By Allison Steele
After a wonderful day of small boat sailing while at anchor off of the Fortress of Louisbourg, it was time to head into port in the town of Louisbourg! But in true PICTON CASTLE fashion we launched our boats and they also participated in the Parade of Sail. Sea Never Dry, Jane and our wonderful 80-year-old Monomoy helped to lead the fleet of six tall ships into the harbour. We were greeted by traditional pipe and drum, historical actors and a huge crowd of onlookers waiting for the chance to come and visit us. As expected, ship’s cat Fiji was the first off the ship and did her usual cute posing for photographs and to delight her new friends on shore.
Louisbourg is a wonderful small town surrounded by great hiking trails and of course the famous Fortress of Louisbourg. Cape Breton is proud of their national historic site as it is one of North America’s busiest 18th century seaports. The fortress was founded by the French in 1713 but was demolished after two sieges by the British in the 1760s. In the 1960s reconstruction began of ¼ of the original French town and fortifications, and today it remains as one of the largest in North America.
The crew spent time touring this impressive fortress and immersing themselves in the 1700s. They could also be found puttering about in small boats in the harbour as it truly is one of our favourite pastimes. Deck tours are an important part of Tall Ships Festivals as we love to open our home to the community and visitors. We are proud of our ship and the hard work we put in to make her look as beautiful as she does.
Another treat for the residents, visitors and ourselves was Louisbourg’s annual Crabfest! Being such a well known event in the province, it was a very busy weekend for everyone but provided some wonderful seafood and great entertainment. As we get ready to depart, I would like to thank the kind people of Louisbourg, especially the ship’s Liaison Lloydette and her team of volunteers. Events like this are often volunteer driven and without those volunteers, it would not have been the success it was!