On The Waterfront

Originally posted on Sailstrait:
In recent years the residents of Charlottetown have become accustomed to the seasonal visits of cruise ships emptying their hundreds or thousands of passengers on a city hungry to sell meals, tours and Anne of Green Gables effigies. While this may seem to be a recent phenomena the first visit of…

It has been a busy cruise season here in Charlottetown and being a block away from the dock and cruise terminal we have seen most of them arrive and depart.  Our Nora, and lately Nicky, have met a fair number of visitors and had their photos taken numerous times.   There had even been talk of getting Nora a little straw hat and red braids but frankly she doesn’t need any accoutrements to make her lovable or appealing.

This year there are 82 ships scheduled into port with the majority (43) between September 1 and the final arrival on October 28.  Due to the new speed restrictions in the Gulf and Hurricane season in the south 11 calls have been cancelled but it still leaves us with a record 71 visits.   The largest will be the Disney Magic at 300m but the Crown Princess carries more passengers – 3080 – and crew – 1201.  The very last arrival on October 28 is the Victory I, the smallest  at 87.27m carrying 210 passengers and 90 crew, though slightly bigger the Pearl Mist has accommodation for the same number of passengers but 20 less crew.  These last two spend most of the summer cruising the Great Lakes from Chicago to Toronto and back. Holland America leads the pack with a total of 43 dockings over the season with their Veendam visiting port 18 times and the Maasdam on 16 occasions.

Most cruise ships arrived around 0800-0900 and leave at 1700 – a few like the Celebrity Summit leave after nightfall. It made me feel a bit like the townspeople in one of my favourite movies: Fellini’s Amarcord.

2017 has been heralded as the biggest cruise ship season yet however Harry Holman over at Sailstrait takes us back to June of 1913 and reminds us that the first cruise ship glided into harbour over a century ago:


In recent years the residents of Charlottetown have become accustomed to the seasonal visits of cruise ships emptying their hundreds or thousands of passengers on a city hungry to sell meals, tours and Anne of Green Gables effigies. While this may seem to be a recent phenomena the first visit of a purpose-built cruise ship to the port took place more than a century ago.
There had been earlier vessels fitted out for winter cruising but their chief role was as passenger and freight carriers and the cruising role was incidental. The Charlottetown Steam Navigation Company’sNorthumberlandwas one of the first in the Florida-Bermuda trade with its freight deck temporarily fitted with partitions to create additional cabins and several of the Plant Line Steamers such as the S.S. Halifax and Olivette had winter charters in the Caribbean Sea when ice ended their seasonal work as the Boston Boat.


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On This Island

Today we are celebrating the Acadian National Day here in the Maritimes and to mark that event there is music, food, dancing, crafts, and festivities are taking place here in Charlottetown and in the Evangeline region. Tonight at Porte-la-Joye, the original French settlement on Île Saint-Jean there will be fireworks. I thought I would repost this entry from last year as a reminder of the history of the Acadian people here on Prince Edward Island.

Willy Or Won't He

I have freely admitted that my knowledge of Prince Edward Island was minimal when I first visited back in August of 2015 and has only slightly improved since my full-time arrival in September of this year.  Oh I knew that the Charlottetown Conference had been held here in 1864 but I didn’t know that Island did not join the Confederation until 1873 nor did I know the conditions for it joining.

And of the Island’s earlier history I was even less aware.  I had vaguely heard of the Mi’kmaq in history class but have yet to discover the history and culture of the First Nations people of the Island.  Of course it stood to reason that it had been under French control at one time but I had not realized it was part of what was called Acadia and was known as Île Saint-Jean.  Nor had I realized that there…

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Throwback Thursday

In which two gifts* and a lovely present are recalled.

Eight years ago our lives were invaded by two little creatures who to this day aggravate, frustrate, annoy, and give untold pleasure and love:  The Infamous Hounds from Hell.

We had an online contest to name them and our friend Cecilia (at the time known on her blog as Dora) gave us the winning names.  Because they were Roman puppies we decided that their names should be introduced to the world in a traditional Roman way:

Several weeks after a parcel arrived from the United States:  a christening gift from their godmother in Virginia.

The collars are now a bit frayed and worn however they are still sported proudly as we take our walks through town.  Nora with her red collar and Nicky with his green have become celebrities around Charlottetown and there are people who know them but will be damned if they know who we are.

*For all that we mutter about Hounds from Hell they are still our treasures.

On this day in 1966: The Heron Road Bridge collapses while being built, killing nine workers in the deadliest construction accident in both Ottawa and Ontario.

Lunedi Lunacy and then Some

It is highly unusual for me to post two Lunedi Lunacies in one day but I really had no choice – the Lunacies just keep piling up!

I will admit that I am not a fan (gasp of disbelief from the crowd) of most of the cult series – GofT, Downtown Monastery, Hitchhickers Guide or (shudder, followed by a gasp of disbelief from same crowd) Doctor Who.  So I was a bit startled today when I read that there are people who are ranting and raving that the oft-morphing character of the good Doctor is to be played by a (eye-roll, shudder, and gasp of horror and disbelief from misogynistic crowd) … by a…. by a….  WOMAN!  I shake my head, roll my eyes, shudder, and gasp in horror and disbelief that this sort of announcement would solicit a negative response.  Or frankly any response at all but that’s another story.

Imagine then my delight to find that my favourite theatre troupe – SFSPT – has greeted the announcement with their normal saucy tongue in toe approach.

I share this particularly for my good friend Rainey on the West Coast.   And with special thanks to the SFSPT for putting the world back into perspective.

On this day in 1794: The 16 Carmelite Martyrs of Compiègne are executed ten days prior to the end of the French Revolution’s Reign of Terror.

Lunedi Lunacy

Not really an Editorial but more of a Mild Rant.

Given the state of the world around us it is becoming more and more difficult to find anything that would strike most of us as lunatic – even here in the land of the understatement and the eternal apology.

03102017c_2_Super_PortraitA fine example would be the tempest in a Labatt’s 50 beer can about the logo for Canada’s 150 celebration.  Now this logo has been around since the previous government – a very salient point – unveiled it back in April of 2015.  Keep in mind this was a government that qualified as the Iced Tea Party of Canada but they had no problem with the multi-coloured stylized maple leaf.  At the time there was a bit of “tsk.. tsking” about the graphic itself being rather old-fashioned and too reminiscent of the Centennial logo from 1967 but that was pretty much it.

I find it inoffensive and I was surprised, in the past few days, to see that a certain segment of the “press”, a goodly number of the more conservative websites, commentors, and disseminators of badly adapted American memes have suddenly found it to be reeking of the “homosexual agenda” and the current government’s wish to destroy Canada.   Now I’m no expert on human behaviour but if all it takes is a multi-coloured maple leaf on a coffee mug to turn you gay then your sexuality was probably always a bit of a question mark.  And I had not realized our democracy was quite so fragile that a badly stencilled logo on a Made in China t-shirt could bring it down.

On top of that they tell us that the Evil Boy Emperor is trying to replace our flag – which so many died in two world wars to defend – with this offensive image emblazoned on a banner.  Now I am no big fan of EBE but I can’t find a bill tabled in the Commons to effect that heinous change nor has an “Executive Order” been issued as one site claimed.  Now that could simply be because we don’t have such an animal in our system*.  Surely if this outrage were in the works Harper Lite and company would be inarticulately raging about it in Question Period.  Also a quick history check shows that our flag was introduced in 1965 and at that time most of these people, or those like them, fought tooth and nail against it.

What can you say to these fearless “patriots”?  It’s a commercial logo created for marketing purposes for heaven’s sake: you know like the one on that sweater you wear while cheering on your favourite loosing hockey team.  And if you wait until July 2 you can probably buy a dozen of those coffee mugs at a deep discount and smash them to show your disdain for EBE, them homos, and those destroyers of the Canadian way of life.

I’m really not sure how you top this sort of lunacy!

*To be fair they might have meant an Order-in-Council but somehow I don’t think the writer knows enough about our Parliamentary system to be aware that such a thing exists.

On this day in 1927: The Cyclone roller coaster opens on Coney Island.