Pier 21, The Bluenose II, and Exploring Halifax

Canada Travelling
December 27, 2018

September 15th: Day 83

John and I decided to get out of the marina and head downtown.  I wanted to check out the Halifax Seaport Farmers Market beside Pier 21, and then explore the boardwalk.  John wanted to stretch his legs so he decided to walk the 7.5 kilometres there while I had visions of shopping at the market so I took the bus in.  We met up at the market building and wandered through but I didn’t end up buying anything so we just wandered the 2 kilometre stretch of boardwalk along the waterfront and then hiked the 7.5 (mostly uphill) km back to the marina.  Kudos to John for completing 17km with ease but I was definitely sore and hangry on the trip back.  It was my own fault, I hadn’t had anything to eat and my blood sugar had crashed somewhere around Casino Nova Scotia…. sigh.  I did manage to grab a couple shots on our walk though, and planned to come back another day to check out the Pier 21 Maritime Museum after of course, eating a well balanced breakfast.

Growing up, I had always heard the stories of Mom and Dad’s trips from Europe to Canada by boat.  Mom told me about the boat that she had come over on and the “rustic-ness” of it…  The fact that everyone on it got sick except for her because one of the kitchen staff gave her lemons to suck on.  For this reason, I will always attempt to have fresh lemons on our boat. Dad’s family had came over on a “much nicer” boat, and I assumed that both of them had arrived in Halifax as many immigrants had but it wasn’t until I was chatting with mom about her arrival at Pier 21 that I found at that my father and his family had actually landed in Quebec City.  I wish I would have known while we were there as I would have investigated more thoroughly, but it was likely that they landed very close to where we docked.

When I told Mom that we were heading to Halifax, she mentioned that when she and Dad drove to Halifax in 2001, on their 50th anniversary of coming to Canada, that they couldn’t find any information on the boat that she came over on even though they had all the information on the boat that my Dad had arrived on in Quebec City.  In fact, the newly built Pier 21 museum had informed her that her boat had never arrived in Halifax but had voyaged directly to New York City.  She let them know that they definitely had the wrong information.

In a quest to finally see if we could find a photo of the boat that Mom had arrived in Canada on, mom sent me her original passport photo with her immigration identification card.  This is my beautiful mother at 17 years old… so incredibly stunning…

A few days later, I left John to work, travelled solo to the Pier 21 museum and was directed to a small office filled with books, computers, and some incredibly helpful staff.  We found the information on her boat as well as some stories from other people that came over on the same voyage.  In less than 5 minutes total and I had an entire envelope of information for her which I mailed off.  I snapped a quick photo of her boat for myself, the Goya, before I left.

After completing my mission at Pier 21, I strolled the Harbourfront, feeling particularly Canadian with a coffee and a Beavertail, and found a donation based tourist train that took me on a loop around the boardwalk area and dropped me off right in front of the Halifax Distilling Co where I bought a bottle of local rum for John and had great fun chatting with fellow sailor and master distiller Julie Shore and her incredible staff. I hung out for a while, playing the piano in the lounge and enjoying the wonderful aromas of the various types of rum that they produce. They tipped me off that the Bluenose II was in port which is what our Bayfield 40 was modelled after and I got to stroll her decks before she set sail for the afternoon. This is apparently what happens when I leave John at the marina…

Julie was kind enough to give me a t-shirt from the Halifax Distilling Co that I plan to wear all over the world on our travels.  Photos to come…

Though hurricane Florence had been dumping rain on us for a couple days, we managed to catch up with our new friend Paul that we had met while we were in Gaspé, and his lovely wife Colleen who both had recently arrived in Halifax.  John and I wandered down to the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron to visit and enjoyed some incredible hospitality on their beautiful boat Blue Eden.  We were graciously invited back for a day sail to the main Halifax inlet on their boat later on in the week.  Definitely a trip I was very much looking forward to… such a joy to just be a guest on another boat!

We also discovered that the best place to watch Wednesday AYC Race Night was from the bow of our boat. At least this week we were on the edge of the race course instead of in the middle of it… we almost got clipped last week from overzealous racers (who apparently won so I’m sure they were happy that they pulled up in time to avoid our anchor catching their sail).



December 27, 2018



Michelle Kauntz
Wild Blue Yonder

Seems you've found us. I'm one half of the charming and somewhat frustrating duo that is John & Michelle. (I'm Michelle) We once had this one-day idea that we wanted to sail around the world. We made a five year plan. After ten years of talking and two years of prepping and postponing, we are finally underway. Feel free to follow us and live vicariously though our pratfalls and adventures as we take our almost-as-old-as-John Bayfield 40 Cutter Ketch out of the safety of Lake Ontario and out into the world. On a shoestring budget. With two fiercely independent people. In basically 300-ish square feet of living space and with not a heck of a lot of sailing experience (yet) ...This is going to be fun...

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