.

The town of Guysborough was really quite beautiful. Tucked within Chedabucto Bay, she’s a small community but bright and cheerful. We stopped at the Days Gone By, a charming bakery, restaurant and antiques shoppe right on the main drag. Thoroughly and gratefully satiated with Katherine’s cinnamon buns, however, we didn’t really need to grab a bite to eat. We strolled down to a small marina brimming with boats, some of them yachts like the timeless MacGregor. Steve & Johanna used to own a MacGregor 26X, and whenever we spy one it conjures up lovely memories. Lots of great shots to be had there, and Katherine even snapped a rogue jellyfish just off the pier!

We quickly made our way to the Prince Henry Sinclair monument. It was a quick jaunt up route 16, tucked away at place named Halfway Cove. The monument, erected by the Prince Henry Sinclair Society of North America, commemorates the theory that Prince Henry Sinclair and a fleet of 12 Templar ships landed on the shores of the Chedabucto in 1398, predating the arrival of Columbus. The theory has been questioned by modern academics for decades, but the descendants of Henry Sinclair, and a few notable believers within the academic community have continued to argue the possibility. The discourse on this alleged arrival by medieval knights is both Romantic and evocative; it’s hard to say exactly what happened, and if perhaps there is truth to both sides. We here at Man the Capstan aren’t about to come to any conclusion, but it is worth mentioning that the early viking explorers at L’anse aux Meadows were also considered mythic, but now have become entrenched in modern, accepted history. Time will reveal all.

After the monument we piled into the car and headed west to Sherbrooke. It took us over an hour to make our way there, but an hour past lunch we rolled into the parking lot outside the site and made our preparations. We spent the next four to five hours plying the roads of the village, taking in the lovely sights and learning a great deal from the incredibly hospitable staff!

We dined at the Sherbrooke Hotel, breaking our fast on sandwiches, soup and coffee. We took in a live demonstration at the blacksmith’s by a reenactor who wrought a steel hanger for us, explaining the process and even spending a moment to explain to Steve how older iron nails were fashioned. From there we made the circuit around the village, stopping in at the Post Office, Printing Press, and Drug Store. Each member of the Sherbrooke Staff took the time to explain their surroundings, offer tidbits and misconceptions on history, and explain (or demonstrate) the tools of the trade they represented. One special moment was at Cumminger’s store, where on the second floor there lies an ambrotype studio. The woman there was incredibly helpful and friendly! She immediately engaged us and explained the entire process, demonstrating the differences in colour and shade that would result from having an ambrotype photo taken; for example, a bright yellow lemon, taken next to a deep dark red apple, would both end up the same dark hue. This makes it difficult to determine the colours of garments or adornments from original photographs, and can make for some interesting science when trying to get just the right picture! The studio charges $40.00 for a shooting, fitting a maximum of three people. The Crew will most certainly return to Sherbrooke to get a picture, a la ambrotype!

The Courthouse was a wonderful building with fantastic acoustics. While within we belted out half a verse of Minstrel Boy, a song we’ve been working on and may, in the future, record at some point. It sounded gorgeous, and it was no surprise that the Courthouse is still used for musical “animations” by the Sherbrooke staff.

Outside we further checked out the elegant Greenwood Cottage, the Masonic Hall (No. 34 “Queen’s Lodge”), and the Doctor’s Office. The cottage was a great contrast to the rest of the town; housing the richest family during the height of the Sherbrooke gold rush, Greenwood Cottage displays the elegance found within the community. The same gentlemen who owned Cumminger’s Store also owned Greenwood Cottage (one brother stayed in Sherbrooke to handle the affairs within the village, while the other plied the seas looking for goods and trade to bring back to a booming Sherbrooke).

Our visit finally ended with the Temperance Hall, a sizeable building with a cavernous ceiling, used presently to display craftwork, predominately rug-hooking. The bottom floor of the Hall is home to a Royal Canadian Legion meeting place, perhaps one of the only dry RCL meeting places in Canada (according to our hostess).

With the tolling of the bell at 1700 we made our way to our vehicle, and began the long drive home (stopping shortly at Antigonish for a meal and a drink). Overall our trip to Sherbrooke was a huge success, and a lot of fun! Katherine added a wonderful dynamic to the Capstan Crew, constantly pointing out interesting facts and tidbits on subjects from foliage (yes, I did call that a maple) and entomology, to fantastic and old antiques and historical practices. While no surprise, Katherine also displayed an excellent taste in music; having brought her iPod along, we were exposed to some great Canadiana, from Portico to Alberta’s own Corb Lund and his “Horse Soldier, Horse Soldier”.

A great trip which made for quite the long write-up! That’s all for now, until next time.

Muster! Capstan Updates!

Thought I’d share a few Capstan updates while I had them in my mind, as there are a few developments on the go, and many planned for the future.

As the previous two posts will attest, Halifax’s Tall Ships festival was the supposed culmination of our work here at Man the Capstan. Frankly, it is an unfeasible concept to simply stop what we’re doing now. This is a fun hobby, and one we intend on pursuing for some time yet.

Firstly, I’d like to direct everyone’s attention to the History page, where I’ve updated The Projects; before there was a sorely out-of-date list of completed and ongoing projects. I’ve corrected the list, added the incredible sixteen total reproductions Johanna has completed, and threw in a few extra pieces that are on the books to be tackled later on.

The astute of you will notice an oddity in that list: some of the ongoing projects (indeed, as I write this, all of them) do not fit in with the proscribed time period of Man the Capstan; we claim to be an 18th and 19th century naval reenactment blog. That certainly doesn’t seem to match up well with “Poor Fellow Soldier of Christ and the Temple of Solomon Ensemblé, ca. Late 13th Century”.

We’re experimenting by branching out a bit, tackling a different era that also holds a great amount of interest for us. Shara, our Creative Lead, was an active SCA attendee in her youth, and owns a number of dresses and gowns styled after the High Middle Ages. Likewise, the men in our family all share a fondness for the Romantic chivalry of the knights of oldé. My father and myself particularly are interested in the Poor Fellow Soldiers of Christ and the Temple of Solomon; indeed, I have worn a ring bearing that organization’s early insignia for two years now (Sigillum Militum Χρisti). Though not overly religious in that respect, I have a healthy admiration for the Knights Templar, both from a boyish, adolescent’s perspective, and from that of an amateur historian that is truly moved by its intriguing history.

So, as of now, we have plans to create five reproductions; three knight’s ensemblés and two lady’s gowns/dresses. This is very tentative, as of course the warrior’s gear may or may not require equipment that is out of our reach; namely mail and other such armaments. With or without that kind of hardware, we’re going to see what we can cook up.

We’re still pondering on how to get out in the naval uniforms and lady’s gowns more, and will also be brainstorming on outings and events we can attend in our reproductions. Stay tuned for more information!

“Ahoy there!” Tall Ships 2009, Part II

Two days ago I posted the first part of this two-part post, “Ahoy there!” Tall Ships 2009, which chronicled the first day of our Tall Ships 2009 experience. Tall Ships, a maritime festival that occurs every two years at Halifax, was the culminating event for our reproductions. It allowed us to gather in uniform and dress, and enjoy the festivities on the piers and under the sun for a weekend.

Unfortunately the first day was rain-filled and dreary (as one will learn by reading the first part), but the second day was remarkable. The amount of fun we had on Sunday more than made up for the disappointments of Saturday. Our only regret was that the ladies could not get dressed up. Unfortunately the uniforms stole the show—next time I think we won’t so carelessly tread into rainy weather, given our Tall Ships experience.

We began the day with a hearty meal at the Waverley (which consisted of pretty much any breakfast food you could dream of). It was a good idea, because we wouldn’t get another bite to eat until later on in the day. The women dressed in casual clothing and took charge of our immediate superior officer, Little William (dubbed the Admiral as our respective OIC). My father Steve donned his bright red major’s uniform, trimmed in bright silver lace, while my brother-in-law Tim and I dressed in our British Royal Navy captain’s uniforms, arming ourselves with our gold-buckled belts, swords and laced hats. Having taken a few shots on the steps of the Waverley (which so happens to be a favourite picture of ours), the three of us began our trek to the waterfront. Johanna snapped an incredible photo, pictured to the left, which hearkened to an earlier day in Halifax where the rhythmic  stomp and cry of British officers was considered normal.

It was a bit disorientating as we made our way to the waterfront. This was the first time we really got dressed up and displayed our creations in public. What were we supposed to do, exactly? Roam the piers? Stage some historical conversation? Break into a spontaneous duel that would certainly satisfy someone’s wounded pride (and undoubtedly bring down the combined-might of the HRP and the RCMP)?

We unanimously decided on the first option, and began roaming the piers. The three of us in uniform stayed together, while the women trailed behind with the camera. Chance would have it that the first ship we encountered was the beautiful Unicorn, a tall-ship exclusively staffed by females. The Unicorn, paired with Sisters Under Sail, offers a leadership program for teenage girls interested in the art of sailing; like most tall ships, it is staffed by the youth of our generation, offering great opportunities to learn and grow on board a sailing ship from a bygone era. Even without our Tall Ships passes (we hadn’t gotten them yet at the time!) the women of the Unicorn intercepted us at the pier, and immediately offered us a tour of the ship. Very nice crew, and a beautiful ship.

We carried on in a north-westerly direction, quickly discovering that our progress was snail-paced (to put it lightly); we were stopped, it seemed, every ten metres by visitors and tourists looking to snap a few photos of the three British officers seemingly patrolling the piers of Halifax. It was a indescribable experience, actually; we felt like celebrities. We adapted quickly, however, and began putting on the smiles that the dozens upon dozens of pictures demanded of us. Steve warmed to it very quickly, having some experience in gallivanting about in a bright uniform. Tim and I found ourselves following his example.

One charming moment was when we found ourselves heading towards a small group of Mounties in full-dress. They were marching down the pier as well, probably experiencing the same fanfare we were. We smiled and nodded as we passed, but it was not meant to be: someone from the crowd shouted “Oh! We simply must have a picture of the two of you!” We quickly formed a group and found ourselves stuck in that position for a solid five minutes or so. It was a really classic photo opportunity!

Throughout the experience we met a handful of others in costume, but nothing quite like our three uniforms. Many reenactors and costume designers create reproductions that replicated day-to-day dress; many uniforms were styled in the undress fashion, that is without the 10-15 metres of lace that adorned our own uniforms. It meant that in that bright Sunday sunshine, we were a veritable beacon so close to the water. It wasn’t difficult to see us coming. As we passed by one actor (employed by the Tall Ships event itself) in a British R.N. captain’s uniform, we received a somewhat cold reception: we had happened across his photo booth, and very quickly were attracting more cameras and interest. Feeling a tad awkward and certainly not wishing to infringe on a fellow reenactor’s turf, we made an expedient retreat.

Hours later we finally made it to the most north-westerly point of the piers you could manage on foot (that featured any festivities, anyway). We were getting hungry, and decided to grab a bite to eat somewhere. We fixed eyes on a place called Stayner’s Wharf Pub & Grill, and made the decision to get in line. Yes, there was a line (a rather long one, too). So there we were, three men in full-dress uniform ca. 1805, and two women with a young child. The sun was hot, and Little William needed to get into the shade for a rest and something to eat. It wasn’t too long before we secured a table and readied ourselves for a meal.

It was a really awesome place to eat. The food was great, the staff was very helpful and at the top of their game that day; it was their Boxing Day, I’m sure (were they a retail outlet), and they shone. We were incredibly thirsty at this point (layered wool uniforms and July weather did not mix well), and were a bit surprised that we had managed to take care of several pitchers of beer over the course of a brief meal. At the end of the meal we had a nice conversation with one of the hosts, who indicated that there was a family from Britain that were visiting Canada that had been impressed with our uniforms; the host suggested we pay them a visit. So Steve, Tim and I gathered our uniform coats, hats and swords, and headed towards the table to say hello. It was a great experience; we learned where they were visiting from, we passed them one of our business cards, and wished them well when their food arrived. Having had a great experience at Stayner’s, we paid and took our leave.

We decided to take an alternative route back to the Waverley, travelling along the adjacent Upper Water Street. It was much easier passage, with fewer stops along the way for pictures. We passed by a Canada Forces recruitment bus with some naval personnel in uniform milling about, and couldn’t help but get a few pictures. Tim had the bright idea to wander over to one of the tables staffed by CF personnel and demand two-hundred years of back-pay (they were not as impressed as we thought they’d be). One of the naval officers there stopped us before we left, however, and asked if we could stick around for a few minutes—he had sent one of his men to grab a camera, as he wanted to have a picture taken with his naval colleagues along with the Capstan Crew. We of course couldn’t decline: they happily offered us a few bottles of water from their stock and we were allowed to tour their recruitment bus. Nice lads, all of them, and the resulting picture was just fantastic.

After the Canadian Forces encounter we made quick progress back to the Waverley, and from there began to pack to head home. It had been a really successful day, but we were all utterly exhausted. Dinner was pizza and beer graciously offered by Shara and Tim. After a quick review of the day’s pictures we headed home to the Annapolis Valley, where I immediately began writing up the posts that would chronicle the day’s activities.

Okay, that last part was a big giant lie, but hey! I wrote it eventually, right?

Keep in mind all of these photos and more can be viewed at our Flickr photostream! We update it more frequently than the blog, sometimes.

Until next time guys!