Friday, July 27, 2018


After a hiatus of one and a half years, I realized how  much I miss writing my blog.  So here we are on our way to Iceland on  the Regent ship "Navigator" with famous bridge teachers Barbara  Seagram and husband Alex, so I decided to begin again.  We left Colorado  two years ago as age was catching up with us, returning to our home in  Surf City, NJ and have given up skiing in favor of cruising.  This is  our third, starting June 2017 on Crystal Cruise Line's Serenity to  Hawaii for our 60th Anniversary, following with another cruise last  fall to the West Indies on the same ship.  Both trips were wonderful in  every way, amenities, tours, bridge with Roberta, an excellent teacher  and her husband Arnold, on the first and Larry Cohen on the second.  We  were hooked!!

 We were driven to NYC in the morning, hoping to get our luggage on board and then spend a bit of time exploring the waterfront  -  but the crowds made us change our minds.  We were docked next to a Carnival Cruise ship so decided it best to board, have lunch and relax until sailing time.

Chuck was particularly good at doing that.

It was a beautiful, blue sky day to enjoy the sights as we headed out of the harbor towards the      Atlantic Ocean.

Construction was everywhere, with some of the new towers reflecting sunshine into the water.


    Boats were heading back home and we saw this sailboat 
and a
    stand up paddle boarder working her way to  shore
 as we approached the old lady,  


As we passed under the Verrazano bridge little did we know we were seeing the last of the blue sky.

However that night through our
 rain streaked window, we saw a
 beautiful sunset on our way to


We had our first, of many, rides to shore on one of the covered motor launches, or lifeboats.  Getting on and off when the water was rough could be a real challenge,  But we all managed with the help of the ever friendly and helpful crew.  They were always patient with the old folks who had poor balance.  It was our first time off of the ship since we decided to bypass a visit to Cape Cod.  We had done a bike trip through Cape Cod and Martha's Vineyard a couple of years ago.

 We found our Trolley when we landed ashore and took off on a cloudy, drizzley ,chilly day for a tour of Boston,
I wondered if this was where the ship's chef got the wonderful lobsters we enjoyed for days at sea.

One  of the first treats was the masts of the USS Constitution hidden behind the boats and buildings of the marina. Launched in1797, during the war  of 1812 it fought against the British Fleet.

In what is known as Boston's East End hangs a Golden Teapot over what is now Starbucks. It dates back to 1871 when it hung over the Oriental Tea Company to tell the new immigrants, and all Bostonians where they could buy the finest tea in the city.

                    We passed this sad, colonial dressed man on the street
                    corner.  Perhaps he was as tired of the weather as
                    we were.
The Boston Common, a 50 acre plot dating back to 1634 is the oldest park in the US.  It was originally owned  owned by William Blaxton, the first European settler of Boston, until it was bought from him in 1634 by the Puritan founders of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.  During the 1630s, it was used by many families as a cow pasture. However, this only lasted for a few years, as affluent families bought additional cows, which led to overgrazing, a real-life example of the "tragedy of the commons".   The Common was used as a camp by the British before the American Revolutionary War, from which they left for the Battle of Lexington and Concord. It was used for public hangings up until 1817.

The Old South Meeting House became famous as the location of the meeting that preceded the Tea Party. 
On the night of December 16, 1773,  some 5,000 angry colonists gathered at Old South to protest a tax on tea. When the negotiations failed, disguised men took action and destroyed over 1.5 million dollars worth of tea in today's money.

            The Hampshire House contains the bar featured in the famous TV show "Cheers.
Boston is a city of contrasts, I think.  Take for example these totally different apartment houses.

And of course there is the famous Fenway Park.  It remains much like it did when it opened
August 20th 1912.  Since 1that time it has been the home for the Boston Red Sox, the city's American League baseball team, and since 1953, its only Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise."The field of dreams".

Our last stop on the tour was the memorial for the Boston Marathon Massacre of April 15, 2013. Two homemade bombs detonated 12 seconds and 210 yards (190 m) apart at 2:49 p.m., near the finish ...killing three spectators and wounding more than 260 other people. 

                Chuck having a final conversation with our very informative give and driver.


When we got to shore at Bar Harbor we boarded a bus for a ride to the top of Cadillac Mountain.

     I am getting pretty good at snapping photos on the fly, from buses and cars.  I thought this
                                       house was typical of the beauty of the town.

Though the sky was overcast, the vegetation was an intense green.
At 1,530 feet Cadillac is the highest point along the North Atlantic Seaboard and therefor the first place to view the sunrise from October 7th thru March 6th.  It is a favorite trek by car, bike or foot to see that sight.

Unfortunately, that day it was cloudy, but for a moment you could still see the islands in the distance.

So, on a cloudy or foggy day when the light is poor for scenery, you photograph flowers, and there were plenty of those, if you looked

 On the way down we stopped at a special place called "Thunder Hole".

As you can see from the people at the right, it is a very popular stop, and makes a sound like thunder when a wave comes in.  We however chose not to join them - I just enjoyed the scenery.

    This is how it would look on a big surf day.

We passed this sheltered cove with a nice beach, and occupied by 1 elderly man who has a shack in the woods to the right.  He lives on what he can catch in the cove, and gather from the woods.

On the way down the mountain we stopped at a nice facility above Jordan Lake.  I took this photo down by the lake edge, a beautiful spot showing the evidence of the ice that had such an influence
 in the area.  The restaurant etc. was up on the moraine above me and the lake itself filled the U-shaped valley carved by the mile thick glacier. The ice sheets coming from the north smoothed the mountain tops. depositing rock, dirt & sand creating a natural dam or Moraine. As the ice melted the water filled the valley behind creating Jordan Lake.
The sheer cliffs carved by the glaciers cause hikers on Jordan Trail to scale rung ladders to reach the summit of Penobscot Mountain.

But trees grip the rocky lake shore and lichen decorate their trunks

Back at the harbor small cottages, now shops line the waterfront. 

The dock is filled with restaurants, displaying umbrellas to shade customers while they dine on lobster.

While this statue reminds people of its past.  I sincerely hope the great beautiful, gentle whales
continue to make a recovery from the years of slaughter.

A last look of Mount Desert Island, Acadia National Park, and Bar Harbor as we head out to sea.

 This spectacular home was viewable from our cabin window, so I had to take a photo of it as we left.
And also a bit of of blue sky over the harbor - which I would have welcomed earlier.  On to Halifax.


 Our next Port-0'-Call was Halifax, Nova Scotia, but the weather was so wet and miserable we never got beyond the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic.  When the Titanic hit an iceberg and sank on April 15, 1912 Halifax was the closest major seaport with rail connections. It was the base for ships searching and recovering bodies.  Only 337 of the 1500 bodies were found.  Of the 337 bodies recovered, 119 were buried at sea. 209 were brought back to Halifax and buried in 3 cemeteries. 59 were claimed by relatives and shipped to their home communities.  The museum had a great deal of information and artifacts from the disaster, but I have decided not to put any photos I took on this blog.

Leaving Halifax and heading for Sydney, our next stop we encountered a force 10 gale.  Though the ship was a former Russia ice breaker and rode the storm well our captain deemed it too dangerous to try to dock in Sydney. We headed instead for Corner Brook, Newfoundland.

While playing bridge the the next morning after a very rocky night, we passed this beautiful, but dangerous ice berg which drove home how it could sink the "unsinkable ship".

 Leaving the harbor of Corner Brook (no idea how it got its name), the first thing one sees is this huge stack of logs.  It is for the main industry (other than fishing) which is the paper mill.

 Outside of town is a hill side of government housing, not bad looking from the outside.  Thought a bit of research listed Corner Brook as one of the worst places to live.

  Corner Brook is located on the west coast of the Island of Newfoundland,  on the "Bay of           Islands".

There is no doubt that fishing is the main attraction for commerce or food, cod being most common.
                                The houses or fishing shacks by the dock.

                        Of course there are always lobster to be caught in cold water.

 My husband, Chuck, who sold his fishing boat a few years ago, can never resist a look.

 At the end of the road is a little town called Lark Harbour.  The local ladies displayed their
crafts and had made some cookies and small sandwiches for us.  Of course I had to buy something.  A cruise ship arriving is a big event.  I couldn't resist the name of the library.

                Near by was this charming little inlet called "Bottle Cove",

Where  waves splashed over the rocks. It would be a great swimming place in warmer water.

Back outside of town on a high promontory was a monument to Captain James Cook who
first came to Canada in 1758 as Master on a vessel during the 7 years war with the French.
Having learned to use the "plane table" from an army cartographer, he was sent to Newfoundland in 1763 to survey the area, as he did for the next 5 years.

      Check the two maps in the bottom center of the sign to see the accuracy he produced.

 From up there I saw a beautiful view of our ship, and one of the paper mill by town.

But the best view was this one.