We had breakfast at the Dockside Restaurant and as we were eating, the Bluenose II loaded up with passengers and motored into the harbour for a tour. The Bluenose II was built in 1963. The Oland Brewery paid for the project and used the ship to advertise its beer. It was gifted to province of Nova Scotia in 1971 and is Nova Scotia’s sailing ambassador.
The original Bluenose was a fishing and racing schooner built in 1921. It won almost every race it entered and hauled in the largest catch of fish brought into Lunenburg. With the decline of the salt fishery and the rise of engine power it was sold in 1942 to the West India Trading company as a hauler of rum, sugar, bananas and war supplies to the United States. Sadly it hit a reef and sank near Haiti in 1946.
The ship was immortalized when the Royal Canadian Mint put her image on the dime in 1937; where it remains to this day. In 2021 Canada Post issued a commemorative stamp and the Royal Canadian Mint issued the first-ever coloured dimes for the 100th anniversary of her launch. It was double dated with 1921-2021.
Before we left Lunenburg this morning we took a walk around to see some of the more noteworthy buildings. Lunenburg was a planned British town, established in 1753. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Bank of Montreal (right)and the Masonic Hall (left).
Also on Lincoln Street with the War Memorial, City Hall, and the Bandstand, was the Central United Church.
The orginal spire ‘rotted away’ and was replaced with the domed one in the 1930’s. No idea when and why the brick chimney was added. Can’t say it does much for the look of the outside.
It was open so we went inside to take a look. It was originally a Methodist Church and built by shipmakers between 1883 and 1885. And it was absolutely gorgeous!
The ceiling is like an inverted ship’s hull.
All the stained glass windows were added by families in memorium over about 40-50 years.
The gorgeous Casavant organ is from Quebec and is still played every Sunday. A couple of years ago the bellows gave up and they called the company. They still had the original plans from when they built it for the church in 1904 and they sent a new bellows and a technicion to install it, so it was back in operation within a month. (Casavant Frères is an organ building company in Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec, which has been building pipe organs since 1879. The company has produced about 4,000 organs.)The fellow from Casavant had never seen one painted like this one and took a photo of it. It is now featured on his business card and the company website.
This is called “The Wedding Cake House.”
The Bluenose Golf Course sits across the harbour.
We left Lunenburg about 11:30 and drove along Highway 3 which follows the Mahone Bay coastline. We stopped in the town of Mahone Bay to take a few photos and have some ice cream.
Mahone Bay is well know for it’s three churches (which you can just make out in the photo above). On the way into town there is a signboard with an aerial photo that shows them well.
A few kilometers up the road from Mahone Bay is Crandall Road which will take you to the causeway to Oak Island. We knew the island was closed this summer and not doing any tours but we decided to drive down and at least see it across the causeway.
It turned out you could drive over to the island but you could not get out of your car and all you could do was take some photos as you did a big turn-around in the parking lot. They have not opened for tours since 2020 when Covid hit and the fellow that greeted us said they were about to do some filming in the area as well. Still, as fans of the show it was neat to get to the island.
The grey building is the Oak Island Interpretive Center.
The man in the blue t-shirt at the back of the truck we are pretty sure is Laird Niven, the archaeologist. The fellow walking away on the left looks like Dan Henskee who is a fellow treasure hunter and lives on the island and the bald fellow at the end to the trailer looks like Jack Begley, a producer of the show, drone pilot and owner of Remote Energy Solutions.
And, just like that back we go across the short causeway.
The first geocache hidden in Canada is in the middle of a large forested area at the round-about junctions of Nova Scotia Highways 103 and 3. The first ever geocache was hidden in a park in Oregon on May 2, 2000 after “the great blue switch” controlling selective availability was pressed. Twenty-four satellites around the globe processed their new orders, and instantly the accuracy of GPS technology improved tenfold. Tens of thousands of GPS receivers around the world had an instant upgrade. The Canadian cache was hidden June 28th, 2000 and I had made a note to be sure we went to find it. And we did!
Beside the Administration Building at Graves Island Provincial Park there is a ‘geostone’ commemorating Canada’s first geocache which was unveiled at a geocaching event in 2006.
We arrived in Dartmouth at 4 o’clock and are spending three nights here, We are just across the bridge from Halifax and tomorrow will be going to Pier 21, Canada’s Immigration Center and Museum where we hope to get copies of the ship’s records for several of our relatives.