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:

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 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.

S.S…

View original post 800 more words

Sharing

In which an anecdote from PEI History is revealed.

Two of the blogs I follow are the work of  a self-described “archivist, historian and small boat sailor” here on Prince Edward Island.  A phrase that, to my mind, inadequately describes his encyclopedic knowledge and research into the history of our Island home.  His recently created Sailpost traces the history of the Island through the humble postcard – those once ubiquitous picture cards that assured our family  and friends that we wished they were here.  And his Sailstrait, now in it’s 6th year, is a fascinating history of Charlottetown Harbour, as well as yachting and boating on the Island.

We tend to forget that there was a time when the towns and villages around the Island were not as connected as we are now.  There were no railway lines (they are now long gone and have become Confederation Trail, a wonderful 470 km hiking and biking trail that crisscrosses the island) and the road system could be charitably described as primitive.  Water was often the only way to get from place to place but even then it was easier to get to Halifax, Montreal or Boston than it was to Souris.  However there was the occasional excursion to far away places with strange sounding names like Murray Harbour.  This week on Sailstrait there is a delightful newspaper report on such an excursion on the in August, 1865.

A left click on the photograph of the Princess of Wales in Charlottetown Harbour will take you to this peek back into a different time and travel – and how could you resist any article that begins:  As the bottles were emptied and the hearts and hearts and minds of gentlemen expanded……

1779002
“As the bottles were emptied the hearts and minds of the gentlemen expanded…” An 1865 Excursion to the East.
                                                                                                Photograph courtesy: Sailstrait

Would that journalists today had the flair and command of language of this anonymous reporter (possibly publisher John Ross himself?) from Ross’s Weekly.

On this day in 1783: Laki, a volcano in Iceland, begins an eight-month eruption which kills over 9,000 people and starts a seven-year famine.