This is a photo of my friend, the photographer Chris Reardon who took my headshot. He’s at the helm of the 22 foot Tancook sloop that is owned by a neighbour in Indian Point, Nova Scotia, a few miles from Lunenburg. Chris took me out for a couple of hours of exciting sailing as the winds gusted and had us heeling way over with the gunwale under water.
The sails on the sloop are darker in colour. In the early 1900s on Tancook Island, sails were dyed a reddish brown to save the sail from rot and mildew. They used a boiled mixture of pine tar and bark from black spruce, logwood or hemlock.
This process went out of fashion in favour of brushing lime and salt water on the sails with a broom while the sails were laid out on the rocky beaches. That kept the sails white. Tancook Islands derived their name from the Micmac of Nova Scotia as Uktancook, which means “to face the open sea”, which Big and Little Tancook do. It’s something I appreciated when I took the ferry over from Chester.
- September 18, 2013