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Sunday, 3 June 2018

Bragging Rights


Some people say if you look closely you can still see the

Bluenose, has She sailed across the ocean. Her mast blowing in

wind as she sailed through the water's of the North Atlantic. 

The Bluenose was at the top of her game. She had won all of her

races that year. Then it happened the Bluenose was challenge by 

the United States. Either way this race was for all the

bragging rights. The Bluenose to her credit already had a

large following.

     I can still remember when Skipper Angus Walter's

found out the United States had challenge the Bluenose, to

a race across the North Atlantic. For the first time our small

crew of 20 had to put our beloved fisherman's trophy on the

line. 

I was the newest crew member on the Bluenose. I was at the

bottom of the totem poll. So I had very little in put when it

came to making suggestions. I had learned early on from my dad

that some team's  would do anything to win a race even it met

racing dirty. Other teams would argue the outcome of the race

after words because there was something about the United States

time that never added up. But to avail the United States would

walk away with another win under their belt. The crew on the

Bluenose was also known for racing dirty but Angus Walters

made sure it fell within the rules of the race.

“, Skipper on deck, yelled Paul who was the second officer.”

“, sir welcome aboard, your crew is all counted for , Paul

said.”

“, Very well, make sure to send the rookie to my cabin, replied

the Skipper.”

     For whatever reason's Paul didn't much care for me. Paul

never liked the fact I was brought aboard by my friend who was

also member of the crew. My sister Natalie was right about

Paul, he was vary insecure. That night I headed home from the

harbour. I was standing by my car having a quick smoke. Out of

nowhere asked me if he could bum a smoke off me.  I reached in

to my right pocket and pulled out my smokes and handed him one.

 “, thanks dude, the guy said as he walked away.”

I tossed my smoke on the ground, and headed home. When I got

home mom told me that there was message for me Paul.

“, Mom when this message left for me, I asked.”

“, Paul called about hour ago, while you were on your way

home, mom said.”

“, did he say what it was about, I said.”

“, no! My mom replied.”

“, did Paul leave his number for me to call him back, I asked.”

“, I wrote it down on the back of the paper, mom replied.”

     I went up stairs to my room and called Paul back. I got no

answer so I hung up. I laid down my bed with my head resting up

against the wall. I had no idea why paul called the house. My

first thought was that something had happened to the skiper and

Paul wanted me to come in.

“, Kevin you have a phone call, Natalie yelled.”

“, who it is, I asked.”

“, It's Paul, he say's it's really importent, replied

Natalie.”

“, hold on let me grab my phone.”

“, okay got it, I yelled down the stairs.”

I took 2 deep breaths in and out before I said anything. 

“, Hello.”

“, Kevin it's Paul.”

“, hey Paul what can I do for you, I replied.”

“, What did that guy ask you in the parking lot earlier tonight

Paul asked.”

“, am I in trouble.”

“, no you’re not in trouble, what did he say to you

 asked Paul.”

“, All he asked is if he could bum a smokr off me, I said.”

“, what did you tell him Kevin, asked Paul.”

“, I said yes, I replied.”

“, okay thanks for taking my call Kevin, I'll see you tomorrow,

Paul said.”

     I went to bed after I was done talking to Paul. Something

told me that I was going to be on the hot seat in the morning.

As much as I hated Paul I really didn't care if he put on the

hot seat in the morning for giving the guy a smoke in the

parking lot.

     I finally drifted off to sleep shortly after 2am. I woke up 

just before 6am. I went to the washroom, had a quick

shower then headed down stiars to make coffee. I had a gut

feeling that today was going to be one of those days where Paul

would find a reason to put me in the hot seat.

     In any case I think it buggs Paul that I can play his game

just as good as he can. Only thing is I don't need to kiss the

Skipers ass.  Natalie woke up just shortly after 7am.

“, Kevin can you make me some french toast please, asked

Natalie.”

“, I guess I make you french toast sis, I replied.”

     I walked out of the livingroom and in to the kitchen.

Natalie loved french toast with lots of blueberrys on top.

I made sure that every inch of the bread was covered with

blueberrys. While I was making Natalie's breakfast I turned on

the tv in the kitchen. The local news was talking about the

Americans challanging the Bluenose to a race. What caught my

attantion was the grand prize of $4,000 dollars. Which at that 

time was a good chunk of money. I didn't hear Natalie come down

the stairs until she was standing behind me in the kitchen.

“, Kevin is everything okay, Natalie asked.”

“, Sorry here's your french toast,I said.”

“, are you ok.”

“, Yea I'm fine. Do you need a ride to school.”

“, No dad is driving me to school this morning, Natalie

replied.”

     The phone rang as I was walking out the door. Natalie

came running after me with the phone in her hand.

“, Kevin Paul is on the phone.”

“, god damn it,I said as I got out of the car.”

“, Paul what's up, I said.”

“, hey Kevin, I hate asking you to do this, can you come in

at noon today, Paul asked.”

“, sure, I replied.”

“, grate see you at noon, Paul said.”

     I got out of my car and headed back in to the house. I sat

down at the kitchen table where Natalie was eatting her french

toast. I got up and walked over to the toaster and made me a

bagle. Dad came walking in to the kitchen  made himself a quick

cup of coffee.

“, lets go kiddo, don't wanna be late this morning, dad said.”

     I went in to the living room and laid on the couch for

a bit before I had to head in to work. Paul has never 

called to ask me to come in at noon before.

     I started to wander what Paul was going to blame me for

this time. Maybe I didn't fold the towls right or maybe there

was a spoon in the sink and Paul wanted the skiper to fire me

for leaving it in the sink.

*

     I parked my car in my usual spot under the old oak tree. I

Walked up the ramp and Paul was standing just inside the

doorway.

“, hey Kevin, thank you so much for coming in at noon

today, Skiper said.”

“, no problem. So what can I do for you sir, I asked.”

“, I need you to mop the forward well deck,  vacum the briage

 please and thank you, the skiper asked.”

     By the end of the day, I was so tired I could barly keep my

eyes open on the drive home from the harbour.

*
     I woke up the next morning, hopped in to the shower. I

went down stairs to myself some peanut butter toast. I made

 a pot of coffee, there's nothing like a good ol' cup of java first thing in the morning, to kick start ones brain.

“, is that coffee I smell, yelled dad from the top of stairs.”

“, yupper, I yelled back.”

“, oh god that's good stuff. Thanks for the coffee, dad said.”

“, your welcome, dad replied.”

     Normally when dad would walk in to the kitchen he would fly

over to the kitchen counter poor himself a cup of coffee, then

he would leave out the back door.

     Dad came back in to the kitchen. I was sitting at the

kitchen table reading the news paper. I looked up and

 dad standing there looking at me.

“, is there something I can do for you dad, I asked.”

“, Kevin can you drive Natalie to school this morning, dad

asked.”

“, sure dad.”

“, Son what are the chances of your mother and I getting a pair

of ticket's to your race next weekend, dad asked with a smile.”

“, I'll have to ask the skipper, I replied.”

“, thanks son, dad said.”

     Okay that whole talk with dad just now was really creepy, I

thought to myslef as I went back to reading the morning paper.

Natalie came walking in to the kitchen and sat at the table.

“, hey kev, is dad alright, she asked.”

“, yea he's fine, I said.”

 “, I'm going to go grab a shower, I'll be ready in 10 minutes,

Natalie replied.”

“, sounds good, I said.”

     I finished my coffee and went outside to warm up the car.

while Natalie was in shower. A few minutes later Natalie

came out the back door with her backpack wide open.

“, whats the hurry sis, I asked.”

“, I'm 5 minutes late for school.”

“, yea so, I replied.”

“, it might not be a big deal to you, but it's a big deal to

me, Natalie replied.”

“, by the way your backpack is open, I said.”

“, damn it, thanks kev for letting me know.”

     When I got to work, Angus Walters was quick to put me 

to work below deck. I cleaned all the bathrooms and did

a quick once over of the gallyway before heading back up to the

deck. I didn't want to miss any of the action that was about to

take place. The Bluenose was defending her tittle.

      The crew of the Bluenose defeated the Americans in a time

of 3 minutes and 29 seconds, to re take the fishermans trophy.

     It seemed like everything was starting to go our way. How

ever Angus Walters was having trouble finding people to fund

the Bluenose for another year of race's.

*
     4 months had past since the Bluenose defeated the

Americans.

Angus Walters was still having trouble finding money to keep

the Bluenose in Nova Scotia. Then the unthinkable happened

Angus Walters who had been the only skiper of the Bluenose

schooner was forced to sale the Bluenose.

     In 1937, the Bluenose became a symbolic gesture of Canada,

when it would be place on the 10 cent coin. After all these

years I still find myself laying on my pillow thinking about

the glory that the Bluenose schooner brought to Nova Scotia. In

some respects I don't blame skiper Angus Walters for saling the

Bluenose.
*

     On January,29, 1946 the once famouse Bluenose hit a reef

just off the coast of Haiti and sank to her wattery grave.

Today the Bluenose is  one of Canada's most iconic fishing

schooners.

*

     July 24, 1963 buliders Smith & Rhuland would begain work on

a 2nd schooner that would be called the Bluenose 2. The Bluenose

2 would be built from the same plans as the first Bluenose.

Every detail would be identical to the origanal Bluenose

schooner that was built back in 1921. Today the Bluenose 2

travles all over the world with other tall boats.

     I would make it a point to take my grand kids to see the

tall ships when they would sail in to Nova Scotia's harbour.

The kids would make it a point to ask me what it was like

working on the first Bluenose back in the day.

     I would always smile when the kids would ask me to tell

them about my time as a lonely deckhand. But one thing I always

make sure my grandkids know was how man made the Bluenose what

she is today. A National symbol of our grate country.
*

     In 1971 the Bluenose 2 become Nova Scotia's sailing

ambassador. A tittle befitting of a grate symbolic fishing

schooner. Today the Bluenose is maned by a crew of 5 officers,

chief cook, 12 deckhands.