Sep 29, 2012 / 7:26 am
Thousands of Nova Scotians and visitors from across Canada were on hand this morning for the relaunch of the famed schooner Bluenose ll.
Premier Darrell Dexter was among the crowd gathered along the Lunenburg waterfront under grey skies to watch the 43-metre vessel slowly descend into the harbour.
"The excitement and anticipation leading up to today speaks of our love of the ocean and our ability to thrive by it," Dexter said.
Nova Scotia's sailing ambassador has undergone a two-year, $15.9 million restoration, with Ottawa covering $4.9 million of the cost and the province paying the rest.
The schooner's entire hull and much of its Douglas fir deck have been replaced.
Dexter suggested it was money well spent.
"Future generations of Nova Scotians will now know what it means to have the same pride as their parents, their grandparents and their great grandparents before them," he said.
The vessel's two masts, canvas sails and rigging will be installed in the coming months.
The Bluenose II, launched in 1963, is a replica of the original Bluenose, a Grand Banks fishing schooner that won worldwide acclaim for its graceful lines and flat-out speed.
The original Bluenose was put on the Canadian dime in 1937, during the height of its celebrity, and it also appears on Nova Scotia license plates.
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