Bluenose replica to launch after long delay
After several attempts, numerous years and huge amounts of money, the Bluenose II will finally be re-launched on Sept. 29, reports CBC.
The iconic Bluenose, a famous Canadian racing and fishing schooner, was built in 1921. It was designed by William Roué and built by the Smith and Rhuland Shipyard. Bluenose struck a reef off Isle aux Vache, Haiti on 28 January 1946.
In 1963, Bluenose II was launched. It was built by many of the same people who had worked on the original vessel at the same shipyard in Lunenburg.
The Bluenose II restoration project has been commissioned by the Lunenburg Foundry, represented by president Peter Kinley. The construction of the 258 ton ship has taken two years and cost approximately $15.9 million.
The size of the Bluenose II will make its launch difficult, as the ideal conditions must be met. Whenever the ship does reach the water, it will be led by Captain Wayne Walters, who is the grandson of the captain of the original Bluenose, Angus Walters. In fact, Wayne Walters was one of approximately 10,000 people present when the Bluenose II was launched amidst much anxiety in 1963.
The launch will be met with much fanfare, including performances by Alan Doyle of Great Big Sea and the author of the song “The Bluenose,” Michael Stanbury.
“So many people have been waiting for this day to come, the excitement is at fever pitch,” said Leonard Preyra, Minister of Communities, Culture and Heritage. “We expect thousands of people to see the Bluenose II officially return to the water on Sept. 29. Massive wooden ship launches have changed significantly over the past 50 years. Safety is key nowadays so there isn’t the big splash anymore.”
“Bluenose II is a Canadian icon that symbolizes Nova Scotia’s prominence in the fishing and shipbuilding industries,” said Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence. “Our government invested in this project to spur economic growth, create jobs in Nova Scotia and preserve an important part of Canada’s maritime history. I congratulate all those who worked so hard to make the Bluenose II relaunch possible.”