News Release Archive

Some people have all the luck. That would certainly seem to be
the case for one Shelburne resident who has been three times
blessed with historical adventures.

Andrew Blackmer, 38, is one of 40 Nova Scotians who will be
participating in the re-enactment of John Cabot's voyage to the
New World. Mr. Blackmer will board the Matthew, a replica of
Cabot's 15th-century vessel, on Aug. 27 in Shelburne for the
one-day journey to Yarmouth. 

Mr. Blackmer, who began sailing at the age of 10 in Lake
Champlain, Vt., moved to Nova Scotia in 1989. In 1993, he heard
about the Gazella Primara, a 75-metre Portuguese barquentine
built in the 1800s and used for fishing the Grand Banks. The
three-masted square-rigged vessel is maintained by a volunteer
group in Maryland.

Mr. Blackmer was able to talk his way on board the Gazella
Primara when she sailed from Baltimore to Halifax. When he
discovered she was heading to LaHave, he was granted permission
for the overnight trip. While on board, he was on watch and
lookout duty, and took a turn at steering.

Two years later, Mr. Blackmer landed a role in the movies when
The Scarlet Letter was filmed in Shelburne. After filling out an
application form for extras, he was asked to become skipper to
steer the long boat that carried Demi Moore ashore from the gully
boat. The scene is at the beginning of the film.

Already twice lucky, Blackmer was thrilled to discover that he
had been picked to become part of the crew of the Matthew. Asked
if he was nervous, he replied: "No. She's made her way across the
Atlantic and around Newfoundland. Having done that, a sail down
the coast of Nova Scotia is well within her capabilities."


Contact: Renee Field
         Economic Development and Tourism

ngr                August 20, 1997 - 1:25 pm