Bluenose: Queen of the North Atlantic

Have you wondered about that ship that appears on the back of a Canadian dime?

Let us tell you a little bit about the Bluenose, a ship of great historic significance that began right here, in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia…

Historic Beginnings

The original Bluenose was launched as a Grand Banks fishing and racing schooner on 26 March 1921 in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. It was designed by William Roué and built by the Smith and Rhuland Shipyard.

The captain of the Bluenose, Angus Walters, had his sight set on the International Fishermen’s Race, and in October of 1921 that dream became a reality, and the legend of the Bluenose was born.

In subsequent years the Bluenose continued to dominate the racing schooner racing sphere, no challenger, American nor Canadian, could strip the trophy from her masts. For 17 years her undefeated streak earned her the nickname, “Queen of the North Atlantic”, and she became a Canadian icon. The Bluenose appeared at the Chicago World Fair in 1933, and even crossed the Atlantic to England in 1935 to attend the silver jubilee of King George V.

When the Racing Days Were Over

In 1942 the Bluenose was sold to the West Indies Trading Company, with her sailing glory days in the past she went on to carry food and supplies from the Caribbean to the United States. On January 8th, 1946, Bluenose struck a reef off the coast of Haiti and perished. 

Though an immense loss, the greatness of the original schooner lived on in the hearts of Canadians.

The Bluenose II is shown docked.
The Bluenose II was crafted by many of the same people who had worked on the original Bluenose.

Bluenose II

In 1963, twenty odd years after the original had sunk, the Bluenose II was born. The Bluenose II was crafted by many of the same people who worked on the original ship, at the same shipyard in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. The original captain, Captain Walters, even sailed on the maiden voyage.

The Bluenose II was gifted to the government of Nova Scotia in 1971 and continues to operate as a Canadian sailing ambassador. 

If you’re lucky, you will catch her at home in Lunenburg, where the original legend began!