In the early 1900s two factors brought about the creation of the International Fisherman’s Trophy. Years of rivalry between Canadian and US fishing schooners and the opinions the schooner men had about the America’s Cup.

The yachts that participated in the race for the America’s Cup were always being towed for repairs or adjustments and then in 1919 the New York Yacht Club canceled a race due to a high wind of 23 knots. The schooner men had had enough and so in 1920 “The Halifax Herald” started a formal racing series. The races would be between genuine, working, sailing schooners.

That same year the US and Canada held elimination races and the schooner Esperanto from Gloucester, New England took the trophy in the final against the Delewena of Lunenburg, Nova Scotia.

Disappointed by the loss Nova Scotians hired Halifax designer William J. Roué to design a new ship to take on future challenges for the Trophy. Smith and Rhuland built and launched the schooner Bluenose in Lunenburg on March 26, 1921.

The Bluenose spent the season fishing on the Grand Banks and then in October 1921 competed for the Trophy defeating the Elsie for Gloucester, New England. The American Schooners Henry Ford, Columbia, and Gertrude L Thebaud as well as several Canadian schooners built to compete with the Bluenose could not compete with the remarkable sailing abilities of the Bluenose. During its racing career the Bluenose was never beaten and held the Trophy for 18 consecutive years.

At 17 years of age in 1938 the Bluenose defeated the Thebaud one last time. The now famous Bluenose was a tribute to the shipwrights and sailors who built her and many other fishing and cargo schooners.

The era of the great fishing schooners ended with World War 2. Modern steel trawlers replaced the sailing schooners and these grand schooners no longer sailed the North Atlantic to harvest cod for the world markets.

In 1942 the Bluenose was sold to carry freight to the West Indies despite the efforts of her Master, Capt. Angus J. Walters of Lunenburg, and others to keep the ship in Nova Scotia.

Storms on the treacherous Sand Bars of Sable Island (known as the graveyard of the Atlantic) 90 miles east of Nova Scotia claimed the Esperanto and Columbia. The Gulf of St Lawrence claimed the Henry Ford and the Elsie. The Gertrude L Thebaud foundered on a Haitian reef, and the Bluenose the Queen of the North Atlantic suffered the same fate on January 28th 1946.

For their achievements in the Fisherman’s Trophy races both the Bluenose and her Captain J. Angus Walters were inducted into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame in 1955.

In 1963 the Bluenose II a replica of the original Bluenose was launched from the same shipyard where the first Bluenose had been built. It was built by many of the same men who had worked on the famous Bluenose.

The Bluenose II is operated by the Lunenburg Marine Museum Society on behalf of the Province of Nova Scotia. Their dedicated service to the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic which they also operate, and Bluenose II is well-matched with their knowledge of vessel maintenance, engineering, fabrication, retail and accounting. Many members have long-standing family roots in various aspects of Nova Scotia’s maritime heritage.

Each summer, Bluenose II – now Nova Scotia's Sailing Ambassador has given public cruises and has traveled to special events near and far. Stories of Lunenburg's original Bluenose and Captain Angus Walters have enthralled generations of Atlantic Canadians. As the undefeated Queen of the North Atlantic, she was the world's most famous Nova Scotian fishing schooner and is commemorated on the back of the Canadian dime.

The Bluenose II is now being completely restored at the Lunenburg Shipyard you can visit their website to see a live web cam of the work in progress or visit the shipyard and witness first-hand Nova Scotia Boat Building at its best. The husband of one of my agents in Nova Scotia is one of the craftsmen working on the restoration.

Author's Bio: 

My name is Avril Betts, I have over 25 years experience in all aspects of Travel and Tourism. I hold a CHA (Certified Hotel Administrator). Along with my partner Khaled Azzam we own A-Z Tours and Action Travel in North America along with Travelocity Travel Egypt in Cairo, Egypt.

I have co-chaired Atlantic Canada Showcase an International Travel Trade Show, managed 450 volunteers for the Tall Ships Visit in July 2000, and was awarded Entrepreneur of the Year by the Tourism Industry Association of Nova Scotia. In 1996 I hosted the president’s wives luncheon for the G7 conference. In 1988 I founded the Country Inn Association in Nova Scotia.

As an experienced speaker I have presented seminars for many years on subjects ranging from Marketing and Sales and Life Skills to Tourism, Travel and Real Estate, and operating an online Travel business.

I enjoy working with tourists to pass on my knowledge to help our clients make the most of their vacations. Don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions or travel inquiries.

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