Relaunching Bluenose II, Nova Scotia’s sailing ambassador

After a long week at work, I take sleeping on weekends very seriously. However, when you’re asked to get up early to witness the launch of an historic ship, you figure it out.

At the heretofore unknown hour of 5:15 am, I set out with a group of intrepid social media types for one of my favourite Nova Scotian destinations, Lunenburg.

My trek to Lunenburg for the relaunch of the Bluenose II brought me back to my youth. Growing up in Lunenburg County, I spent a lot time driving the back roads of the county, looking for fun. On Saturday, September 29, 2012, it was easy to find. Just look for ship by Shipyard Hill.

Lunenburg Nova Scotia Shipyard Hill

The weather wasn’t sunny, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t the right weather for the day. You see, this area of the world is used to sailing on tossing, briny seas. And that’s exactly what we did.

Bluenose II relaunch Lunenburg Nova Scotia

The theme for the day was “She’s Back.” After almost two years out of the water, Bluenose II finally touched water again.

The formal part of the celebration was short, but festive. During the speeches, one of the ships couldn’t help trying to steal some of the attention. Oh, Theodore!

Lunenburg II 2 relaunch Lunenburg Nova Scotia Theodore photobomb

Before long, we had the big finish, the removal of the supports holding the ship in place, and, once again, Bluenose II was afloat.

Bluenose 2 II relaunch Lunenburg Nova Scotia

My favourite part of the day starred Bluenose II and the community she represents. First, the turnout on the water was terrific, with people turning up in everything from yachts to canoes, most fully turned-out in rain gear and the occasional Sou’wester.

Bluenose II 2 relaunch Lunenburg Nova Scotia

The second was the merry flotilla that happened after the ceremony ended and the Bluenose II headed over to the dock by the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic.

Bluenose II 2 relaunch flotilla Lunenburg Nova Scotia

Once the Bluenose II was out of sight, we followed the crowd to nearby Ironworks Distillery to sample their specially-crafted Bluenose rum. A stiff, bracing taste of dark rum first thing in the morning seems like something the mariners of yore would appreciate.

Ironworks Distillery Bluenose rum Lunenburg Nova Scotia

Before long, we were starving and went out in search of food. It was a busy morning for Lunenburg restaurants, but good luck and good timing brought us to the Grand Banker, just as they were opening for the post-Bluenose II crowd.

Grand Banker Lunenburg Nova Scotia

Beating the rest of the crowd by a hair, we grabbed a beautiful seat in front of the window and chowed down on some smoked salmon eggs benny.

As the rain started to fall harder, it was time to end our Lunenburg adventure. On our way back to the car, we stopped by the waterfront to see the Bluenose II one more time.

Bluenose II 2 relaunch Lunenburg Nova Scotia

Can’t get enough of Bluenose II? Learn more about her history and her future at bluenose.novascotia.ca and to read more about my day in Lunenburg welcoming Bluenose II back to the water, check out the Nova Scotia Tourism blog.

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