Once again, while cruising port-intensive itineraries, I get too distracted to post anything more than a photo or a couple of lines on Facebook.
i had a wonderful first cruise going north from the St. Lawrence River up into Newfoundland, which I have been told by residents is pronounced Noofin Land. I have been practicing, but it doesn’t come easily.
I got a lot of chances to practice my French, but Quebecois was a different story. Even Nancy, my travel companion, whose French is pretty close to perfect, was perplexed from time to time. I don’t think I made myself understood once, except maybe Bonjour and Merci.
I had my first chance to try poutine, the famous fill-me-up of Quebec. It is soft French fries, covered with brown gravy and sprinkled with cheese curds (Nancy added peas—see photo below for the whole glorious mess). There must have been two dozen variations on the theme (chorizo and guacamole, anyone?), but all I can say about the classic is that it tasted exactly as I thought it would, and that if I had gone to college at McGill I would have lived on it. Now, once was enough.
We had one rough day at sea, which seemed monumentally bad to many but about a 7 to me. Waves about 4-5 meters with gale force winds in the wee hours when we all were trying to be asleep, so we didn’t really know we were actually briefly in a hurricane when the wind peaked. Unless my cabin is underwater briefly as it dives into the waves, I am not impressed. Thank goodness for scopolamine patches, however. Slap one on as a neck decoration and swagger around pretending to be immune.
The fall colors were just starting when I arrived (see picture below taken about a week ago in Montreal) and haven’t totally taken over yet, but on this second cruise we are seeing a lot more. I suspect the full orchestra of colors will play between when I go home on October 14 and return to Montreal on October 30 for the last cruise in the area, repositioning on Silver Wind to Florida, along with the geese and many of the human residents of Canada. I seem always to be told the best is past, or the best is coming when it comes to fall colors, but it looks pretty wonderful to me right now.
Today we are cruising very slowly in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, required by maritime law to protect endangered right whales, who can be hit by ships going full speed. Thus a fairly short journey becomes a sea day, but it is looking like one straight out of fall clothing catalogs—sparkling sunlight, a little fall breeze to make the cheeks rosy and the scarfs and jackets I rarely get to wear just perfect for the occasion.
All for now…peace, blessings, and a sense of wonder be with you.