We packed up this morning and headed on our way to the South Shore area of Nova Scotia, where we are now staying in Graves Island Provincial Park, which really is a little island just off the coast. There's a road connecting the mainland and the island, though, so it is easy to get to. The drive wasn't all that long from Sunnyvale Family Campground to Graves Island, and we made it to the campground by noon. Checkout from the sites wasn't until 1:00 pm though, and there was still someone in the site we had booked, so we parked the camper in another site that was open at the moment and waited until the other people had left our site; once the others headed out, we set up "home base" and since it was still early afternoon decided to do some touring around the area.
Lunenburg, the town where the Bluenose was built, is not all that far from Graves Island Provincial Park and so we decided to head there for the afternoon. We wanted to check out the Bluenose II, check out the town, and visit the Fisheries Museum there. Many of the areas of the Annapolis Valley and Bay of Fundy area are Acadian communities, but Lunenburg was settled primarily by the Germans and so we were curious to see if there was a significant difference in the style of the buildings in the community.
Lunenburg, like many other communities out here, is a cute town. Very touristy, but cute none-the-less. Many of the homes here are also large, Victorian style buildings and the town is settled into the side of a hill.
We wandered down through the town towards the wharf, where we visited the Fisheries Museum. The museum focused on items from the Bluenose, a bit of history in the area (including the Rum Running period during prohibition), fish caught in the area (had an aquarium containing these species), and the fishing industry in the area. There was also a touch tank, where we were able to touch a starfish, a crab, a Haddock fish and scallops, and two boats that we were able to go into. I think it was a pretty well-done museum, and I recommend a stop if you're ever visiting Lunenburg.
After the museum, we stopped for a quick bite to eat and then proceeded on to check out the Bluenose II. For those of you who are not familiar with the story of the Bluenose, this was a famous Canadian schooner that won the Herald trophy (emblematic of the international fishing fleet sailing championship) first in 1921 and was undefeated in her native waters. (If anyone is not from Canada who is reading this blog, we Canadians are so proud of this ship that it is featured on our ten-cent coin!) Eventually - once her racing career had come to an end - the Bluenose was sold to the West Indies Trading Company and was wrecked and lost off Haiti in 1946. In the 1960's, the Bluenose II was created as a replica of the original ship and is currently undergoing restoration efforts, but sits docked in Lunenburg as so we were able to see the schooner from the dock. And, although I really don't know anything about schooners and would never ever claim to be an expert on what deems a vessel to be a beautiful ship, I'm going to say that this was a beautiful boat.
Between checking out the museum, grabbing a bite to eat and admiring the Bluenose II, our afternoon was quickly coming to an end and we decided to call it a day and head back to home base. Week one of touring around Atlantic Canada has come to an end. I can't wait to see what week 2 has in store!