The schooners are back on the river. The Nova Scotia Schooner Association was formed in 1961 to help preserve these graceful craft. This week about fifteen schooners will race every day on the LaHave River, and out among the LaHave Islands at its mouth. They sailed out from Riverport on the fourth to the sixth. From the seventh to the tenth they will operate from the LaHave River Yacht Club.
These are recreational boats, not the huge cargo vessels that used to fill the upper tidal reaches of the LaHave from March to November. Those ships could go anywhere in the world, and for a hundred years they often did.
From Bridgewater they mostly hauled our lumber and bales of dried salt fish, heading south, ending up in the Caribbean to fill up again with sugar, molasses and rum to bring back home to Nova Scotia.
Nearby Lunenburg had its fleet of salt bankers, heading out to the Grand Banks for weeks at a time to fish for cod. We still have our Bluenose II, a beautiful replica, but I doubt a barrel of molasses or a cod fish, live or salted, has ever rested in her hold.
So it does my heart good to see schooner sails on the river again, skimming over the salt water like dipping terns, even if these are the small grandchildren of the great ones.