Through trials and tribulations, Dacane Surf Shop owner Lance Moore has always strived to provide the best opportunities and gear for wave-tamers. Having hatched the shop's first incarnation in his mother's basement and moved on to locations where break-ins and robberies were rampant, he maintained his focus on learning his trade before finally settling in Halifax. Always looking to stay one step ahead of the sport, Lance and his team seek out the most cutting-edge surfing equipment available from reputable designers such as Channel Islands, Santa Cruz, and Watercooled. His instructors customize surf camps and lessons to help mould burgeoning aquanauts of all ages and skill levels, and hip threads from the likes of Quiksilver and Billabong keep them looking the part. The surf shack also sets up adventurists with stand-up paddleboards, skim boards, body boards, and all the accessories needed to coast the whitecaps or add authenticity to an online dating profile.
Noble Grape arms amateur vintners and would-be brewmasters with the equipment and supplies they need to craft their own reds, whites, and brews at home. The store's winemaking starter package includes 15 items crucial to turning lowly grape juice into nectar worthy of Bacchus, including a fermenting device, racking accoutrements, a 23-litre glass carboy, a bottle filler, sanitizer, and a moody yet talented wine whisperer to tame the grapes. Oenophiles can choose from a stock of 25 Vintners Reserve wine kits designed to yield 23 litres in varietals ranging from pleasantly acidic chardonnay to bold, palate-blanketing cabernet sauvignon, or opt for a Twisted Mist wine-cocktail kit in flavours such as strawberry margarita and mojito. This option also includes $20 off a future wine-kit purchase.
More than 110 vendors and exhibitors flock to Exhibition Park for the 30th annual Atlantic Outdoor Sports and RV Show—an homage to the entertainment and serenity found in nature. Displays by Leisure Days RV Centre, Wolf Spirit Accessories, and Cumberland Canoe, among others, brim with everything from new sport- and fly-fishing equipment to ATVs and backpacking gear. In addition to browsing the wares, visitors can check out motocross stunts, attend an educational seminar, or follow their spirit animal to the demonstration kitchen, where chefs prepare dishes using pheasant and venison.
Cole Harbour Place—the home of hockey player Sidney Crosby—welcomes community members into a complex that hosts three pools, two regulation-size ice arenas, squash courts, and a weight-training centre and cardio room with more than 21 new pieces of equipment. The sprawling facility invites swimmers to splash during open sessions or learn how to greet a passing octopus properly during swim lessons; fitness classes get hearts pumping in boot camp and core yoga. A wealth of youth programming entertains whippersnappers throughout the year, and the wellness centre’s health classes and programs impart preventive-health advice to members of all ages.
He wears a beaming smile and a red cap, beneath which his eyes turn to meet those of the happy children who pass his way. He is 65 feet tall. He is a boat.
The fleet at Murphy's The Cable Wharf also includes seven other vessels, but the most recognizable is surely Theodore Too: an enormous, custom-built life-size replica of the friendly Theodore Tugboat, star of the CBC children's television show of the same name. He was originally commissioned to sail up and down the Eastern Seaboard, giving kids a chance to take harbor cruises that were previously only possible in their daydreams, until eventually the staff of Murphy's stepped in to give him a permanent home.
Theodore Too wasn't the first remarkable vessel in the Murphy's fleet. In the early 1980s, Captain Gerald Murphy purchased the Mar, a seasoned tall ship that had sailed around the world twice and been the subject of a documentary. He used this storied vessel to establish Murphy's The Cable Wharf, a sailing and tour company based in Halifax Harbour. With ships in the water, Murphy also planned a restaurant?repurposing the old Cable Ship Terminal, which was built in 1913 and had long been dormant.
Decades later, Murphy's nautical vision lives on. The Mar still glides across harbour waters for themed sailing tours and pirate cruises. The spacious Haligonian III embarks on whale-watching excursions that bring passengers face-to-face with minke whales and dolphins, and the Harbour Queen I?an old-fashioned Mississippi-style sternwheeler?embarks on narrated history tours.
The wharf restaurant, meanwhile, continues the nautical theme on dry land, showing off unobstructed views of the waterfront. It even brings a bit of the sea indoors: a lobster tank filled with more than 300 live crustaceans lets guests net their own meals, while a touch tank brings them face-to-face with native marine life. Coastal dishes, from a buttery lobster roll to pan-fried haddock, fuel more maritime adventures.