Sunday, July 6, 2014

Tattoo, Arthur, Maritime Museum, Plus

On July 4, Independence Day for the U.S., we attended a wonderful tradition in Canada: The Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo. It was a superb show with non-stop action from military units and other performing groups from various countries, complete with bagpipes, drums, full bands and choirs, acrobats including tumblers, rope-jumpers, bicycle and unicycle riders, dancers, etc. There was even a tribute to the U.S. citizens in attendance because of it being our special holiday.

Unfortunately, I had a big disappointment. Our tickets, purchased a couple of months in advance, had “NO CAMERAS” printed on them. So I was obedient and left my camera at home. As soon as we got to our seats in advance of the beginning of the show, the Master of Ceremonies said, “Take all the pictures you want; just don’t use a flash.”


Fortunately, Susie brought her brand-new pocket-sized Canon camera and got some good shots. Here’s a link to her blog so you can see what we saw. It was a wonderful show, and we loved every minute of it! And Don stayed awake even though it lasted past his bedtime!

For a great article on the Tattoo, including the origin of the word, check out Wikipedia. (Hint: it has to do with closing the beer tap at the end of the day.)

Prior to the show, we had a great steak dinner at The Keg Steakhouse in downtown Halifax with Jerry Avis and his son Dan, who drove us in his 7-passenger van so we didn’t have to squeeze 5 (or 6) people into a 4-passenger car as we’d done before. Thanks, Dan!

I later learned that The Keg has locations in the U.S. as well, so we’ll be looking for them in our travels. Good eats!

As some of our friends and family know, the storm known as “Arthur” came our way yesterday. It had been downgraded from a hurricane to a tropical storm by that time, and most of the storm was west of us in New Brunswick, but we did get some significant wind and a little rain, and the power was out for about 12 hours. We drove to nearby Peggy’s Cove to take a look at the waves and ocean spray – beautiful sights, but I can appreciate how deadly such a storm can be with faster winds.



This seagull had a hard time making any progress flying into the wind, and just hovered over the same area for awhile.



Everyone on the rocks and path to the lighthouse was wearing a hoody and bracing against the strong winds. And that wind felt really cold, especially with the sprays of seawater!



Today dawned bright and clear, and the power had been restored during the night. But the Internet is still spotty, so I hope I can post this blog entry.

Don and I took advantage of the pretty weather to go to Halifax today and tour the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. We both enjoyed it – my favorite was the stories of individuals who took solo sailing trips.

For example, John Hughes sailed alone as the youngest competitor in an around-the-world race in 1986. He had no corporate sponsorship and sailed the smallest boat in the race. He lost his mast and jury-rigged one using an A-frame made from two spinnaker poles. He managed to finish the sail of 4000 miles around Cape Horn and thus secured himself a place in sailing history.



There are many stories of bravery and invention by others, including a man with no fingers (lost while surviving five days of freezing temps on high seas) who still sailed into his seventies.

I think Don’s faves were all the sailboats.



We saw a video and exhibit about the explosion that damaged large portions of the city on December 6, 1917 when the Norwegian ship SS Imo collided with the French munitions ship SS Mont Blanc which was carrying a huge amount of explosives. About 2,000 people were killed in this explosion and about 9,000 were injured. A tsunami created by the blast killed still more, and wiped out a First Nations community.


The “Plus” for the end of this blog is my knitted shawl, which I started during Woodcarvers’ Week in early March and completed a few hours before we left for Tattoo on July 4. What an intricate pattern! I’m glad it’s finished and I’ll now enjoy wearing it. I’ve been knitting since I was 13, and I can only remember one other project I did that was this advanced, a sweater for my mother that I made while still in my teens. Now I’ll return to making lap-sized afghans for Soldiers’ Angels, which are very easy in comparison!



Oh, yes, here’s another plus: our dinner at home tonight. Yummmmm!



  1. That shawl looks great. Congrats on all your hard work.

    -- jc&bev

  2. Sharon, Enjoyed hearing about your adventures. Glad you a are safe. On Aug. 28, 2010 we, in a group of 8,600 people, attended the final performance (for the season) of The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo on the esplanade of the Edinburgh Castle in Edinburgh, Scotland. It was really a wonderful adventure to see it as it surely was for you guys to see The Royal Nova Scotia Tattoo. I confess I didn't know there was one held in North America.

  3. I'm so glad I saw the beginning of that shawl because I can't believe how beautiful it came out. I can't wait to see it in person on you. How come you didn't take phone photos?

  4. What a beautiful knitted shawl. WOW.

  5. It has to be over 25 years since I've seen a Tatoo performance so thanks for the reminder of a great show.

    Beautiful job on the shawl.


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