Tag Archives: Quebec

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

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

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)

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

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

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, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

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, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

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, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

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)

14 September 2019:
Saguenay, Quebec:
Up the Fjord

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

The Saguenay River and the small town of La Baie a few hours sailing up the Saguenay River from the Saint Lawrence is one of the great daytime voyages of the world, in the company of the Norwegian, Chilean, and Alaskan fjords.

Along the way–sometimes accompanied by beluga whales and other sea creatures–we pass abeam of Notre Dame du Saguenay, a statue of the Virgin Mary erected in 1881 by a traveling salesman who fell through the ice one winter and credited his survival to divine assistance.

Notre Dame du Saguenay. Photo by Corey Sandler

Cruise ships have come up the river to see the foliage and the statue for all the time since, and in recent decades the little town of La Baie has become a port of call for a small number of cruise ships each year. What sometimes seems like the entire town comes out to greet guests and escort them to the parks and trails and other enticements.

We reached the town of La Baie at lunchtime, and I went with a group of guests for a return visit to one of the most spectacular pageants anywhere: La Fabuleuese Histoire d’un Royaume, the Fabulous Story of a Kingdom.

More than a hundred local residents plus horses, cattle, a goat, a pig, and a gaggle of trained geese appeared on stage. Few shows on Broadwsy or the West End can match this production for its showmanship.

Here are a few scenes:

Photos by Corey Sandler

You can read more about previous visits to La Baie and the Saguenay fjord by clicking on the tags at the bottom of this blog post.

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)

13 September 2019:
Sept-Îles, Quebec:
Islands in the Stream

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

The Gulf of Saint Lawrence is considered the largest estuary in the world;

An estuary is a tidal inlet, a partially enclosed body of water that is influenced by rivers flowing into it as well as the open ocean.

The Saint Lawrence estuary begins at the eastern tip of Île d’Orléans, just downstream from Quebec City, the highest reach of ocean tides on the river.

At Sept-Iles, the river is considered to meet the Atlantic Ocean.

The town, now greatly dependent on natural resources and tourism, is the meeting point of French and Innu cultures.

The city of Sept-Îles extends along a natural bay whose entrance is protected by a natural rampart of seven islands: Grande Basque, Petite Basque, Corossol, Petite Boule, Grosse Boule, Manowin, and De Quen.

I went out today by inflatable Zodiac boat to visit a mussel farm on Grosse Boule. It was an exhilarating trip, briefly interrupted by sightings of two whales in the river.

Here is since if what we saw on the island today:

Grosse Boule island. Photos by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved

The scenery on the river is attractive, and there are many excursions for tourists. But Sept-Îles is primarily an industrial town; about 25,000 people live in the city, many of them directly or indirectly employed by the iron ore shipping or aluminum smelting industry.

Extraction of iron ore began in 1954 at a mine in Schefferville, more than 250 long and lonely miles to the north. The Schefferville mine closed in 1982, although new technologies and increased demand may result in a reopening.

Today most of the iron ore comes from Labrador City in far-western Labrador on the border with Quebec.

There are few roads into the wilderness; the ore is transported to Sept-Îles on the privately owned Quebec North Shore and Labrador Railway, loaded on ships and sent to processors around the world. The iron company is primarily owned by Rio Tinto.

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)

27-28 October 2018:
Quebec City, Quebec, Canada:
Discovered

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

It is cold and windy here in Quebec City, which should not be a surprise as November approaches. I went for a long walk in the city, up and down the Terasse Dufferin along the river, and into the neighboring suburb of Faubourg. Here is some of what I saw:

The high winds have caused a change in our itinerary. We are forced to skip our journey into Saguenay Fjord tomorrow and will instead overnight here.

In my destination lectures for guests aboard ship, I I usually introduce Quebec City like this:

There are two types of people in the world. Those who love Quebec, and those who have not yet been there.

We have been lucky enough to have been here many times and love it still. Just last week we had the opportunity to remain at our dock until late in the night and watch the sun set and the lights go on at the spectacular Chateau Frontenac in the upper town of Quebec City.

The Chateau was built as a grand hotel hotel by a railroad company in the 19th century and has been lovingly maintained and restored. It is in many ways the symbol of Quebec.

On a cold night on the Saint Lawrence here is some of what I saw:

A few days ago I journeyed with guests to Mount Sainte-Anne for a hike in a beautiful hidden canyon. It was the last day of operation for the season: winter is coming.

From there we crossed the Saint Lawrence to Ile D’Orleans to visit a winery that specializes in vines that can withstand the extreme cold. In addition to traditional wines they also harvest ice wine, which can only be crushed at below freezing temperatures.

All photos and text Copyright 2018 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.

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:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IA9QTBM

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 October 2018:
Montreal, Quebec, Canada:
Turnaround

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

We’re back in the great cosmopolitan city of Montreal, a city that on its face is very French.

But it is truly Quebec’s melting pot.

In the most recent census, Francophones were estimated as 49.8 percent of the population, followed by English at 22.8 percent. And the rest? Just about every language, ethnic group, race, and heritage cheek-to-jowl.

The diversity brings a wonderful vibrance to the culture: music, theater, and food.

Here in the province of Quebec, we have learned the local definition of autumn: it means winter is coming soon. Temperatures are already below freezing by night and just barely above by day. But few places are as vibrant this time of the year.

For those guests leaving us here, safe travels. And welcome aboard to new friends.

We are set to make one more journey eastbound on the Saint Lawrence River and then down the northeast coast of Canada and the United States and once more into New York harbor.

Here’s our plan:

All photos and text Copyright 2018 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.

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:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IA9QTBM

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

25 October 2018:
Trois-Rivières, Quebec, Canada:
Midway

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

We are back in Trois-Rivières, Quebec, a less-visited town midway between Quebec City and Montreal. You can read more about this place in my blog posting of October 5.

In the three weeks since our last visit the temperature has fallen sharply: about 32 Fahrenheit or 0 Celsius this morning.

In town city workers are installing 4-foot-high poles along the side of streets: when snow begins to fall soon, this week help the snowplow find the curb.

When the poles are completely buried, it is time to hibernate.

I took this photo out in the country, the last glow of fall colors for this season:

All photos and text Copyright 2018 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.

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:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IA9QTBM

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

24 October 2018:
Québec City, Quebec, Canada:
Below the Chateau

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

In Atlantic Canada and much of the Northeast, it sometimes feels as if winter arrives with the turn of a switch.

We arrived this morning in Quebec City to find temperatures at the freezing mark with a forecast of snow this afternoon. For some of us this is merely ordinary, but for those who live in warmer climes it can be a bit of a shock.

I went out for a walk in the morning to capture the scenes of the season, including some of the remaining colors in the trees as well as decorations for Halloween. Strolling around the Old Town at nearly every intersection we could see of you of the famed Chateau Frontenac.

Here is some of what I saw:

All photos and text Copyright 2018 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.

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:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IA9QTBM

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

23 October 2018:
Saguenay, Quebec, Canada:
Autumn in the Fjord

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

We have returned to Saguenay, a pretty little town at the navigable end of a spectacular large fjord.

About 7:30 this morning we turned to starboard and entered into Saguenay Fjord.

As is often the case we were saluted by the spouts of many whales who feed and breed at the confluence of the St. Lawrence River and the Saguenay.

About 10 in the morning we passed abeam of Notre-Dame-du-Saguenay, the famed 19th century statue of the Virgin Mary that is atop one of the ridges of the Fjord. I have discussed Notre Dame in previous blog entries about Saguenay.

Here in the town, we were greeted with a superb autumn day. A strong sun more than made up for the chill in the air.

On the pier we were met by local performers, some of whom participate in a summertime theatrical presentation about the region.

We also went for a walk to Saint Alphonse Church, a place beautifully framed by the autumn leaves and decorated within both with the icons of the Catholic Church as well as the symbols of Halloween.

All photos and text Copyright 2018 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.

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:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IA9QTBM

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

9 October 2018:
Baie-Comeau, Quebec, Canada:
Company Town

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

I went with guests today for a tour of a recreation of an old logging camp and a pass-by of huge aluminum and paper mills. It was a cold and wet day on the Saint Lawrence, but we were met by warm Canadian hospitality.

Here is some of what we saw:

BAIE-COMEAU TODAY

Havre St. Pancrace

Fall Colors in the Saint Lawrence

Baie-Comeau is on the Côte-Nord, or north bank, of the Saint Lawrence, near the mouth of the Manicouagan River.

You’ve heard the term company town, right?

Baie-Comeau was a company town that essentially grew out of a single man’s investment and homestead.

And he wasn’t even a Canadian.

Robert Rutherford McCormick rose through the family business to become owner and publisher of the Chicago Tribune newspaper. He was one of those publishers who felt that his newspaper was his personal megaphone.

(He was also a part owner of the Tribune’s high-power radio station which bore the call sign WGN, as in his print publication’s modest motto, “World’s Greatest Newspaper.”

A conservative Republican, he was a fierce opponent of Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal. Also Democrats in general, liberal Republicans, easterners, the World Court, the League of Nations, and later the United Nations.

Oh, and also he intensely disliked the British Empire. He was an America First isolationist who strongly opposed entering World War II and supporting Britain.

So what was he doing in the Dominion of Canada, part of the British Empire until 1982?

Why, he was using the abundant water resources of Quebec and what seemed like an endless supply of soft wood trees to construct a paper mill and a hydroelectric power plant to operate it. McCormick owned 60 percent of the power plant, with the Alcoa aluminum company holding a minority stake.

Newspapers—more so then than now—needed huge amounts of paper upon which to print, and McCormick found a way to go around the middlemen by making his own.

McCormick established the town of Baie-Comeau in 1936. He modestly named the structure holding back the Manicouagan river the McCormick Dam.

MORE COMPANY TOWNS

The economy was also very much in the thrall of lumbering companies on the North Shore, and in more recent times huge aluminum smelting facilities. Aluminum is mostly made from bauxite ore, of which there is nearly none anywhere in Canada. Bauxite comes mostly from China, Australia, Brazil, Jamaica, and a few other places non-Canadian.

So why are there these huge smelters here? Because the production of aluminum requires massive amounts of electricity, and that is something Quebec has in abundance. Huge hydroelectric plants produce power and it makes economic sense to import ore from around the world to the Saint Lawrence Valley for smelting. (It’s a similar story in Iceland, where hydroelectric and thermoelectric power plants produce very low cost power for industry.)

TRAGEDY ON THE RIVER

Back out on the Saint Lawrence is the location of the worst maritime disaster in Canadian history.

Not the Titanic.

The luxury liner Empress of Ireland was built in Scotland and launched in 1906. About 570 feet long (about 120 feet shorter than the Silver Spirit), she could carry as many as 1,580 passengers on her route between the United Kingdom and Canada.

In the dark, in a dense bank of fog, the ship was struck amidships by the Norwegian coal freighter Storstad. 

Water poured in through open portholes, some of which were only a few feet above the water. Most of the passengers and crew in the lower decks drowned quickly.

Only four lifeboats were launched before the ship rolled onto its starboard side. As many as 700 passengers and crew scrambled onto the side of the ship.

It seemed for a moment that the vessel had run aground. But fourteen minutes after the crash, the ship sank.

1,012 people drowned, the largest maritime disaster in Canadian history. Of that number, 840 were passengers, eight more than the number who died on the Titanic.

Happening just two years after the sinking of the Titanic, the story of the Empress of Ireland was all but ignored.

The vessel is still down there, a mere 130 feet below the surface.

1,012 dead, not in the North Atlantic, but in the river…and the poor souls did not even get a dreadful James Cameron movie to memorialize them.

All photos and text Copyright 2018 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.

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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:

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

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8 October 2018:
Saguenay, Quebec, Canada:
Fjord and Back

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

We are returned to the spectacular Saguenay Fjord.

We were last here five days ago, and this morning the colors on the river were moving toward their peak.

In keeping with a tradition dating back more than a century, Silver Spirit came to a halt and then made a slow circle in the river in front of Notre Dame du Saguenay, the statue of the Virgin Mary erected 1,000 feet up the rock face in 1880 by a local salesman giving thanks for his survival after falling through the ice with his horse and sleigh.

Since the statue was installed, tour boats, cruise ships, and many other vessels sing or play Ave Maria in tribute. Today the Italian phenomenon Andrea Bocelli and the American soprano Barbara Bonney performed for us…virtually.

You can read more about the Saguenay Fjord and see some pictures from previous visits in my blog posting of 3 October 2018.

Tonight we return to the Saint Lawrence River and head for the river city of Baie-Comeau.

All photos and text Copyright 2018 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.

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

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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:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IA9QTBM

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

7 October 2018:
Québec City, Québec, Canada:
Hello Again

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

It seems like we were here only the day before yesterday. Well, yes, we were.

This morning we were slightly delayed in our return to Quebec because the Saint Lawrence River is running very high because of major storms.

Captain Mino Pontillo was advised by the river pilots we have on board to wait until low tide before passing beneath Le Pont de Quebec just west of Quebec City.

I took this photo as we made our way beneath the old bridge.

The Quebec Bridge was the longest cantilever bridge span in the world when it was built in 1907; it still is.

The total length of the bridge is about 1,800 feet; its central span 640 feet.

On August 29, 1907, eighty-six steelworkers were perched on the partially completed south cantilever of the bridge.

Just moments before the quitting time whistle was to have sounded, two compression chords in the south anchor arm failed and the partially completed center span collapsed.

75 died.

It was later determined that the actual weight of the bridge—its dead load—was well in excess of its carrying capacity. Some engineers had spotted problems, but the contractor had gone ahead to disaster.

On September 11, 1916, with the bridge once again near completion, a new center span was being lifted into place.

One of the four rocker arms failed and the span fell into the river, killing 11 more workmen.

The bridge was finally completed in 1917, and is still in use. And we made it beneath the center span successfully  this morning.

You can read more about Quebec frm our visit of 5 October 2018.

Inside the Hôtel du Parlement, the House of Parliament just below the Plains of Abraham in Québec City. 

All photos and text Copyright 2018 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.

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:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IA9QTBM

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

6 October 2018:
Montreal, Quebec, Canada:
The Big City on the River

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

We have arrived at the riparian end of our river-to-ocean-to-river cruise, from New York to Montreal.

Montreal is a bustling, handsome, cosmopolitan city on the Saint Lawrence where they happen to speak French. Mostly, that is. They also speak English along with a dozen or more languages of immigrant populations plus those of a few indigenous people.

To guests leaving us here, à la prochaine fois. Until the next time we meet. Or, as an Italian vessel in Canadian waters, arrivederci.

And welcome aboard to new friends. We leave tonight heading east on the Saint Lawrence River and then back out into the North Atlantic and around the corner to the Hudson River and New York City. Here’s our plan:

All photos and text Copyright 2018 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.

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:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IA9QTBM

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

5 October 2018:
Trois-Rivières, Quebec, Canada:
A Visit to the Trifluviens

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Trois-Rivières, which sits between Quebec City and Montreal, would seem to have name very easy to translate.

It is the city of Three Rivers, oui?

Non.

Okay, peut-être. Perhaps.

Trois-Rivières literally means three rivers.  But there are actually only two rivers there.

The city of about 137,000 people including surrounding communities, is on the north shore of the Saint Lawrence River, at the place where the Saint-Maurice River joins the Saint Lawrence River.

So why is not called Deux-Rivières?

In 1535, on a trip along the Saint Lawrence, the French explorer Jacques Cartier stopped to plant a cross on Saint-Quentin island.

Skip ahead to 1599 when the geographer Sieur François Gravé Du Pont sailed upriver toward Montreal. He reported that he saw what appeared to be two separate tributaries joining the Saint Lawrence at this location.

He did not realize that two large islands divide the course of the Saint-Maurice River into three parts as the water flows into the Saint Lawrence.

So, un, deux, trois.

Trois-Rivières was founded as a settlement in 1634, the second permanent habitation in New France, following Quebec City in 1608.

It was cool–some called it cold–this morning, about 4 degrees Celsius or 38 Fahrenheit. That was fine for us, as somewhat-hardy New Englanders.

The colors of fall were on full display as we visited the cathedral, the old prison, and strolled the waterfront on the Saint Lawrence River. Here is some of what we saw:

All photos and text Copyright 2018 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.

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:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IA9QTBM

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

4 October 2018:
Québec City, Quebec, Canada:
Un Coup de Foudre

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Coup de foudre, indeed. That’s a French expression that literally means a bolt of lightning.

But figuratively, it is an expression of love at first sight.

We are arrived in Québec City, one of the most handsome cities of the New World, partly because of geography, partly because of history.

This is a very European, very French city, the cultural heart of the province of Québec.

We will be making four calls in Québec City on this series of cruises and we have visited here dozens of times in the past. If you think that is a recipe for boredom, you’re quite wrong. There are still more corners to explore, food and wine to taste, cobblestones and carvings and wall murals to admire.

Québec City region is home to more than 700,000 people. That’s about one-sixth the population of metropolitan Montreal, which has four million residents, two million in the city itself.

It is Québec City, though, that is the political and cultural capital of the Canadian province of Québec.

Québec City is the most European city in North America, more French than Paris in many ways.

While Montreal is a large city that happens to mostly speak French . . . Québec City is a defiantly French place.

Defiant despite the fact that the battle that broke the hold of the mother country on New France took place here on the Plains of Abraham.

Defiant in the face of the British who tried to change not just the government but also the culture.

Defiant against the Americans who rose to power to the south and who fought—first with armies and later with movies and television and McDonald’s.

And, it must be said, defiant in many ways against the First Nations who were living here . . . for centuries or longer before Jacques Cartier arrived in 1534.

Politics and history aside, Quebec City is one of the most spectacular cities in the world.

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After sunset, the Chateau Frontenac. Photos by Corey Sandler

All photos and text Copyright 2018 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.

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:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IA9QTBM

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

3 October 2018:
Saguenay, Quebec, Canada:
Into the Kingdom

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

The Rivière Saguenay – the Saguenay River – is one of the major rivers of Quebec, the largest fjord in the province.

When you stand in the heart of Quebec City or Montreal, the province of Quebec extends nearly 1,200 miles north from the Saint Lawrence to the top of the Ungava Peninsula.

I’ve been there: it looks nothing at all like Quebec City or Montreal.

The Saguenay drains Lac Saint-Jean in the Laurentian Highlands; that lake is filled by thousands of streams and rivers in the watery north of Quebec. The nation of Canada possesses about 8 percent of the world’s fresh water. Quebec alone has 3 percent of the water reserves.

Today I went with a group of guests on a glorious hike into the Okwari Reserve along the River Mars, a spectacular place anytime of the year but especially in the fall.

Here is some of what we saw:

MORE PHOTOS FROM LA BAIE, SAGUENAY

Photos by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.

One of the world’s longest, the Fjord du Saguenay cuts through the Canadian Shield. The huge rocky plateau occupies nearly half of all of the Canada, extending from the Great Lakes and the Saint Lawrence Valley northward to the Arctic Ocean.

The river was an important trade route into the interior for the First Nations people of the area. During the French colonization of the Americas, the Saguenay was a major route for the fur trade.

Few roads connect with the area from the south and east, and only one road connects from the northwest. No roads go north from the area into the wilderness; the last roads north end just a short distance from the city—still within the Lac St-Jean area.

There are no human settlements due north of Saguenay all the way to the Canadian Arctic islands, except for a few isolated Cree and Inuit villages.

The Kingdom of the Saguenay

Another name for the region, one which was latched upon by the early French explorers . . . looking for riches . . . is the Royaume du Saguenay or the “Kingdom of the Saguenay.”

The grandiose name is either the result of a misunderstanding . . . or a bit of a jest or even a calculated trick put upon the French by the locals.

When the French arrived to colonize New France in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries they learned from the Algonquins of a legendary kingdom to the north.

When French explorer Jacques Cartier arrived at Stadacona in 1534, he did not come with a bouquet of flowers and a box of candy.

The key to the Kingdom may lie with Chief Donnacona, the leader of the Iroquois village of Stadacona, at the place now occupied by Quebec City.

Cartier kidnapped two of Donnaconna’s sons and brought them back with him to France. They told Cartier of a place they called Saguenay, populated with blond men who were rich with gold and furs.

We have no reason to assume that Cartier or Donnaconna and his sons believed there really was such a place. But the story served as a golden ticket: it gave Cartier something to sell to the king so that he could make another trip to the New World, and it assured Donnaconna’s sons of a trip back home.

La Fabuleuse Histoire d’un Royaume

Since 1988, a cast of more than a hundred locals presents an astonishing pageant that tells some of the story of the Saguenay region. It is presented in a massive amphitheatre constructed by the town. They’ve also built a handsome dock for cruise ships, and each season the number of ships increases.

All photos and text Copyright 2018 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.

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:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IA9QTBM

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

22 October 2013: Saguenay, Quebec

22 October 2013: Saguenay River and La Baie, Quebec

Ha! Ha! Indeed

The Rivière Saguenay – the Saguenay River – is one of the major waterways of Quebec, and the largest fjord in the province.

A fjord is a long, narrow inlet of the sea between steep cliffs.

The Saguenay drains Lac Saint-Jean in the Laurentian Highlands; that lake is filled by thousands of streams and rivers in the watery north of Quebec.

Quebec extends nearly 1,200 miles north from the Saint Lawrence to the top of the Ungava Peninsula at Ivujuvik.

The Saguenay flows just slightly south of east meeting the Saint Lawrence River at Tadoussac. As a fjord, its waters are tidal as far upriver as Chicoutimi, about 100 kilometers or 62 miles.

The fjord cuts through the Canadian Shield, the huge rocky plateau that makes up nearly half of all of the Canada, extending from the Great Lakes and the Saint Lawrence Valley northward to the Arctic Ocean.

The metamorphic base rocks are mostly from the Precambrian Era (between 4.5 billion and 540 million years ago), and have been repeatedly uplifted and eroded.

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Saguenay National Park, south of La Baie. Photos by Corey Sandler

The Canadian Shield was the first part of North America to be permanently elevated above sea level and has remained almost wholly untouched by successive encroachments of the sea upon the continent.

The walls of the fjord reach to as much as 500 meters or 1,600 feet in many places; in many places the cliffs descend at least that much below the waterline.

La Baie, Quebec

La Baie is part of the city of Saguenay, Quebec, located where the Rivière à Mars flows into the Baie des Ha! Ha!

It is a beautiful place and the locals are trying very hard to develop the port as a cruise destination; I wish them well–but hope it is never spoiled by too much success.

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Performers on the pier at La Baie, welcoming to town. Photos by Corey Sandler

Ha! Ha! does not refer to a place of great merriment; it is a native word that means dead end or cul-de-sac.

No roads go north from the area into the wilderness; the last roads north end just a short distance from the city—still within the Lac St-Jean area. There are no human settlements due north of Saguenay all the way to the Canadian Arctic islands, except for a few isolated Cree and Inuit villages.

Our Lady of the Saguenay

Charles Napoleon Robitaille was one of the first salesmen to travel the roads of the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean.

He worked for a Garneau Brothers, a shop in Quebec, and traveled between the small villages of the Saint Lawrence and the Saguenay selling household goods.

One of his winter routes required him to cross the frozen Saguenay between Chicoutimi and the parish of Sainte-Anne at Lac-Saint-Jean.

In the winter of 1878, the ice broke and Robitaille fell into the water with his sleigh and his horse.

Fearing he was about to die, he implored the help of the Virgin Mary. He got to shore, and he decided to commemorate his survival with a statue.

In 1880, Robitaille managed to engage the great Canadian sculptor and wood carver Louis Jobin to make a statue to be installed on one of the headlands overlooking the fjord at the mouth of the River Eternity.

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Notre Dame du Saguenay. Photo by Corey Sandler

For more than a century, visitors have made pilgrimages to see Our Lady of the Saguenay. At some point, it became traditional to sing or play Ave Maria.

Regardless of religious faith, most of us found our thoughts directed at friends and family and former shipmates as we made a graceful 360-degree circle in front of the cliff before proceeding further up the river to La Baie.

Personally, my thoughts turned to the first time I made this voyage up the Saguenay, accompanied by the gracious cruise director Judie Abbott.

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Judie Abbott on the bridge this past July. Photo by Corey Sandler

All photos and text copyright 2013 by Corey Sandler. If you would like to purchase a copy of a photo, please contact me.