Bluenose

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Bluenose was a Canadian fishing and racing schooner from Nova Scotia built in 1921. She was later commemorated by a replica Bluenose II built in 1963. A celebrated racing ship and hard-working fishing vessel, Bluenose became a provincial icon for Nova Scotia as well as important Canadian symbol in the 1930s. The name "bluenose" originated as a nickname for Nova Scotians from as early as the late eighteenth century.[1]

Contents

Career

Designed by William Roué and built by Smith and Rhuland, Bluenose was launched at Lunenburg, Nova Scotia on March 26, 1921, and christened by Audrey Marie Smith. She was built to be a racing ship and fishing vessel. This was in response to the defeat of the Nova Scotian Fishing Schooner Delawana by the Gloucester, Massachusetts fishing schooner Esperanto in 1920. That race was sponsored by the Halifax Herald newspaper.

After a season fishing on the Grand Banks, Bluenose defeated Elsie (out of Gloucester), returning the International Fishermen's Trophy to Nova Scotia. During the next 17 years of racing, no challenger, American or Canadian, could wrest the International Fishermen's Trophy from her. It is notable that she was no mere racing ship, but also a general fishing craft that was worked hard throughout her lifetime. She fished scallops and other kinds of seafood, and at least once won competitions for largest catches of the season and similar awards.

Fishing schooners became obsolete after World War II, and despite efforts to keep her in Nova Scotia, the undefeated Bluenose was sold to work as a freighter in the West Indies. She foundered on a Haitian reef and was lost on January 28, 1946.

Fame and Commemoration

Bluenose, under full sail, is portrayed on the 1929 Canadian Bluenose postage stamp 50 cent issue. The Bluenose has been features on a 1982 60-cent stamp that commemorated the International Philatelic Youth Exhibition. The Bluenose is featured on a 1988 37-cent issue that celebrated Bluenose skipper Angus Walters.

The Bluenose also appears on the current Nova Scotia licence plate. The fishing schooner on the Canadian dime, added in 1937 at the height of fame for Bluenose, was actually based on a composite image of Bluenose and two other schooners, but has for years been commonly known as the Bluenose. In 2002, the government of Canada declared the depiction on the dime to be the Bluenose.[2]

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