Tag Archives: Silversea

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

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

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, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

We are almost at the end of our 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, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

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, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

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, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

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, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

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, 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)

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

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

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, 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)

12 September 2019:
Havre St-Pierre, Quebec:
River Town

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Havre St-Pierre is in Quebec, which is the largest province of Canada on the mainland of the world’s second-largest nation.

Havre-St-Pierre is a big place, too. It sprawls across 3,900 square kilometers or 1,504 square miles, about the same size as the greater metropolitan area of Montreal.

But only about 3,500 people live in the municipality of Havre-St-Pierre, which works out to about 3 per square mile. Montreal, which lays ahead of us, has more than 4 million residents.

Silver Wind at the dock today

Today the port is in heavy use as a shipping port for iron and titanium ore.

Fishing concentrates on snow crab, scallops, and lobster in the Gulf, and salmon and trout in the freshwater rivers and lakes.

In 1857, the first European settlers were mostly French Acadians who came across from Les Isles de Madeleine, the Magdalen Islands.

Since 1948, the Quebec Iron and Titanium Company, owned by the Anglo-Australian company Rio Tinto Group, has mined deposits of ilmenite, a mineral composed of iron and titanium, at a site about 40 kilometers or 25 miles north.

Their railroad, the Chemin de fer de la Rivière Romaine, brings the ore to the port, where it is loaded aboard bulk carriers and shipped upriver to Sorel-Tracy near Montreal.

Titanium is used to make white pigments, and alloyed with iron, aluminium, vanadium, and molybdenum or other elements to produce strong, lightweight metals for aerospace, military, industrial, and medical products. It is also used in jewelry in pure form or as an alloy with gold.

The other form of mining in Havre St-Pierre is aimed at the wallets of tourists. A bit west up the river is the amazing natural phenomena of the Mingan Archipelago, the largest group of erosional monoliths in Canada, limestone monoliths formed over thousands of years by wave action, strong winds, and seasonal freezing and thawing.

I went with guests by boat today to Le Petite Íle au Marteau (Little Hammer Island) to see some of the monoliths and the old lighthouse that faces out into the wide mouth of the Saint Lawrence.

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)

11 September 2019:
Corner Brook, Newfoundland:
Mill Town

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

At long last, land.

We arrived about noon in Newfoundland, after five days st sea from Iceland.

The glories of Atlantic Canada are numerous, and Corner Brook is not far from the spectacular Gros Morne park and other natural attractions.

But here in town, the roads near the port are criss-crossed by huge flatbed trucks carrying logs and dominated by the massive plume of a very large paper mill.

Silver Wind at the dock in Corner Brook today, upwind of the paper mill

The good news is that you can set your watch (or to be more accurate these days, double-check your cell phone clock) by listening for the factory whistle: the original century-old steam whistle sounds at 8 in the morning and 4 in the afternoon.

I went with guests to visit some of the “outports” of Newfoundland.

Bottle Cove, the Newfy-adjusted name for Bateau Cove (Boat Cove) when the French were here

Corner Brook is located on the Bay of Islands at the mouth of the Humber River; it is the principal commercial center for all of western and northern Newfoundland, and also the administrative headquarters of the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nations government.

Outside of town on Crow Hill is the Captain James Cook National Historic Site.

Yes, that Captain Cook.

In 1767, the famous British explorer and cartographer surveyed the Bay of Islands and was the first to map the area.  At the memorial are some copies of his charts, and an attractive view of the Bay of the Islands—the one here in Newfoundland, not the one in New Zealand.

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)

6-10 September 2019:
The Answer is Blowing in the Wind

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

In case you were wondering…Silver Wind is safe and sound and headed for Newfoundland where we expect to call at Corner Brook tomorrow, 11 September.

When we sailed out of Reykjavik five days ago, our plans were different. The itinerary called for three days at sea and then calls at St. John’s, Newfoundland and a brief return to Europe at St-Pierre and Miquelon, a French-governed set of islands nearby.

That is, until this happened:

Actually, that was only part of the story.

We had Hurricane Dorian making its way up the east coast of the United States and over top of Nova Scotia. And to our east, we had another storm, Hurricane Gabrielle, out to sea but effectively putting us in a sandwich of storms.

Our captain and crew took good care of us, threading the needle between the “disturbances” but the course we took was far from our original plan. Our three-day crossing became a five day trip.

The seas were…as some mariners say…a bit lumpy. But we have made it across the pond.

Land is in sight, and more blog entries to follow.

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)

4-5 September 2019:
Reykjavik, Iceland to the New World:
Crossing the Atlantic, Part 2

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

We arrived 4 September in Reykjavik, the capital of the island nation of Iceland.

Strokkur geyser near Reykjavik. Photo by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved

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

We went this morning to visit the country’s newest man-made attraction, FlyOver Iceland, which opened last week near downtown. It is a spectacular simulation of a helicopter (or hang glider) tour of Iceland.

Although I have been to Iceland many times, there are still many, many truly amazing places that are all-but-inaccessible. Hanging waterfalls, sulfur-dusted volcanoes, hidden valleys, glaciers, and snowfields. Oh, and puffins.

Visitors to the attraction sit in theater-like seats–with a seat belt–that move into the 20-meter (66-foot) spherical screen and then rise, descend, twist, turn, and tilt with the scenery.

This is state-of-the-art entertainment in every sense. We are still soaring…

FlyOver Iceland
A scene from FlyOver Iceland

Onward to Canada (with a Detour to France)

The previous cruise began in London, and we leave from Iceland to complete our transatlantic crossing. Ahead of us, after three days at sea, our first landfall will be in St. John’s, Newfoundland which is often cited as the nearest part of North America to Europe. It’s close enough.

From there–and stay with me here–we make a brief visit to France. That is, we are scheduled to stop at the remote island St-Pierre in the St-Pierre and Miquelon islands. These rocky places are all that remains of New France in what is now Canada. France has held on to them through some very thin years; today there is a bit of tourism to see a bit of history and for some guests a way to check off another place on their bucket list.

From New France we head into French Canada, with stops in the Province of Quebec at Havre-St.-Pierre, Sept-Îles, Saguenay, and then resplendent Quebec City and cosmopolitan Montreal.

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)

3 September 2019:
Heimaey, Iceland:
The Fiery Home Island of Vestmannaeyjar

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Heimaey is the principal settlement of the Westmann islands, a small, mostly quiet, occasionally very hot place in Iceland.

This is the only inhabited land in the Vestmannaeyjar islands. In January 1973, a volcanic eruption destroyed half the town and threatened to ruin its essential harbor.

At 1:55 in the morning, the middle of Heimaey began to shake, and lava emerged from new fissures that stretched about 1,600 meters or one mile from one shore to the other. Lava fountains spouted as much as 150 meters, or 500 feet high.

Just east of town, a new cone began to build. Because it was near an old church, the locals called the new volcano Kirkjufell (Church Mountain), but the official Icelandic place-naming committee chose Eldfell (Fire Mountain) instead.

Strombolian eruptions deposited thick tephra over the northern half of the island, building a cone of 200 meters or 660 feet.

The lava flow was in some places 100 meters or 330 feet thick. Not something you’d want to try and hold back with a shovel.

It’s not like this is something unexpected. Iceland is by considered the most active volcanic area in the world, sitting astride the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, where the North American and Eurasian Plates are moving west and east respectively, and also over the Iceland hotspot, a funnel to volcanic matter.

It is estimated that a third of all the basaltic lava in recorded history has been produced by Icelandic eruptions.

We made it through the lava-narrowed mouth of the harbor at noontime, with perhaps 10 meters or 33 feet clearance on each side. And then I went with guests on a very strenuous, very exhilarating hike up Eldfell, the new volcano in town. Here is some of what we saw today:

The narrow neck of the harbor after Silver Wind had backed into place at the pier
At the pier in Heimaey
Climbing…
Heimaey is home to about five thousand humans and about eight million puffins. This chick had been rescued and was being cared for before release

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)

2 September 2019:
Seyðisfjörður, Iceland:
The Pearl in a Shell

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

About 36 hours after sailing from Scotland, we arrived at the east coast of Iceland and the port of Seyðisfjörður, which–if you can get past a few extra Icelandic characters–is pronounced just the way it looks. SAY-dis-fuhr-dir.

This is one of Iceland’s most picturesque towns with a collection of 19th century wooden homes, surrounded by beautiful nature. Poet Matthías Johannessen called Seyðisfjörður a ‘pearl enclosed in a shell’.

Like many remote places, it exists because of its protected harbor, established by foreign merchants, mostly from Denmark, and fishermen from Norway. It’s a small town of about 665 people, spread across 82 square miles or 213 square kilometers.

Settlement traces back to the early period of habitation in Iceland. The ruin of a stave church nearby has been carbon-dated to the 10th century, with earlier graves from the 8th century.

On this visit, I went with guests on an adventurous hike up the side of the mountains to visit a valley of waterfalls. It was a treat for the eyes, and an ache to my knees. Here is some of what we saw today:

The Valley of Waterfalls
An abandoned whaling station and village near the mouth of the fjord. All photos by Corey Sandler, 2019. All rights reserved

Seyðisfjörður was home to British and American forces during World War II  and some of the elements of the bases can be seen around the fjord, including a disused landing strip. And this was one of the few places that saw actual combat, or at least an attack, during World War 2.

You can read more about this place by clicking on the Seyðisfjörður 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)