We spent a few days at the marina in the bustling city of Portland, Maine, re-provisioning and preparing for the trip northeast back to the homeland and Nova Scotia shores. Last stop in the good ol' U.S.of A. was Boothbay, one of those enchanting New England fishing towns you only see in the movies. A minefield of lobster pots awaited us in the bay, as we picked out way stealthily along and anchored in the harbour. While not quite as 'picture-perfect' as some of the harbour towns of Maine, it quickly became our favoured spot for it's charm and quality of being a real 'working-man's' town. But time marches on and we reluctantly hauled anchor a few days later for a double-overnighter crossing the Bay of Fundy.
Lunenburg, Nova Scotia
A thick fog had descended as we crept out of the harbour towards the whimsical fishing village of Lunenburg. Bright red store fronts and colourful houses peeked out of the mist as we side-tied to the pier, right next door to the famous Bluenose 2, modeled on the fastest schooner on the East Coast. Tourists gathered on the waterfront to get a closer look and hear talks of the plight of those early seafaring vessels, and the tiny wooden dories that hand line fished the ocean for Cod and Haddock. The cheery, red buildings, we were told, were not merely decorative, but designed to aid sailors in finding their way when the ubiquitous 'pea soup' of fog shrouded their passage home. The whole town is built on a steep hillside, a very pretty sight to behold, and to explore on foot.
|The Bluenose 2|
Another day socked in with the inevitable fog. The skies cleared, mercifully, as we entered Halifax harbour, the largest deep sea port on the entire coast. We docked under sunny skies at the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron. In the morning we taxied in to town for a brief but pleasant surprise visit with friends from Victoria, Christine and Craig James, and daughter Taylor. After breakfast the boardwalk was already alive with entertainment and revelry of all kinds; acrobats, jugglers, carnival rides, and of course, musicians. We spent a couple of hours at Pier 21, the immense immigration depot where all new immigrants to Canada were processed up until the 1960's. The captivating stories of so many people fleeing wars and seeking a new life in Canada tugged at the heart strings. Next was the exceptional Maritime Museum with many displays including the great explosion of 1917 when a war ships loaded with explosives collided with another in the harbour and devastated the city, killing over 2000 people! Also, the rescue efforts of the people of Halifax for the disastrous sinking of the Titanic that fateful night in 1912.
|Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron|
|Christine and Craig James|
|Brian and Daragh on board Hat Trick|
|Immigration Pier 21|
" So here I lay in my 23rd year,
How I wish I was in Sherbrooke now,
It's been six years since I sailed away
And I just made Halifax yesterday,
God damn them all!
I was told we'd cruise the seas for American gold,
We'd fire no guns, shed no tears,
Now I'm a broken man on a Halifax pier,
The last of Barrett's Privateers"