Tag Archives: Corey Sandler

September 2020:
Imagination Out of Focus

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By Corey Sandler

Since we cannot change reality, let us change the eyes which see reality. So said Nikos Kazantzakis, author of Zorba the Greek.

We’re working (some of us, to be precise) to change our present reality to something close to our past reality. I am hopeful we will eventually get beyond the know-nothings and the do-nothings.

But as of the moment, we’re not yet out of the woods.

Or to be more precise, in our case, seven or so months into this pandemic we’re not yet into the city or out on the open ocean.

We live along the water and Boston is still something close to a ghost town; the morning after a zombie apocalypse with just a handful of (mostly) masked people scurrying about. On my early-morning power walks there are days when I am the only one crossing the street in Downtown Crossing and Boston Common is rarely shared.

The Black Falcon cruise terminal in Boston has not had a cruise ship make a call since late in 2019 and probably will go this entire year without a visit. Across the harbor Logan International Airport is open but nearly empty, with a nearly total stoppage to international flights and a minimal amount of domestic traffic.

I am sure there are still places worthy of a photograph and I am always ready, but I have mostly been working on developing my editing skills and thinking about new ways to see old places.

One more quote, from the visionary cynic Mark Twain: You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.

In that spirit, here are some photos from my collection that I have revisited with new eyes and a refocused imagination.

A Martian Sky over Valencia, Spain. Photo art by Corey Sandler. Copyright 2020, all rights reserved.
Old South Meeting House, Boston. Photo art by Corey Sandler. Copyright 2020, all rights reserved.
A Wall to the Sky. Alanya, Turkey. Photo art by Corey Sandler. Copyright 2020, all rights reserved.
Painting with Light. Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor, Maine, U.S. Photo art by Corey Sandler. Copyright 2020, all rights reserved.
Pepper Shack. Avery Island, Louisiana, U.S. Photo art by Corey Sandler. Copyright 2020, all rights reserved.
Vamping. Acapulco, Mexico. Photo art by Corey Sandler. Copyright 2009, all rights reserved.

August 2020:
It’s Getting Sketchy Out There

By Corey Sandler

The great Bard Jimmy Buffett wrote, “Changes in latitudes, changes in attitudes. Nothing remains quite the same.”

This past December we flew to Valparaiso, Chile at 33⁰ South Latitude, about 2,285 miles below the Equator, to begin a cruise.

When we stepped off the ship in Los Angeles, California in January we had no idea our aqueous journeys were headed for suspension.

We spent mid-January to mid-February on an extended winter holiday in glorious Montreal, 5,435 miles away at 45⁰ North Latitude.

For the past two decades or so, we have been spending about six months of each year aboard ship. By this time–as I write these words in August–we had been scheduled to sail the west coast of South America, then from Iceland over to circle the United Kingdom and on to Norway and next the Baltic Sea. The fall was going to take us to the Greek Isles and Israel.

Instead, 2020 has become The Year on Dry Land, with no certain change in sight.

Cruising will resume, in some form, sometime and we intend to be on board, somewhere.

NEW PHOTOS BY COREY SANDLER. CLICK HERE

Seeing Old Things with New Eyes

As an author, I can write anywhere. As a photographer, I see the world through my lenses.

But without changes in in latitude, I’ve been making some changes in creative attitude.

Firmly ensconced on the penultimate floor of a condo tower in Boston’s Seaport, I’ve embarked on a project documenting the changing light of the big city and the harbor.

With my travel circumscribed by the invisible fence of the microscopic virus, I’m exploring artistic enhancements to photos: drawing with light, which is the literal meaning of the word photograph.

All of the images in today’s post are photographs I have taken. When I first took up a camera, we would retreat to the darkroom to dodge, burn, filter, and perform other techniques to find new ways to view the image. Today, digital photography gives us amazing tools to make new versions.

Someone out there is sure to be thinking, “These images are not real.” That is correct.

But I would point out that no photograph is real. The photographer chooses what to include and exclude before the shutter button is pressed. Settings on a lens select short or deep fields of sharpness. The shutter speed determines whether a dancer’s foot is frozen as if not moving, or blurred in action. And today’s advanced digital cameras can literally see in the dark, capturing details not discernible to the human eye.

Here are some of my interpretations of recent photos and a few older images from my back pages.

Impressions of Sunset in Boston, July 2020. Photo art by Corey Sandler, 2020. All rights reserved
A View of Our Perch in the Sky in Boston’s Seaport. Photo art by Corey Sandler, 2020. All rights reserved
An enhanced view of International Place along the water in Boston. Photo art by Corey Sandler, 2020. All rights reserved.
A Photo Turned Magazine-cover Water Color: Boston from the Seaport. Photo art by Corey Sandler, 2020. All rights reserved.
Gibbs Hill Lighthouse, Bermuda 2015. Photo art by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.
Boi Bumba Dancer, Parintins, Brazil 2015. Photo art by Corey Sandler

All photos by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved. If you would like to obtain a print or otherwise make use of an image, please contact me.

July 2020:
The Summer of Our Discontent

By Corey Sandler

When Shakespeare wrote of the “winter of our discontent” in Richard III, he was alluding to a hope for the end of unhappiness.

Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke with less sanguinity in 1963 referencing a “summer of legitimate discontent.”

Shakespeare lived through two outbreaks of the plague. And Dr. King dreamed hewing out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope.

Does it sound like I have been spending too much time in quarantine?

Without a doubt.

By this time in 2020 we had been scheduled to be in South America, then Iceland and a circle of the British Isles, and then off to the Baltic.

Instead, we make early morning masked forays into nearly deserted Boston, and I conduct late-night photo sessions from our veranda–not on a ship but 200 feet up in the air in a waterfront tower.

We’re waiting for the best of times to return.

Here are some recent photos:

Fort Point Pop Art. Photo art by Corey Sandler, 2020. All rights reserved
Starry Night. Photo art by Corey Sandler, 2020. All rights reserved

3-4 January 2020:
Los Angeles, California USA:
Heading Home

By Corey Sandler

We have arrived at the Port of Los Angeles; San Pedro, to be specific, about 20 miles away from L.A. but most importantly on an inlet of the Pacific Ocean.

It’s been a grand voyage, a 28-day segment of the record-setting World Cruise of the Viking Sun.

The tour began in London, crossed the pond to Atlantic Canada, headed south into the Caribbean and then down and around the bottom of South America and then up the West Coast of South America, Central America, and on to California.

We joined the ship in Valparaiso, Chile and we leave her now as she and her guests prepare to sail to Asia and then Europe and eventually back to London.

On a beautiful southern California day we crossed over the bridge from San Pedro to Long Beach and spent the morning at the spectacular Aquarium of the Pacific in the company of sharks, jellyfish, clownfish, sea turtles, penguins, and so much more.

For the past four weeks we have sailed along with the denizens of the deep. Today we got up close. Here are some photos from our visit.

Aquarium of the Pacific

Up in the Air

Upcoming is our least favorite part of the trip: airports and airplanes and lugging luggage. But we won’t put our suitcases too far from reach: more journeys await.

To new friends we met aboard, we wish safe travels until we meet again. I hope to meet you again aboard ship or in these pages.

The American part of the World Cruise of Viking Sun. We joined the ship 28 days ago in Valparaiso, and head for home now from the Port of Los Angeles.

All content by Corey Sandler, copyright 2020. All rights reserved. To contact me, please use the links on this blog.

2 January 2020:
San Diego, California USA:
The Deep South of the Far West

By Corey Sandler

San Diego is a beautiful setting, a great year-round climate, a natural deepwater harbor, great beaches, and an economy based to a great extent on the U.S. Navy and tourism.

But San Diego has a bit of a second-city complex. It is, in fact, the second most populous city in California after Los Angeles. In my opinion, L-A gets all the attention but San Diego—and San Francisco—deserve some more of the praise.

Today was bright and sunny. Not much of a surprise there; San Diego is almost always thus. But it was–by local standards–a wintry day, barely reaching into the low 60s.

When this cruise ends in two days, my wife and I are headed for a northeast winter which generally is much, much different.

Here are some photos from today:

A streetscape in the Gaslamp District, developed about 1888
The retired aircraft carrier Midway, now a museum and moored nearby to Viking Sun

One of my favorite things about one of my favorite cities is the wonderful mix between old Spanish style structures and new buildings. Although San Diego certainly is booming, at least thus far they have not destroyed their past.

The lovely Santa Fe railway station, between the docks and the heart of the modern city

The exposition was held in San Diego’s large urban Balboa Park. At a time when many architects (including at a simultaneous fair in San Francisco) embraced the over-the-top Beaux-Arts style, in San Diego they chose Spanish Baroque, which includes some Moorish Revival elements, and a bit of Spanish Colonial design.

The fair was decorated with more than two million plants of 1,200 different types. Philadelphia’s Liberty Bell made a three-day appearance in November 1915.

Some of the Exposition’s buildings are still standing, including the Botanical Building, with a changing display of rare and notable plants, the 200-foot-tall California Bell Tower, shaped like a Spanish ship, the Chapel of St. Francis of Assisi, and the Fine Arts Building , now part of the Museum of Man.

And the Spreckels Organ Pavilion. In 2015, the organ was expanded to 80 ranks and 5,017 pipes, once again making it the world’s largest pipe organ in a fully outdoor venue.

All content Copyright 2020 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved. See more photos on my website at http://www.coreysandler.com

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Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

If you would like to purchase an autographed copy, please see the tab on this page, “HOW TO ORDER A PHOTO OR AUTOGRAPHED BOOK”

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession: The Tragic Legacy of the New World’s Least Understood Explorer (Kindle Edition)

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

30 December 2019:
Cabo San Lucas, Mexico:
Life is a Beach…and a Bar…and a Golf Course

By Corey Sandler

We are back in Cabo San Lucas, the Cape of Saint Luke, at the bottom of the peninsula of Baja California, lower California in Mexico. Twice in one year: at the start of 2019 and now on the penultimate day of the year. Life is a beach.

We arrived this morning and put down our anchor just offshore of the famous arches, Los Arcos. It is a beautiful place…even with three other much larger cruise ships floating into our line of sight.

Cabo San Lucas was a relatively prosperous fishing and agricultural port, with a few interludes of piracy, for the first few centuries of its existence.

And then in 1973, the Transpeninsular Highway (Mexico Route 1) was completed, linking Cabo to Tijuana and from there to that big country to the north, the United States.

With the road and an airport, Cabo became an accessible destination.

It is now home to about 81,000 people, most of whom work in the tourism industry: hotels, restaurants, shops, tour guides.

It is a beautiful bay, with lovely beaches and lots and lots of tourists…and fishermen angling to catch dollars and euros and pounds from the pockets of visitors.

Los Arcos, the arches at the outside of the harbor at Cabo San Lucas

In a Reflective Mood

As this cruise comes near its end, I found myself in a reflective mood. It helped to have calm seas and a bright sun. Here are some photos from this morning in Cabo:

After today, we have ahead of us entrance into the United States at the glorious city of San Diego in California, and a last call at Los Angeles (San Pedro, to be precise.)

The end is near:

Sunset Interrupted

At day’s end, we hauled anchor just as the sun set behind Los Arcos, the arches at the outside of town. It was a beautiful sight, even with those other–much larger–cruise ships between us and the final rays.

All photos copyright 2019 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.

All photos and text Copyright 2019 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved. See more photos on my website at http://www.coreysandler.com

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

————-

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

If you would like to purchase an autographed copy, please see the tab on this page, “HOW TO ORDER A PHOTO OR AUTOGRAPHED BOOK”

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession: The Tragic Legacy of the New World’s Least Understood Explorer (Kindle Edition)

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

26 December 2019:
Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala:
Very Old, Very New, Ever Hopeful for a Rebirth

By Corey Sandler

Guatemala is a place of resplendent beauty, terrible poverty, great history, tragic bloodshed, vibrant culture, and a rebirth with a still uncertain future.

It has balanced on a knife’s edge for centuries.

Viking Sun at the dock in Puerto Quetzal this morning
Nearby, a banana boat loads its cargo. Until the 20th century, bananas were a rare and mysterious commodity known only to adventurers and explorers

Inland from the port of Puerto Quetzal lies the huge metropolis of Guatemala City, which would not qualify as one of the more attractive places on this planet. It is a place of grinding poverty, made worse by growling volcanoes all around.

But beyond The City, up in the hills, is the ancient city of Antigua Guatemala, which is a mostly intact Spanish Colonial city bookended by a pair of active volcanoes.

In fact, the Spanish governed most of Central America from Mexico to Peru from here.

Up in the central highlands is the impressive former Spanish colonial headquarters of Antigua Guatemala, since replaced by the less-impressive Guatemala City. Antigua has been damaged over the centuries by earthquakes and volcanoes. But somehow it has managed to maintain an air of dignity and quiet.

Here are some photos I have taken over the years on various visits to Antigua:

All content by Corey Sandler, copyright 2019. ll rights reserved. If you would like to purchase a copy of a photo or one of my books, please contact me.

24 December 2019:
Puntarenas, Costa Rica:
Up Into the Cloud Forest

By Corey Sandler

Costa Rica is one of the most amazing places on the planet, a green nation with one-quarter-of-a-percent of Earth’s landmass and 5 percent of its biodiversity of species of flora and fauna.

And it also extends from sea to shining sea, with the port of Puntarenas on the Pacific where Viking Sun docked this morning and the port of Limón over on the Atlantic side. In between is the cordillera, the mountain range that is an extension of the Canadian and American Rockies to the North and the Andes to the South.

I went with guests up into that spine in the middle, to the Los Angeles Cloud Forest Reserve. We left hot and sunny Puntarenas and spent the day in a cool and drizzly rainforest.

Here is some of what we saw:

The beach at Puntarenas in the morning
The fog and mist descending on a garden in the hills above
Butterflies in the cloud forest
And hummingbirds at a sugar trough

Costa Rica, like Panama–and Colombia, Nicaragua, Honduras, Mexico, the United States, and Canada–has ports on both the Atlantic and the Pacific.

There is only one canal, though.

The other countries have done the best they can with roads and railways to transfer products from one ocean to another.

Puntarenas here in Costa Rica was once the country’s principal port, but it was on the wrong side when it came to trade with the east coast of the United States, the Caribbean, and Europe. Over the past century, a railroad and then highways were built to climb up and over the Continental Divide to bring bananas, other agriculture, minerals, and more from one side to the other.

Modern Costa Rica has devoted much of its economy to sustainable and green industries and ecotourism. And the country–not quite perfect in its government and social services, but far ahead of nearly all of its neighbors–is doing well,

In fact, they have their own all-purpose expression of contentment: Pura Vida. Think of it as “all is well” or hakuna matata. It is impossible to use it wrong: Pura Vida!

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE ANY PHOTO OR AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

All photos and text Copyright 2019 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved. The contents of this blog is entirely mine and not endorsed by or affliated by any of the companies mentioned.

See more photos on my website at http://www.coreysandler.com

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession: The Tragic Legacy of the New World’s Least Understood Explorer (Kindle Edition)

28 September 2019:
New York, New York:
Our Grand Arrival

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By Corey Sandler

There are many places to make a grand arrival, but not many that can truly compete with a sail-in to New York in the early morning.

Before dawn, we sailed along the coast of Long Island and past the sleeping beach communities and the famous amusement park of Coney Island in Brooklyn. Then we moved toward the lights of the massive Verrazzano Bridge and beneath.

At that point, the harbor of New York lay before us: Staten Island, the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and lower Manhattan.

I’ve sailed into New York many times, and it is still one of the most thrilling places to arrive by sea.

We have spent most of the last four months aboard Silver Wind, visiting Norway, circling the United Kingdom, crossing over for a circle of Iceland, back to London and the U.K., and finally coming across to Iceland and then up the Saint Lawrence River to Quebec City and Montreal. This final leg took us down the coast and then up the river to New York.

I hope to see you here soon.

All photos and text Copyright 2019 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved. See more photos on my website at http://www.coreysandler.com

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE ANY PHOTO OR AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession: The Tragic Legacy of the New World’s Least Understood Explorer (Kindle Edition)

27 September 2019:
Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts, USA:
Tabernacles, Camp Meetings, and Carousels on Martha’s Vineyard

By Corey Sandler

We are almost at the end of this particular odyssey, one that began in Reykjavik, crossed east to the UK, made a circle of the British Isles, then crossed the pond westward to Iceland and the Atlantic Provinces of Canada. Tonight we will head to New York. For us, it is time to head home for a while.

Our penultimate port of call was on a glorious autumn day at Martha’s Vineyard.

Martha’s Vineyard is famous for being famous. This beautiful island in the North Atlantic is large enough to have hills and valleys and harbors and lakes. It’s also close enough to the mainland of Cape Cod in Massachusetts to be relatively easy to get to.

And because of some peculiarities of location, economy, and religion Martha’s Vineyard has a somewhat unusual history. It does not have the same back-story as Cape Cod, mainland ports of New England, or of the farther-away neighboring island of Nantucket.

Oak Bluffs, population about 4,000…plus however many tens of thousands of summer people are hanging around—was the only one of the six towns on the island to be planned, and the only one developed specifically with tourism in mind.

Some of the earliest visitors to the area that became Cottage City and later Oak Bluffs were Methodists who gathered in the oak grove each summer for multi-day religious “camp meetings” held under large tents or in the open air.

From that base came tourism of all sorts. In the late 1880s, the church tent was replaced by the Tabernacle, an open-sided pavilion with a metal roof supported by wrought iron columns.

In 1884, the Flying Horses Carousel was brought to Oak Bluffs from Coney Island in Brooklyn, New York and installed a few blocks inland from the ocean.

Built in 1876, it is the oldest platform carousel still in operation.

All photos and text Copyright 2019 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved. See more photos on my website at http://www.coreysandler.com

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE ANY PHOTO OR AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession: The Tragic Legacy of the New World’s Least Understood Explorer (Kindle Edition)

26 September 2019:
Salem, Massachusetts, USA:
Witch City

By Corey Sandler

Salem, on the North Shore of Massachusetts, was one of the most significant seaports in Puritan American history.

It is an interesting small place worth exploring. And by the luck of the draw, the cruise terminal in Boston, about 18 miles southwest, is filled with three large ships on the day of our visit.

By 1790, Salem was the sixth largest city in the United States, and a world-famous seaport—particularly in the China Trade, sugar and molasses from the West Indies, and Sumatran pepper. From Salem codfish was exported to Europe and the West Indies. Salem ships also visited Africa, Russia, Japan, and Australia.

The trade moved on to Boston and New York, although a fair amount of the riches of trade can still be seen in Salem.

Riches…and witches.

Most of us will agree that witches exist only in fiction.

J.K. Rowling became a billionaire promoting the idea that witches and wizards are amongst us. Harry Potter and Hermione Granger and Hagrid and Weasley and Dumbledore.

But hundreds if not thousands of people were accused and many of them convicted of being witches in Europe, Asia, and later the American Colonies. The penalty was usually torture or death, or both.

The period of witch-hunts in Modern Europe and then Colonial North America took place from about 1450 to 1750, spanning the upheavals of the Reformation and the Thirty Years’ War. By some estimates, 35,000 to 100,000 people were executed, the vast majority of them in Europe.

Although Salem was only 18 miles from Boston, it was pretty isolated. As happens in many small towns, conflicts arose amongst small factions. And the most common sources of friction were money, religion, and sex.

The bottom line is that hundreds of people were accused, dozens were put on trial, and 20 people were executed; 19 by hanging and one by being pressed to death. Fourteen of the twenty were women.

The trials began in 1692, and were said to have arisen after some young girls were playing with what was called a “Venus glass”; we call that a mirror today.

Today Salem, Massachusetts is an attractive distant suburb of Boston. I am certain many of the 41,000 residents wished it was known for its harbor, its world-class art museum, or its historic buildings.

But instead Salem adopted a nickname that has proven hard to shed: Witch City. Police cars have witch logos. A public elementary school known as Witchcraft Heights, sits below Gallows Hill. The Salem High School athletic teams are called the Witches, and the school’s newspaper is the “Witches’ Brew.”

The city could just as easily lay claim to a title related to Fine Art or Architecture. The city is home to the House of Seven Gables, the Salem Maritime National Historic Site, and the amazing Peabody Essex Museum.

Oh, and also the Salem Witch Museum, which is—in my opinion—somewhere between Madame Tussaud’s or Disneyland, and a real museum. The museum is—and I am choosing my words carefully here—fact-based.

You might learn something. And there’s a gift shop.

Right in the heart of town is the Peabody Essex Museum, which dates to 1799 when the East India Marine Society was founded, by a group of Salem-based captains and supercargoes, representatives of ship owners.

The society’s charter required members to collect “natural and artificial curiosities” from beyond the Cape of Good Hope or Cape Horn. To be eligible they also had to circumnavigate the globe, and share navigational discoveries with other members.

In the two centuries since, the society’s collection merged with the former Peabody Museum of Salem and the Essex Institute, allowing a claim as the oldest continuously operating museum in the country.

The museum includes more than 1.8 million pieces.

The Peabody-Essex has one of the major collections of Asian art in the United States, dating from the time Salem ships traded with the Far East. It also has Yin Yu Tang, the only complete Qing Dynasty house outside China.

The museum’s maritime art collection is one of the finest in the world.

And it is about to become considerably larger, with a 40,000-square-foot addition due to open two days after our visit, on September 28.

All photos and text Copyright 2019 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved. See more photos on my website at http://www.coreysandler.com

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE ANY PHOTO OR AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession: The Tragic Legacy of the New World’s Least Understood Explorer (Kindle Edition)

25 September 2019:
Bar Harbor, Maine, USA:
Mountain, Ocean, Desert, and Dessert

By Corey Sandler

Bar Harbor is one of the prettiest places in one of the prettiest regions of the world and this is (usually) the prettiest time of year to visit.

Fall in New England is an extraordinary experience, and we are hoping for brilliant foliage, clear skies, and a relative reduction in the number of tourists who come to Bar Harbor to see all of the above.

The town of Bar Harbor has lured artists and vacationers since the Gilded Age of the late 19th century, and some of the gilded visitors helped fund the acquisition of land that led to the marvelous Acadia National Park.

In the heart of summer, Bar Harbor can be a very busy place. In late September cruise ships going “up” to Boston (I know it is to the south, but to old salts that meant sailing upwind) or down east to Canada (downwind, but I’m sure you figured that out) bring a a few thousand at a time for a day’s visit.

All photos and text Copyright 2019 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved. See more photos on my website at http://www.coreysandler.com

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE ANY PHOTO OR AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession: The Tragic Legacy of the New World’s Least Understood Explorer (Kindle Edition)

24 September 2019:
Halifax, Nova Scotia:
The Great and Terrible Harbor

By Corey Sandler

Through the many entries in this blog, you can read about the great harbor of Halifax, and about the terrible explosion during World War I that killed and injured thousands. Today Halifax is booming in a good way, with waterfront condominiums and office towers and its cruise port is sometimes home to four or five ships at a time.

Halifax remains one of our favorite places to wander. A block or two in from the harbor shows the trading heart of the port and up on the hill is the old British Citadel. There’s also the lively student-city-within-a-city of Dalhousie University, and nearby to that the lovely old-fashioned Public Gardens, now shifted to fall colors.

And an easy drive across the island province of Nova Scotia brings you to the beauty and wonder of the Bay of Fundy, home to some of the highest tidal variations in the world.

Variety is a good thing.

Today the schooner Bluenose II was in port. The original Bluenose was launched on 1921 as a coastal fishing vessel and quickly became an unofficial symbol of the Canadian Maritimes. It foundered in 1946, but a replica took to the seas in 1963 and today serves as a grand ambassador of the region and indeed, the nation. I carry a portrait of her in my pocket… on the front of the Canadian dime.

Bluenose II in Halifax today
The Public Gardens, near Dalhousie University
Decorations on the facade of the handsome Bank of Nova Scotia
Inside the bank

All photos and text Copyright 2019 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved. See more photos on my website at http://www.coreysandler.com

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE ANY PHOTO OR AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession: The Tragic Legacy of the New World’s Least Understood Explorer (Kindle Edition)

23 September 2019:
Louisbourg, Nova Scotia:
The Failed French Bastion

By Corey Sandler

Louisbourg is about 20 miles southeast of Sydney, on what was once a particularly lonely piece of coastline in Nova Scotia.

The times we have visited—even in summer—it has often been shrouded in fog and mist, sometimes nearly wintry. Today was reasonably temperate, but very windy; we were lucky to be able to anchor the ship and get ashore.

Here’s our ship at anchor:

Silver Wind seen from Fortress Louisbourg today

The principal attraction here is the Fortress of Louisbourg, a partial reconstruction of the 18th century fortress. The French named the port Havre Louisbourg after King Louis XIV. And the Fortress of Louisbourg was made the capital of the colony of Ile-Royale.

The location on the southernmost point of the Atlantic coast of Cape Breton Island was chosen because it was easy to defend against British ships attempting to attack Quebec City. The fort was also built to protect France’s hold on one of the richest fishing grounds in the world, the Grand Banks.

South of the fort, a reef provided a natural barrier, while a large island provided a good location for a battery. These defenses forced attacking ships to enter the harbor via a five hundred foot channel.

It was given the nicknames ‘Gibraltar of the North’ or the ‘Dunkirk of America.’

The original fortress, constructed between 1720 and 1740, was one of the most extensive (and expensive) European fortifications in North America.

The expense was so great that King Louis XV was said to have joked that he should be able to see the buildings from his Palace in Versailles.

Louisbourg was a large enough city to have a commercial district, a residential district, military arenas, marketplaces, inns, taverns and suburbs, as well as skilled laborers to fill all of these establishments.

For the French, it was the second most important stronghold and commercial city in New France, behind only Quebec City. In 1719, the fort was home to 823 people. The population would eventually reach more than four thousand.

The fort was surrounded by two and a half miles of wall. On the western side of the fort, the walls were thirty feet high, and thirty-six feet across. On the eastern side of the fort, fifteen guns pointed out to the harbor.

That said, it had a fatal flaw: its design was based on protecting against assaults from the sea. The back door, the defenses facing toward the land were relatively weak. And that, of course, was where the principal attack occurred.

The British would go on to advance into the Saint Lawrence River valley to take Quebec City and displace the French from New France.

The British ended up destroying the fortress and it lay in ruins for two centuries. In the 1960s, the Nova Scotia and Canadian governments helped pay for a massive reconstruction based on the original plans, creating a tourist attraction and providing much-needed jobs for unemployed coal and steel workers in the region.

Today dozens of locals work as interpreters.

Other Visits to the Fortress

All photos and text Copyright 2019 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved. See more photos on my website at http://www.coreysandler.com

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE ANY PHOTO OR AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession: The Tragic Legacy of the New World’s Least Understood Explorer (Kindle Edition)

22 September 2019:
Les Îles-de-La-Madeleine:
A Small World of Its Own

By Corey Sandler

Les Îles-de-la-Madeleine are an offshore part of the French Canadian province of Quebec.

The small archipelago, with a total land area of about 79 square miles or 206 square kilometers, includes eight major islands: Amherst, Grande Entrée, Grindstone, Grosse-Île, House Harbour, Pointe-Aux-Loups, Entry Island and Brion. All except Brion are inhabited.

The total population of Madelinot, as they call themselves, is about 13,000.

The islands today are primarily French-speaking, although they include some of Quebec’s oldest English-speaking settlements in places like Old Harry, Grosse-Ile, and Entry Island.

Les Îles de la Madeleine today

Most place names have a French and English version. Cap-aux-Meules or Grindstone. Île d’Entrée or Entry Island.

The first to visit and inhabit the islands were Basque fishermen in the 1600s. By 1765, the islands were inhabited by 22 French-speaking Acadians and their families, who were hunting walrus and working for a British trader. There were also Portuguese, Basque, and British.

Today, many Madelinots fly the Acadian flag and identify as both Acadian and Québécois.

The islands—though they sit in a very prominent place at the outer reaches of the Saint Lawrence—were never a hotly contested territory between the French and British, or the British and the Americans. They were just too small, and too difficult to sustain and defend.

Local lore says that some of the population are descendants of survivors of perhaps 500 to 1,000 shipwrecks on and around the islands, most of them occurring in the 18th and 19th centuries.

The Church of Saint Pierre in La Vernière, built in 1876, is by some accountings the second largest wooden church in North America. (The largest is not all that far away, Saint-Marie Church in Nova Scotia.)

Saint Pierre was built mostly out of wood salvaged from shipwrecks—specially blessed before being recycled, which apparently did not prevent it from being struck numerous times by lightning.

One modern small industry is a glass-blowing workshop, La Méduse, which as its name suggests in French, specializes in glass representations of jellyfish.

All photos and text Copyright 2019 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved. See more photos on my website at http://www.coreysandler.com

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE ANY PHOTO OR AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession: The Tragic Legacy of the New World’s Least Understood Explorer (Kindle Edition)

21 September 2019:
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island:
Anne of Green Loonies

By Corey Sandler

In some of the most unlikely places, Charlottetown on Prince Edward Island is not known for Queen Charlotte, not remembered for the Charlottetown Conference of 1864 that led the way to Canadian Confederation, and not thought of at all for almost anything else…

except for the work of a relatively minor author named Lucy Maud Montgomery.

To be precise, it is not the author but one particular character from her books who has come to represent this island. Lucy Maud Montgomery became famous with a series of novels that began in 1908 with “Anne of Green Gables.”

You sometimes have to remind people that Anne was a fictional character. She is everywhere.

Anne, Anne everywhere

Charlottetown is the capital of Canada’s least-populated province, Prince Edward Island.

And who was Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz? She was consort of King George III, Queen of Queen of Great Britain and Queen of Ireland from her wedding in 1761 until the union of the two kingdoms in 1801, after which she was Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland until her death in 1818.

Almost overlooked by some visitors to Anne-world is the role Charlottetown played in the establishment of the Confederation of Canada. That real event is commemorated with statues, plaques, and historic buildings all through town.

More Scenes of P.E.I.

All photos and text Copyright 2019 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved. See more photos on my website at http://www.coreysandler.com

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE ANY PHOTO OR AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession: The Tragic Legacy of the New World’s Least Understood Explorer (Kindle Edition)

19 September 2019:
Tadoussac, Quebec:
So Near Yet So Far

By Corey Sandler

The small village of Tadoussac, Quebec is passed by thousands of times each year by freighters and cruise ships heading to or from Quebec City and Montreal, and also by cruise ships that leave the Saint Lawrence for a sidetrip up the Saguenay River.

Not all that many ships actually pull over to visit; the locals are happy to see us.

Tadoussac was first visited by Europeans in 1535 when Jacques Cartier stopped here on his second voyage. He reported that the Innu people were using the place as a base for seal hunting.

Later that same century, Basques conducted whaling expeditions from here, with the French taking over as the colony grew.

Sitting on the east side of the Saguenay River meant that there was no road or rail crossing to connect Tadoussac to Quebec City and Montreal; the only bridges were hours further up the river to the north. Today a ferry shuttles back and forth across the mouth of the river.

Tadoussac became a tourist destination more 150 years ago, and that continues to this day. The first version of the grand Hotel Tadoussac was built in the mid-19th century, and the slightly younger replacement remains popular.

The Hotel Tadoussac today

There are several federal and provincial natural parks and preserves in the mostly untouched wilderness to the north.

When the cold, fresh water of the Saguenay meets the relatively warm, salty water of the Saint Lawrence the result is a rich marine environment, including an abundance of krill, tiny crustaceans near the very bottom of the aquatic food chain, among the species with the largest total biomass on the planet.

That makes the area very attractive as a breeding ground for Beluga whales, and we usually see some near the mouth of the Saguenay at the Saint Lawrence. Belugas give off high-pitched whistles or chirps. Early sailors and hunters gave them the nickname sea canaries.

Mature beluga whales are near-white, which helps them blend in with what is left of the pack ice in the Arctic where they spend much of their time.

The beautiful North Coast near Tadoussac

Other whales attracted to the region include larger humpbacks, finbacks, minke, and even the occasional giant blue which can reach 30 meters or 99 feet in length. That’s enough to stop traffic; we can hope.

All photos and text Copyright 2019 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved. See more photos on my website at http://www.coreysandler.com

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE ANY PHOTO OR AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession: The Tragic Legacy of the New World’s Least Understood Explorer (Kindle Edition)

18 September 2019:
Quebec, City:
Outward Bound

By Corey Sandler

We were here in Quebec Citycame just a few days ago, on our way to the navigable end of the Saint Lawrence River for most ships, the large city of Montreal.

Montreal is a very cosmopolitan city on the river, with its back up against the notable hill known as Mount Royal (as in Montreal.) Today it is about half Francophone, and the other half a rich stew of English and Asian and European languages.

On the other hand. Quebec City is a decidedly French city, the cultural and political heart of French Canada.

Sea smoke, the early morning fog on the Saint Lawrence River
In a reflective mood, in Quebec City’s old town
Checking the menu
One of the chambers of the Quebec Parliament

The historical core of the city is the lower town along the river.

Up above, reachable by some serious steps or by a hillside funicular (more like a slanted elevator), is the grand upper town. It is the site of the Chateau Frontenac, the Quebec Parliament, and what seems like more fine restaurants than there are residents of the city.

You can read more about Quebec City by clicking on that tag at the bottom of this blog.

All photos and text Copyright 2019 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved. See more photos on my website at http://www.coreysandler.com

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE ANY PHOTO OR AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession: The Tragic Legacy of the New World’s Least Understood Explorer (Kindle Edition)

17 September 2019:
Montreal to New York:
Quebec and New England and New York

By Corey Sandler

We have arrived at the end of our cruise from Iceland, reaching the glorious cosmopolitan city of Montreal, one of the most diverse and vibrant places on the planet.

Under a spectacular blue sky, we went for a hike up The Main, Boulevard Saint-Laurent. Here are some of the sights of today:

Street Murals of Montreal

The singer-songwriter Cheryl Wheeler has a lovely song called “When Fall Comes to New England.” It is a piece of musical poetry about the spectacular colors and atmosphere of this part of the world in autumn,

Homage to Montreal’s secular saint, Leonard Cohen
Chinatown and beyond

She sings:

The nights are sharp with starlight

And the days are cool and clean

And in the blue sky overhead

The northern geese fly south instead

And leaves are Irish Setter red

Irish Setter red…

It is next-to-impossible to predict when the leaves will turn from green to red and yellow, or when the first frost will add icing to the fields. But we can hope.

This part of the world is where we live when we are not aboard ship, and we are very partial to this place and this time of year.

This cruise begins in Montreal, and then we are due to stop in Quebec City and Tadoussac on the Saint Lawrence River before beginning to head down the coast.

We will call at Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island and then nip into Les Iles-de-la-Madeleine, the Magdalen Islands. This isolated archipelago is not quite French, not quite Anglophone, still holding on to some of its Acadian and colonial past.

From there we head over to Nova Scotia for calls at Louisbourg, the site of a massive French fortification that failed to prevent the British advance into Canada. And then to the big city of Halifax on that island.

Entering into New England proper, we are due to visit Bar Harbor, Maine and then make an appearance in Salem, Massachusetts which does not often receive cruise ships.

Our ship is due to sail into Cape Cod Bay and then transit the Cape Cod Canal to make a call at Oak Bluffs on the resort island of Martha’s Vineyard.

And then at the end of the cruise, an early morning all hands on deck sail-in to New York City.

Here’s our plan:

All photos and text Copyright 2019 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved. See more photos on my website at http://www.coreysandler.com

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE ANY PHOTO OR AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession: The Tragic Legacy of the New World’s Least Understood Explorer (Kindle Edition)

15-16 September 2019:
Quebec City:
In the Shadow of the Chateau

By Corey Sandler

We arrived this morning for a two-day visit to beautiful Quebec City, the penultimate port of call on this cruise. On Tuesday we will complete our trip from Iceland with a call at Montreal.

The Chateau

Chateau Frontenac on a previous visit

There are few more attractive and enjoyable port towns than Quebec City. The food aboard ship is marvelous, but the lure of the bistrot and cafés is almost irresistible.

So, too, just the joy of time travel in the lower city, which is the oldest part of Quebec as well as strolls through the more ornate upper town which is dominated by the Chateau Frontenac, one of the iconic hotels of the world.

You can read more and see other photos from our many visits to Quebec City by clicking on the tag at the bottom of this blog entry.

All photos and text Copyright 2019 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved. See more photos on my website at http://www.coreysandler.com

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE ANY PHOTO OR AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession: The Tragic Legacy of the New World’s Least Understood Explorer (Kindle Edition)