Sunday, October 03, 2010

Sanguenay Fjord

On Sunday we sail the Sanguenay Fjord. The cruise director promised the possibility of seeing the white beluga whales at the entrance around 7 AM and sure enough, the captain saw them on starboard. Lots of us were standing and shivering for an hour or more to see them, and the best we could come up with was one little old lady who saw three of them in the distance but could not get a photo. As far as I could determine, the best the rest of us could do was squinting at the white caps and foam trying to imagine how similar are the beluga.



The villages along the fjord seem improbably tiny -- hardly any evidence of roads or other infrastructure other than high-tension cross-country electrical lines. Yet, mid-morning the ship slows and puts a tender in the water to make a medical evacuation to one of those tiny towns. We are just hoping that that represents a medical improvement – with the horror stories of Canadian health care and all. It is truly amazing how many of our cruises have had a medical evacuation or unscheduled stop in the first 24 hours of a cruise. We are so accustomed to having trip insurance to facilitate making a no-go decision in such circumstances, that we wonder what influences so many people to make the decision to go with serious health issues.

A little before lunch we stop at the large statue of the Virgin Mary as the ships sound system play several renditions of Ave Maria. They put a tender in the water with the official photographers to capture the magic of the moment – big ship meets big statue.

Another beautiful day, with a magnificent sunset as we turn eastward back into the St Lawrence. A stark contrast from Fridays trip West through these same waters when we were ensconced in fog the whole day.
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