For the first time in decades, there are schooners 'abuilding on the famed waterfront at Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, Canada. Dawson Moreland & Associates are building not just one, but two 48' wooden schooners in the best of Maritime traditions. These 'twins' will be built simultaneously, frame for frame, plank for plank, alongside the historic Lunenburg Dory Shop at 175 Bluenose Drive. Follow their progress from keel laying to launch!

An artist's interpretation of the Twin Schooner Project

Monday, December 14, 2009

Drive 'em home boys!

We asked for sunshine but I guess we should have specified temperature when we put in our weather order for Saturday’s keel laying ceremonies. Still despite biting nor’ westerly winds that whipped down Lunenburg’s Bluenose Drive, more than 200 brave and festive souls joined us for celebrations as we laid the keels on our twin 48’ schooners.

Dawson Moreland & Associates general manager Susan Corkum-Greek welcomed everyone, promising the formalities would be brief and the cider hot when things wrapped up.

“Today we’re laying the keels on something much bigger than the two beautiful 48’ schooners that David Westergaard and his gang are going to build,” she said, referencing the project’s importance to ongoing efforts to revitalize the Lunenburg waterfront.

It was a sentiment echoed in comments by Lunenburg Mayor Laurence Mawhinney.

“Many years past, this waterfront was the beam upon which Lunenburg was built. So these two beams being laid today are significant of the revival of the watefront that we know and love and want to see rise again,” said the mayor.

Capt. Dan Moreland acknowledged the talents of designer and builder David Westergaard and the process that went into the vessels’ design.

“I said to Dave let’s design schooners that are so pretty, they’re make you cry; so comfortable they’ll make you never want to go home; so fast, they’ll make you win every race you’re in,” he told the assembled crowd.

“Hopefully this is the beginning of many more to come.”

Two highly respected mariners did the honours, driving the ceremonial spikes into the twin lengths of Mountain Gommier. They were Capt. Phil Watson, skipper of Nova Scotia’s sailing ambassador, the Schooner Bluenose II, and Capt. Matthew Mitchell, a 91-year-old seafarer who started his seagoing career as flunky on a fishing schooner, then rose through the ranks to captain. Capt. Mitch went on to skipper some of Lunenburg’s first fish draggers, including the side trawler Cape North, and was also crew aboard the original Schooner Bluenose for a time.

Both men made a good show of it, bringing their mallets down hard atop the ceremonial spikes. Then it was time for merriment in the relative warmth of our two shops where the fires were stoked, the cider warm and the spigots ready on the rum casks. Celebrations continued into the night.
To view video from the event, shot by Robert Hirtle of Lighthouse Publishing Ltd., click here

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing this project with us. With the background you provide it becomes a bit more than just building two schooners. Best wishes for the comming period.