Remembering The Legendary Bar Harbor Bluenose Ship
It was like clockwork, as those who were fortunate enough to live around Frenchman Bay would watch the lights of the Bluenose as it returned to port in Bar Harbor every night.
Long before there was a catamaran named Cat, there was the Bluenose, a 346 foot-long ship that carried tourists and their vehicles on a one hundred nautical mile journey between Bar Harbor and Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. The ship was in service beginning in 1956, and for 26 years it made the run, normally loaded with up to 615 passengers and 150 cars and trucks, which were loaded through hatches on either side of the ship. The ship also carried a crew of 96.
The Bluenose would leave it's Bar Harbor port at 8 in the morning for the six-hour trip to Yarmouth, the same port that everyone has high hopes that The Cat will eventually use again someday. Following an 11 and-a-half hour layover in Canada, it would return to Bar Harbor at 9:30 p.m. Riders were often treated to watching a whale or two frolic in the ocean waters, but other than that there wasn't much to see.
The Bluenose was named after an original sailing schooner from Nova Scotia, and ended it's run in 1982. It was replaced by another ship that measured 410 feet in length and was renamed MV Bluenose. The MV Bluenose ended it's daily service in October of 1997.
The original Bluenose ended up in Groton, Connecticut, following it's retirement in 1982 and was converted into a floating machine shop which employed many in that area. In 1996, the ship was towed to Tampa Bay where it sat in a state of decay. It eventually was taken to Mexico a few years later where it was scraped.
But not before creating thousands of memories here in Maine, in one way or another.