Tuesday, August 9, 2011



I love serendipity – the word and the thing itself. It just makes you feel like something is meant to be.

The epilogue to Shattered ends with the launching of the Bluenose in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia on March 26, 1921. For those of you who aren’t familiar with her, the Bluenose was a racing schooner, built to challenge the American fleet out of Gloucester for international bragging rights. Under her captain, Angus Walters, she earned a place in Canada’s history, and on our dime. I thought it fitting that Liam’s life as a shipwright begin with his taking a hand in her building, but when I came to write the epilogue, I realized I needed details. What was the weather like the day the Bluenose was launched? What kind of an occasion was it?

Last week, my husband had to spend a morning in Lunenburg for work. I gladly went along. Lunenburg is a UNESCO world heritage site due to its striking architecture, and a Mecca for a history geek like me.

While DH was working, I walked down to the waterfront and stood at the spot where Bluenose slipped into the water ninety years ago. Then I stopped by the Fisheries Museum. I walked out with the following first hand newspaper account of the launch:

Amid the cheers of the assembled multitude, blessed by a bright clear sunshine and sea upon which there was never a ruffle, Canada’s challenger for the great International Schooner Race, took the water at 10 am this morning. The launching was without a hitch. Nothing untoward marred the splendor of the occasion…

Gaily decorated and carrying her name flag, the Bluenose took to the water as her natural element, to the accompaniment of O Canada, played by the 75th regimental band and the enthusiastic demonstration of the thousands who thronged the waterfront…

So now I know. Just when I needed to. Gotta love serendipity.

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