Day 7 |
Aug 21, 2008

Halifax, Canada

By Claudia Holgate, Enrionmental Lecturer

Temperature: 20.7C 59.5F

Pressure: 1019hPa

Wind: 4.7km/h Easterly wind

Co-ordinates: 44° 38’ 23’’N 63° 33’ 55’’W

Today we reached Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. This is the biggest port we have been at on this voyage, and we were in for a treat. A high pressure is sitting over Halifax, creating beautiful blue skies with very little wind and stunning warm weather. After the three weeks of rain Halifax has experienced, the weather Gods are definitely with us.

Once the fifth deck gangway had been erected by our great deck crew, we were able to disembark and get onto one of three busses for a full day excursion around Halifax. Our first stop was Hall Harbour, which was quite a drive from Halifax, as it was actually on the other side of the island, along the Bay of Fundy. Here, we could watch as the tide was rising and boats, which were high and dry, were slowly getting the chance to float again. In this area, the tide rises at a rate of 3cm per minute and the Bay of Fundy has the highest tides in the world, reaching over 16m at its maximum. At the harbour we were given a fascinating lecture on lobsters, how they catch them and their biology. We were then treated to a delectable meal of fresh lobster with typical side dishes.

None of us wanted to leave as we all wanted to watch the tide rise some more, but alas, we had a lot more to do. Our next stop was the “Look off”, which is really a lookout over the Bay of Fundy and the vineyards of the Annapolis valley that we were to visit next. It was quite a view and the visibility was superb.

Our next stop was the Grand Pre Winery, where we were given a short talk on how they make their award-winning wines and we were then treated to a tasting of their red and white wines, as well as the special ice wine, which is a dessert wine made from frozen grapes.

More than two hundred bodies from the Titanic disaster were brought to Halifax, where they are buried in three different cemeteries. We stopped off at the Fairview Lawns Cemetery where many of the victims of the Titanic are buried, some still identified with simple granite headstones in three rows.

Our last stop for the day was the Maritime Museum, close to the wharf, where we could see excellent exhibits of the history of shipping, and replicas of many boats and ships, as well as instrumentation and equipment used in the past. This museum also had incredible displays of the Halifax explosion disaster of 6 December 1917, when the French munitions ship the Mont Blanc and the Norwegian ship Imo, collided, creating the largest explosion prior to Hiroshima. As Halifax has such a strong link with the Titanic, there was an excellent display of the Titanic disaster, the conditions on the ship, and items that were recovered from the ship prior to its sinking.

All too soon, we had to head back to the ship after another full and interesting day that we all thoroughly enjoyed. Tomorrow is Lunenburg and a trip on the Blue Nose II, Cant wait…