Treasure Trove of Teeth

Ahoy from Yarmouth, Nova Scotia! Welcome back virtual crew members and fellow adventurers!

Blue Shark jaw from Yarmouth Shark Scramble

Summary of the Week

The weather was finally favorable to leave Halifax on Wednesday. The crew shoved off the dock and cruised to the small village of Lunenburg. They left the next morning and found sea conditions to be about perfect. Rather than stop at the anchorage they had planned, they put another 40 miles under the keel and anchored at Cape Negro Island. On Friday, they motored to Yarmouth.

Click on the Still Waters II Travel Map to see detailed Voyage Logs.


The voyage of discovery did answer the following questions this week:

  1. What are the Red Arrows?
  2. How many American’s are buried on Deadman’s Island?
  3. How did the American’s come to be on Melville Island?
  4. Who is rumored to have buried treasure on Oak Island?
  5. Who is rumored to have buried treasure on Star Island?
  6. Who launched the first vessel in Yarmouth? What year?
  7. How many ships have been lost at sea from Yarmouth?
  8. How many names are on the Lost to Sea memorial?
  9. What kind of sharks were caught for the Yarmouth Shark Scramble?
  10. What was the largest shark weighed in?
  11. How old was the youngest contestant who landed a shark?
  12. What was your favorite Blue Shark fun fact?

At the Box Office

This week’s video shows Still Waters II watching a boat load of dudes landing sharks off the coast of Nova Scotia. Enjoy!

To see past videos, click on the link to the Still Waters II Vimeo site.  The library contains videos of Still Waters II cruising America’s Great Loop.

Sunday – Tuesday, August 11 – 13

The dock that the crew had been moored to since arrival in Halifax was exposed to the ocean swells and boat wakes, which made for an uncomfortable stay on the boat. The skipper talked with the marina and got permission to move over behind a wall that would block the wave action. Once they got settled, they climbed up on top of the radar arch to take their seats behind the V.I.P. Tent for the air show.

A large crowd began to form, both on the water and along the waterfront for the show.

The air show started with fly overs by various types of helicopters and planes. Because the crew was directly behind the V.I.P. Tent, they could here the MC talk about each craft as it flew by.

After the fly overs, it was time to watch the Red Arrows perform.

The crew has continued to explore Halifax while they waited for favorable weather conditions to continue the voyage south along the south shore of Nova Scotia. To expand their exploration away from the waterfront, they took a Hop on Hop off tour bus. The double decker bus made the round trip past thirteen historic sights and museums.

While headed out to the Fairview Lawn Cemetery (Titanic Cemetery), the Tour Guide also talked about a memorial/cemetery on Deadman’s Island where 195 American POW’s are buried. During the War of 1812, the British had a prisoner of war camp on Melville Island which sits adjacent to Deadman’s Island. The British held as many as 8,000 US soldiers and sailors at Melville during the war. As prisoners died they were put in unmarked graves on Deadman’s Island and forgotten to history.

Over the years, due to rain and wave erosion, some skeletal remains would become unearthed. So in the 1990’s, when a developer tried to get permits to develop the Island, local residents protested and claimed the area was an ancient burial ground. The authorities performed a review and found that the Island contained 400 remains from French, Spanish, and American soldiers and sailors. Rather than develop the Island, the Canadian’s turned it into a Park.

An interpretive plaque in the park contains the following anonymous poem: 

Go view the graves which prisoners fill 
Go count them on the rising hill 
No monumental marble shows 
Whose silent dust does there repose. 

In a strange twist of fate, two sister ships (USS Chesapeake and the USS Constitution) share a bond at the Deadman’s Cemetery.

USS Chesapeake

The USS Chesapeake was defeated in battle by the HMS Shannon in 1813. The British brought the Chesapeake to Halifax, repaired the vessel in the Halifax shipyards, and recommissioned her as the HMS Chesapeake. The American sailors were detained at the Melville POW camp.

On May 30, 2005, the USS Constitution was present when the US government dedicated a memorial tablet with the names of the 195 Americans buried at Deadman’s Island. Several of which were from her sister ship, the USS Chesapeake.

In another interesting twist, the skipper found a relative, James Fuller, among the names on the memorial tablet. James was a member of the US Army 23rd regiment, and died of dysentery while in prisoned at Melville.

Wednesday, August 14th

Back at the Halifax Maritime Museum, they had a display about the pirates of Nova Scotia. With place names such as Murder Island, Spook Island, and Jolly Roger’s Bay, this should be of no surprise. This region of the south shore was sparsely populated and had many good coves to hide out, making it perfect for would be pirates. But the problem with being a pirate back in the day of sailing ships was that once you started your pirating ways, your life expectancy dropped to just a few years.

And as everybody knows, those pirates hid their booty on these remote islands, or so the folklore says. One of the more popular pirates was Captain Kidd. He was known to sail these waters and it has been rumored that he hid his treasure on Oak Island. And after the Captain’s demise at the gallows in London on May 23, 1701, people have been searching Oak Island for the mysterious treasure, mostly at a place called the ‘Money Pit.’ There is even a TV series about folks trying to recover the treasure, titled The Curse of Oak Island.

The crew bypassed Mahone Bay and did not take time to search for the treasure on Oak Island. They did make way to Lunenburg though and dropped anchor just north of the mooring field.

Lunenburg as the crew approached the mooring field

Island Office was in the mooring field and captured this shot of Still Waters II in the moonlight.

Thursday, August 15th

The crew left in the fog at daybreak. The fog hovered over the waters until 1130. This gave the skipper plenty of time to daydream about another buried treasure. This trove of $200,000 in gold has been rumored to be under a cleft in the rock at Star Island. Edward Baker supposedly buried the cache in a cave marked by the cleft.

Island Office on mooring ball in Lunenburg

The fog seemed to come and go most of the day. The skipper was able to snap a few pics along the way though. These houses were on a point as the fog lightened long enough to get a view.

The crew decided to keep motoring at noon because the sea conditions were just about as good as you could get. They decided to make another forty miles as long as the conditions remained favorable.

About 1630, the crew pulled into a Cove off Cape Negro Island that was well protected from the wind and waves. Just on the other side of a narrow piece of land, the crew could here the waves crashing the shore. Then the skipper heard what sounded like sheep. He grabbed his binoculars and began to eye the Island, and yes there they were, one ewe and a lamb. He kept looking and found three more sheep. Makes you wonder who takes care of them way out here, especially in winter.

The view from the sun deck while at anchor.

Friday, August 16th

This would mark the third day in a row that the crew left in the fog early in the morning. Consequently they did not see much until late morning. The skipper did manage to get a few pics as they left the anchorage. He was surprised that there were a few houses on Negro Island.

With all this fog and treasure talk, the skipper decided to turn his attention back to Forest Fenn and his hidden treasure. For those who do not know, Forest hid about 2 million worth of gold and artifacts somewhere in the Rocky Mountains north of Santa Fe back around 2010.

The treasure trove before Forrest hid it in the mountains

Forrest then wrote a poem, that if you can solve the mystery of said poem will lead you to the treasure trove.

The skipper spent two years studying the poem starting in 2016, and believes he solved the mystery of where the treasure trove has been hidden in the Rocky Mountains. So today, he was reviewing his solve looking for any cracks in his logic that might shed some new light on the mystery. With the Admiral wanting to do some land time, 2020 might just be the year that the skipper takes some time to do a ‘Boots on the Ground’ adventure and goes and gets the treasure. But enough of this real life treasure hunt, it looks like the fog is lifting.

When the crew rounded Cape Sable Island, the most southern point of Nova Scotia, the fog was so thick that they could not see the land or the lighthouse. The fog lifted before they arrived at the Tusket Islands though, so the skipper weaved thru the islands to check them out.

After another 20 miles, the crew arrived at the Yarmouth Sound and made way up the river to dock at Killam Brother’s Marina where they docked for the weekend.

Yarmouth has a long Maritime history starting back with John Sollow who launched the first vessel in 1764. Because of the abundant forrests and well protected harbor, the area was excellent for ship building. The marina where the crew is moored was named for a family of sea merchants in the day of sail. The brothers ran an empire of 160 ships that traded around the world from their hometown of Yarmouth.

However, with all the success of the shipping industry, there was also a stark reminder of the hazards of the seas. Over 600 ships from Yarmouth have been lost at sea over the years. 1879 seemed to be an exceedingly harsh year for the residents of Yarmouth, 31 ships were lost that year alone resulting in 106 deaths. These losses produced 26 widows and 99 fatherless children.

The citizens of Yarmouth have created a memorial for all the sailors and family members who have been lost at sea. Currently there are over 2,400 names on the memorial.

Saturday, August 17th

Two big events were in town today. First was the Farmer’s Market where there was a band singing Elvis Presley songs. The skipper scored some brownies for the Admiral and chocolate chip cookies for himself.

At noon it was time to drift over to the next wharf and watch the weigh in for the Yarmouth Shark Scramble. This was the 21st Blue Shark Tournament. There were 15 boats registered who had 5-7 people onboard who were fishing for shark. Each boat could weigh in three sharks.

There were three sharks over three hundred pounds, 303, 315, and 321. Most of the sharks were in the 240-280 range. One 13 year old girl landed a 280 pounder, all by her self.

There were many volunteers making the shark weigh in a success. There were the folks actually weighing and measuring the sharks. Science organizations who were taking samples of the sharks for future studies. People carving the sharks up, others putting the cut pieces in big vats, and others shoveling ice to keep the meat cool.

Most of the Blue Sharks that were brought in were male. The skipper only recalls one female that was weighed in. Other interesting things about Blue Sharks:

  • They eat what ever they can find, they found a lion fish, rags, and even aluminum foil in their stomachs
  • They have started to shift their eating habits from surface fish to bottom dwellers as evidence of the large number of rocks found in their digestive tracts
  • Females have thicker skin than the males to protect them during courtship. Seems the males bite the females during sex
  • They roam the world. Sharks that do not meet the 8 foot minimum are tagged. Some of these tagged sharks have been caught as far away as Australia

Boat Name of the Week

Next Week –

The crew will end there time in Canada and head back to the good ole USA. They will enter into Maine. The only question will be when and where. The first window may be Monday, but it is too early to tell if the weather window will stay open. Once in Maine, the crew will make way to Arcadia National Park.

Loop On – Where the road ends, the water begins. The water goes on forever, and the adventure never ends.

Eric the Red

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