Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Leaving New York for Nova Scotia

Cruising from New York.....

The sun is setting on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge.

18 days until we reach Dover, England.

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On our return to Dover we were given a dining table astern. This was our view at dinnertime.

New York City, Halfway Point

After most of the passengers scurried off the ship to return home, a few of us remained on board for the return journey across the north Atlantic. We were required to make a brief visit to the cruise terminal building and be processed by customs and security before returning to the ship. The clouds looked threatening, so a few of us decided to decline a double-decker bus tour around town. Those who went returned later, soaked to the skin.

New York City -- Brooklyn Pier
Ship's Annual Inspection -- Ocean Princess

The New York Harbor is a busy one, and there was plenty to see.




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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Fall Color Break, Connecticut

Many times when a tree changes color, a small part of the tree will look vibrant, then those leaves will fall, followed by another part of the tree turning, then dropping those leaves, as so on. It is great to see a sugar maple tree turning color all at once! This is the week for leaf viewing in Connecticut.

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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Goodbye to St. Pierre et Michelon

Time to leave our humble pier and sail towards New York.


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St. Pierre pilot boat! (It almost looks ghostly in the fog.)

St. Pierre et Michelon, Scenes

Why am I spending so much time on St. Pierre? I have wanted to visited this island for many years. It is part of France -- far from France -- subsidized by France. The area does have some charm. It does have an excellent museum (Musee Heritage), although the museum was not on our agenda for the day.


Memorial to Fishermen

Point aux Canons Battery

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Point aux Canons Lighthouse

Hot Tourist Spots, St. Pierre

We spent a lot of time gazing at their local cemetery from the comfort of the tour bus.

We were told that the building on the right is used for storing bodies during the winter months, when it is too cold for internment.


Not every town builds a home in the center of the lake for it's duck population.

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The waterfront houses a storage area containing the remnants of a once-prosperous fishing industry.

St. Pierre, Downtown

The very colorful waterfront area of downtown includes a hotel, gift shop, carousel, and ice cream shop.




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Post Office

Monday, October 4, 2010

St. Pierre Scrub Pines

This is as tall as the St. Pierre scrub pines get. Regardless, I must say that my favorite tree is the conifer, so I really enjoyed these trees.



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Up close, they almost had the characteristics of a succulent plant.

ST. PIERRE Island Views

Boat Slips

This was an important viewpoint, so the driver stopped the bus, and we gazed into the open, foggy sea for several minutes.

Scrub pines were everywhere.

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Many country homes were completely surrounded by scrub pines with just a narrow drive to the house.

ST. PIERRE -- The Tour

The island of St. Pierre is a few miles south of Newfoundland. It is owned by France. Passports have always been required for travel there. This has always eliminated casual day trips from Canada. You really have to want to visit the island to go there. The easiest way to get there would be to fly into St.Pierre by way of several Canadian gateways, or take the ferry from Fortune in southern Newfoundland.

This is the scenic view we saw after the fog cleared. The arrival of a larger cruise ship was quite an event for the local townspeople. There was a constant stream of cars to the pier area to view our ship. Eventually, the "shuttle to town" arrived. Many passengers decided to walk the two miles into town rather than ride on a school bus.

The town is very colorful. Local fisherman originally painted the homes different colors to match the colors of their fishing boats. The tour was very comprehensive (which means that we rode up and down most streets in town).

We chose to take the motorcoach tour which was offered by the ship. The only tour bus on the island was owned by one man who was also the driver and tour guide. A lovely young lady was the official tour guide, but the driver kept interrupting her and taking over the microphone. Do the math--one three hour bus trip, 26 miles of roadway = travel at approximately 9 miles per hour. We really got to see the entire island of St. Pierre "up close and personal".
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This is the oldest home on the island. We also got to see the bus driver's home and the homes of all his relatives.

Sunday, October 3, 2010


After leaving St. John's, Newfoundland, we sailed towards St. Pierre et Michelon, belonging to France. There are 3 ways to get to St. Pierre -- ship, ship, and ship. We chose the latter. One gets rather used to the pilot boat eagerly awaiting the arrival of visiting ships, the boarding of an expert pilot with the pilot boat accompanying the larger ship into harbor. I have read numerous reports about the St. Pierre pilot boat not responding to the arrival of visiting ships, allowing the larger vessel to manage the entire port entry on it's own. Some reports I have read have attributed this to various reasons, including the escort boat needing repairs and the like. We were no exception. The captain announced that we were finally at the pier after having to negotiate the arrival entirely without the assistance of a pilot--in a dense fog.
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Welcome to ST. PIERRE!