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Photos: Restored Bluenose II relaunched in Lunenburg Add to ...

Thousands of Nova Scotians and visitors from across Canada were on hand this morning for the relaunch of the famed schooner Bluenose ll.

Premier Darrell Dexter was among the crowd gathered along the Lunenburg waterfront to watch the 43-metre vessel begin its slow descent into the harbour.

Nova Scotia’s sailing ambassador has undergone a two-year, $15.9-million restoration, with Ottawa covering $4.9-million of the cost and the province paying the rest.

The schooner’s entire hull and much of its Douglas fir deck have been replaced.

The vessel’s two masts, canvas sails and rigging will be installed in the coming months.

The Bluenose II, launched in 1963, is a replica of the original Bluenose, a Grand Banks fishing schooner that won worldwide acclaim for its graceful lines and flat-out speed.

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