WATCH: The Bluenose II is back in Halifax Harbour for the first time in years. Nova Scotia’s sailing ambassador has emerged from restoration and in now open for public viewing on the waterfront. Global’s David Squires reports.
HALIFAX – The Bluenose II is back in Halifax harbour for the first time in years. Hundreds of Haligonians and tourists boarded the schooner looking for their first glimpse of the restored vessel before its summer sailing season.
“Ooh it’s historical, it’s an icon. I never thought I would be on it,” said Amon Zohar, who was visiting from Toronto.
Captain Phil Watson says showing off the ship is his favourite part of the job and the visit to Halifax is extra special for him and his crew.
“It’s a real thrill for them especially coming in here. You come past the container terminals, Pier 21 and to come see the Sackville and the Acadia, you get a real sense of history bringing the Bluenose to the history of Halifax,” said Watson.
The Bluenose II restoration project has been plagued by a series of setbacks over several years.
In 2009, when the project was announced, its budget was set at $14.4 million. It has since ballooned to over $20 million.
But visitors getting their first look say history is worth the money.
“I think things like the Bluenose are somewhat visionary and to a certain extent that goes beyond budgets. And it looks beautiful so I have to say it was a win,’ said Ray Roshefort.
Adam Kimbel, who was also getting a first look at the ship, said the extra money was worth it.
“It’s part of our history, so I think it’s always worth history being preserved.”
After leaving Halifax, the Bluenose II will head back to Lunenburg before it tours the province this summer.