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Pride of Baltimore II, Bluenose II & Picton Castle departing Lunenburg, June 15, 2019, by Ed Halverson

“Ships That Pass in the Night”

Photo: Lunenburg departure (left to right: Pride of Baltimore II, Bluenose II, and Picton Castle), June 15, 2019, courtesy of Ed Halverson

Date: Saturday, June 15, 2019
Time: 2000 EDT
Speed: 9 knots
Heading: 100 degrees magnetic
Sails Set: All plain sail (mainsail, foresail, staysail, jib, and square-fore-topsail), upper sails (main-gaff-topsail, topgallant, jib-topsail), and studding sail

The parade of three ships out of Lunenburg was well attended by those ashore. There were a number of smaller vessels in the harbor to escort. Bluenose II started out first after backing away from her pier and motoring out to set her sail in the outer bay. Followed by Pride of Baltimore II. She sailed away from her pier at Adams & Knickle. Foresail set first. Then dock lines taken in orderly fashion so as to prevent drifting into the neighboring fish boat moored at the next dock. As soon as dock lines were taken, the square-fore-topsail was set. Followed by the forestaysail. When out in the harbor a bit, two cannon salutes, one to port and one to starboard. As we passed Picton Castle at anchor in the harbor, Pride crew set the jib, then the mainsail. Picton Castle hauled back her anchor and motored up to windward a bit before turning to her left to catch the wind with her sails and head on out to the outer bay. At the entrance to Lunenburg, Pride saluted twice again, one to each side.

The three ships rendezvoused again for another photo op, then separated, following their own natures for getting on with voyaging toward the Great Lakes.

As it so happened, they came together again mid afternoon. All three were passing by Halifax outside the perimeter of the maritime traffic separation scheme. As the three merged a bit, and turned eastward together around the outer perimeter of the traffic scheme, the wind went further fair so Pride’s crew set the studding sail. The main-gaff-topsail, topgallant-sail and jib-topsail had earlier been set.

As the sun heads toward setting, the three vessels are advancing in sorta company. They won’t remain close for long. Each has a different way. We may see each other for a bit after dark. But likely not. As is always with ships, they are in company only for a period of time. Depending on speed and direction, that time could be lengthy or not. Always, after a time they separate completely. Each an isolated society. Doing what they do. In the manner that suits them best. And so they pass by each other, as is the nature of ships.

Captain Jan C. Miles