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Waiting Out Weather in Lunenburg


The weather outside is contrary for where we want to go…but the conditions in Lunenburg are friendly.

Lunenburg is very well known worldwide as being a multi-century fishing port and the home of the fastest cod fishing schooners of all of North America.

As nice and friendly as Lunenburg is to sailing vessels of all kind, the weather can be quite the opposite.  Today is officially PRIDE II’s departure day, but we cannot depart because of the weather. Currently there are wind measurements along the coast ranging from >20 knots to >30 knots from the easterly quadrant…the very direction we need to go to continue the trek into the Great Lakes.

The more important news about this weather is not that it is strong…quite the contrary…the current easterly winds are from a quite moderate low passing by to the south of Nova Scotia.  Rather, it is about how long these winds may continue to blow. Forecasts are indicating these fresh contrary winds could last well into Thursday!!! Such a reality will really put a crimp in PRIDE’s ability to make her next port of Rochester, NY on schedule. The situation has my nearly undivided attention…I will keep all appraised as time rolls on by.

Meanwhile the crew have been able to get some significant milestone maintenance accomplished and also get some well earned time off.

Saturday the crew painted a full new coat of paint to the yellow whale strake on the outside of PRIDE II as well another full coat of black on the bulwarks. Having the weather and the time to do such painting is hard to come by considering that usually PRIDE II is available to the public when she is in port. But visiting Canada as a foreign vessel requires meeting the rules of Canada and that means not being available to the public without making certain government related arrangements. Which are time consuming and not without expense…so we are only cleared into Canada on a “passing through” basis, hence not doing any public business. This situation provides time for uninterrupted maintenance…and the odd bit of time off.

For those of you that follow sailing history, you will know that Lunenburg is home to some pretty famous vessels.

The “home team” vessel of renown is Schooner BLUENOSE II. A really excellent reproduction of the most famous Canadian Cod Fishing Schooner BLUENOSE…the holder of the equivalent to the America’s Cup from the intense fishing schooner racing of the early part of the 1900’s between the American cod fishing schooner fleet and the Canadian cod fishing schooner fleet of nearly 100 years ago.

The other well known “Lunenburg vessel” is the Barque PICTON CASTLE…at the moment sailing home from her fifth around the world voyage…due to arrive this Saturday, Saturday June 18.

BLUENOSE II is currently being rebuilt…some say being rebuilt to virtually new…meaning there won’t be much of the original BLUENOSE II save for her masts, spars, rigging and sails. The project is a pretty big wooden construction. There is a lot of modern wooden construction technique being used…i.e. laminated frames…to name one significant difference to the normal way of building a cod fishing schooner. But as different as that may seem…it is a good decision for added strength & longevity and really does not much change the plank-on-frame style of construction used back in the day. One can see the construction via the internet. At the moment the frames are done…but the planking is only about half completed. The schedule has BLUENOSE II sailing again in 2012. She will again be a truly grand sight upon the water!

In all other ways Lunenburg is a standard Nova Scotia town with very quaint style and friendly helpful residents. There is an ongoing effort to keep the town waterfront from turning into residential condos and knickknack stores by preserving the functionality of the commercial marine wharves and maritime commerce buildings. The buildings that are on the waterfront have been there for more than 100 years, most of them, and are all imminently preservable and functional. As a result, the town is featured as “the New England” town in the series of made for TV movies JESSIE STONE staring Tom Selleck.  

Jan C. Miles, Captain aboard PRIDE OF BALTIMORE II