Tag Archives: lief ericson

Wednesday 15th December 2021 – HERE I ALL AM …

… not sitting in a rainbow but sitting in my little room in the Dekenstraat in Leuven. And to my dismay, I haven’t had an upgrade this time.

Still, not that I’ worried too much because apart from the steps up to the second floor here, this little room is much more convenient for me even if it’s smaller.

And there’s still a double bed in here so that if one of the usual suspects from my nocturnal rambles, such as TOTGA, Castor or Zero, puts in an appearance then there will be plenty of room for us to move about

And it won’t be very long before I’m actually in it because I’ve had another difficult day I try my best to have an early night the day before I travel but last night I was chatting to someone on line in what became a very lengthy and involved conversation so i was quite late when I finally crawled into bed

And then, the usual difficulty about going off to sleep meant that whe the alarm went off at 06:00 I was … errr … far from ready.

Preparing to leave was something of a rush as well and I didn’t accomplish anything like as much as I usually do. But I did find out that my icing hasn’t set. Butter (well, vegan margarine) produces a soft icing so I seem to be stuck with that.

What I’ll have to do in the future is to work out how to make hard icing. Like I said, I have a lot to learn aout baking cakes.

Although it was cold and damp this morning, it was better weather than when I was out photographing the Christmas lights and so as it was still dark this morning I re-photographed them. And they do look better in the lighting conditions that we had, as you will find out in due course.

For a change, I didn’t have anyone sitting next to me all the way to Leuven which makes a change.

The train to Paris was on-time and I spent much of the journey sorting out the back-up from the big office computer onto the portable laptop. Having shuffled the music around to shake up the pack, I have to do this on the laptop too.

Having done that, and having had a little doze, I set about doing some work.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that I’ve sent in my CV in the hope that it will be picked up by a certain travel company. And in this respect I was collating all of the documents that I’ve collected during my research into the Norse in North America and also the Labrador coast.

Having done that, I’ve started to review the stuff that I have on the Norse and prepare to write a thesis on the subject (as if I don’t have enough to do as it is). I started off by reading the “Flatey Book” and “Hauksbook” – two books from Iceland in the 14th Century that include the earliest written copies of the sagas that recount the Norse voyages to North America.

Following that, I’ll make a start on Carl Rafn’s “Antiquities Americanae”. Written in 1848, it’s the earliest book that takes seriously the Norse Sagas.

Rafn though makes two mistakes in his calculation though.

He puts the Norse settlements in Massachusetts or thereabouts because firstly he works out the sailing distances based on the speed of a Norse longboat. However Leif Ericson didn’t use a longboat. According to the sagas he “bought a boat from a trader” who was freighting goods to Greenland. And it wasn’t until a silted-up river was excavated in Roskilde in 1961 that a Norse freighter, called a knarr was discovered and its sailing characteristics were found to be completely different to a longboat.

Secondly, he calculated the distances based on a day of 24 hours. It seems to me to be totally improbable that the Norse would have been continuing to sail during the hours of darkness in strange waters near an uncharted coast where they wouldn’t know what shoals and other hazards they might encounter.

Another thing that needs to be considered is “what happened when they reached the Gulf of St Lawrence”? With about 200 miles of open sea to cross, they would have been more likely to sail down the St Lawrence keeping the coast to their right where they could see it. In fact, there’s a precedent to this with all of the Basque and Portuguese whalers at the end of the 15th Century who set up their camps along the Labrador coast and then down the Gulf of St Lawrence.

We pulled into Montparnasse 2 minutes early and then I had my delightful stroll down the street to the entrance to the Metro station – much nicer than struggling through the labyrinth down below.

As a result I was early yet again arriving at the Gare du Nord. I reckon that I’m about two metro trains in front of where I would have been.

We left Paris Gare du Nord bang on time but were held up on the way and as a result we were a couple of minutes late arriving at Lille Flandres. Then we had the walk across town to Lille Europe where my train was already in.

At Brussels I had another push-me-pull-you, pushed by an old Class 27 locomotive that took me to Leuven. And I had loads of fun trying to make my phone work to show the nice conductor my e-ticket.

When I alighted at Leuven I nipped to the supermarket at the back of the station for the drink and the bread before making my way down here to my room.

Later on I went down to Delhaize for the shopping and the walk back loaded up was a little easier than it has been of late.

Now that I’ve had my tea I’m off to bed even though it’s early. It’s a tough day travelling all this way and doing all this walking, all 130% of it. And there’s more to do tomorrow with my trip up to the hospital.

Wednesday 3rd March 2021 – I DON’T KNOW …

… if today has been a good day or not.

It started off as a good day anyway because despite the late night I was up very shortly after the first alarm yet again.

And even though I didn’t have much sleep last night there was still plenty of time to go off on a wander around.

I’d been out looking for cars to use as taxis and I’d been out at the auctions. I’d come back with not one but 2 Cortina either Mk IV or V but they were 2-litres. They needed some work doing to get them ready for the road. I remembered the issues that we were having in Gainsborough Road about the local council not liking me working on cars there and how we were going to cope. My initial reaction was to build a high fence halfway down the garden so that no-one could see over it. Nerina thought that we would be in trouble with the planning permission people but I pointed out that quite a few of their Council houses had high fences halfway down the garden where people couldn’t see over. I thought that if the Council took proceedings against me I could bring them into disrepute because of the story about their fences. There was the issue of wheels and tyres with these 2-litres having slightly wheels we’d have to go through the collection to make sure that we had enough tyres, that kind of thing. It meant swapping over one or two that were already on one or two vehicles that we were using.
As an aside, all Cortinas (except the P100) used 13″ wheels but 1.3 and 1.6 models used 165/80 tyres whereas 2.0 and 2.3 used 185/70 tyres. Even so, when I had the taxis, as long as the four tyres were the same size I didn’t usually pay too much attention to what went on where

Later on there were 3 tough cowboys last night, 1 of whom was black. They were riding together and came into this town. There was a lot of racism in the old Wild West of course and the owners of the livery stable where they were going to leave their horses weren’t very keen on the idea of this black cowboy and were going to make a great deal of trouble about it. Next day the 3 cowboys assembled to ride off and went down to fetch their horses. The 2 white guys rode off first. The black guy had some trouble getting onto his horse so he was a good few hundred yards behind the other 2 and when he rode out of the livery stable the guy who ran it simply drew his gun and shot him 3 times. A passer-by came to investigate but the livery stable owner fired a gun in the air to frighten him away.
And it’s not very often that there’s a voyage without me in it anywhere, is it?

Having deal with the dictaphone first job was to unblock the sink. The water was taking about a week to disappear. While I was at it I cleaned out and tidied the cupboard under the sink.

That’s all cleaned and the sink unblocked but the water isn’t going out all that much quicker. I’ll have to buttonhole one of my neighbours and see if they are having problems too. But it started all of a sudden yesterday evening and I’ve no idea why.

The rest of the morning has been spent in dealing with a mountain of correspondence that had built up over the last few weeks, as many regular readers of this rubbish will recall, having received a reply from me this morning. I think that I’m up-to-date now so if you are expecting a reply from me and you haven’t had it, let me know.

After lunch I’ve been tidying up – some bits and pieces in the bedroom but also on the computer. I’ve come across another raft of stuff that I’ve overlooked on a memory stick so I’ve been organising that. As well as that, I had a phone call to deal with and also an important e-mail to do.

And then, rather sadly, I crashed out for half an hour. Another really deep one too.

seagull windowsill place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere was quite a lot of excitement as I set out for my afternoon walk today.

The seagull was up on his or her windowsill talking to the china or plastic bird on the inside. But it was also tapping on the window with its beak in a kind of morse code. It was quite insistent too. One of the neighbours had told me that the bird did this, but I don’t recall ever having seen it in action.

Having watched it for a couple of minutes, I headed off on my little wander around the headland – in the rain because while it might be dry at the moment the ground was quite wet and there were heavy dark clouds all around.

jersey english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThis is a pretty miserable photo, heavily enhanced, and ordinarily it would be discarded but it’s here to serve a purpose.

Just now I mentioned that the weather has changed. The really nice weather that we were having over the weekend has gone and it’s taken the sea fog with it too, so we can have our view back. Right out there on the horizon we can, if we strain ourselves, just about make out the coast of Jersey

Unfortunately the image isn’t clear enough to see any of the buildings

Down on the beach, the crowds of the last coupe of days have dispersed. The tide isn’t right out yet and in any case, the Grand Marée is over for the next few weeks. The tides won’t go low enough to make it worthwhile.

ile de chausey Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnother photo that I took today, simply because I could, was of the Ile de Chausey.

That’s a lot clearer today and with the photo being heavily enhanced you can see the buildings on the island. But there’s not a single boat in the image today. It was very quiet on the water. I walked around the headland to look out across the bay but there wasn’t even a boat around there on the water.

No interesting old cars today on the car park either which was a shame but the change in the weather seemd to have kept everyone indoors. I pushed off along the path in comparative quiet.

aztec lady lys noir charles marie chantier navale port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallWe have a change of occupant in the chantier navale today.

As well as Aztec Lady and Lys Noir, we have another one of the charter yachts, Charles Marie in there today up on blocks.

I suppose that it’s the right time of year to be overhauling them. No-one has the least idea of when things are going to reopen and the infection figures are not encouraging so they may as well be overhauled when there is nothing else going on so that they will be ready (if and) when things start to get back under way.

Back here in the apartment I had my coffee and coffee cake and then attacked another 20 photos of the Greenland expedition. I’m now ashore at Brattahlid, the goal of my voyage, and the home of Leif Erikson, the original Norse settler of Greenland.

Following in the footsteps – or the wake, rather – of the earliest Norse settler/voyagers was my ambition and we reached as far as Hvalsey and Brattahlid, but the third site, that of Gardar, eluded me. I was making tentative enquiries about going there when the virus hit and Greenland closed its borders

There was time for a half-hour or so on the arrears of Summer 2020 before knocking off for guitar practice.

Tea was veggie balls with steamed veg and vegan cheese sauce followed by jam pie and vegan ice cream seeing as I’ve run out of soya coconut stuff. I was going to make custard but I was running rather late.

At the moment I’m listening to a few concerts that I have up my sleeve. I need to find three live concerts to take me up to the summer. I’ve a couple in mind including another one that is extremely rare but it does no harm to listen through them all and make a few editing notes about where they can be improved.

When I listen back to some of the very first ones that I did 10 years ago now, it makes me wince. I must have learnt something, I suppose, after all that time. As for “Strife”, I had some feedback from, would you believe, California. It had been played in a RV Showroom and by all accounts had gone down really well.

So I’m off to bed in a minute. Shopping tomorrow and I’m low on supplies so I’m going to be loaded up like a packhorse on the way home. I need to gird up my loins and gather my strength.

Sunday 21st July 2019 – SO THAT’S ANOTHER …

… place crossed off my bucket list. And it’s been a long time coming too. But today I finally made it to Brattahlid, the home of Eric the Red and his son “lucky” Lief Ericson

But putting things into the correct order, I didn’t have my decent sleep last night unfortunately.

As seems to be par for the course these days I awoke at 04:05 for a trip down the corridor and again at about 05:55. However it was once more a struggle to leave the bed.

Outside, the weather is cloudy and misty with a lot of dampness in the air, almost raining. But then of course this is the south-west coast of Greenland. What was I expecting?

Breakfast was another early start today and I had once more to do without my medication seeing as we were leaving the ship almost immediately. A quite pleasant ride took us to the landing stage of a small modern settlement called Qassiarsuk which was all sleepy and closed up, seeing as it was some kind of unearthly hour on a Sunday morning.

We walked past a farm – one of the earliest modern sheep farms in Greenland, founded in 1924 – and then out into the countryside to a pleasant bowl in the hillside. The first thing that we encountered, opposite the modern church, was a small turf outline which, having been excavated in the past, was revealed to be a very small church dating back approximately 1000 years.

And that was quite an interesting find.

It is well-known that whilst Eric the Red did not embrace Christianity, his wife Thjodhild did. And there is a record of her insisting on having her own church built – the Þjóðhildarkirkja or Thjodhildarkirkja – at Brattahlid. The dimensions of this church, its timescale and the site of this turf outline as described in the sagas corresponds with what we know about her church.

A little further on are some quite substantial remains of a rather large stone church. Not as complete as the church at Hvalsey but substantial nevertheless. And it’s a big place too, as you might expect from Brattahlid, because this was one of the most important communities in Norse Greenland.

Close by are the remains and sites of several large stone buildings that were presumably storage rooms of some nature and also some smaller stone walls that might have been sheep folds.

There were also the foundations of a substantial stone dwelling house which are such that would appear to relate to a very important personage. As there wouldn’t be more than one such person in any community, this is believed to be the likely site of the homestead of Eric the Red.

All together, there are over 30 Norse sites in the immediate vicinity but many of them have been disturbed by more modern buildings or by agriculture. The ones by the church are the most clearly defined and complete.

Eric the Red took a couple of years to cruise along the Greenland coast to find the best possible place for his settlement and indeed his own home. The richness of the area here and the number of Norse sites are a testament to the wisdom of his choice.

As well as the Norse remains there are the remains of several Inuit beehive houses, and also a more modern reconstruction which looks as if it is about to suffer the fate of its predecessors.

Farther on still are a reconstruction of Thjodhild’s church as well as a modern reconstruction of a Norse longhouse. In the immediate vicinity was another outline in the soil that corresponds with the size and shape of yet another longhouse.

We had a good prowl around the site, finding several good viewpoints from which to take photographs, and I climbed right up to the hill overlooking the fjord where they erected in more modern times a statue of Lief Ericson. From here the view was even more impressive and we could clearly see several layers of raised beaches, showing just how much isostatic rebounding there has been.

Of course, I was not alone on my travels. I was accompanied by Strawberry Moose, complete with Viking helmet, who had several photo opportunities.

Interestingly, in the distance I could two barns or storehouses that belonged to the farm of 1924. These, as well as the base of the house of the farmer, were made of local dressed stone. There is no record of any stonemason being in the area at this time, so it might be that these stones were pillaged from the Norse site in the days when conservation was of little importance.

Back on the ship we had lunch, and then I went down to my room where I crashed out for an hour or so.

This afternoon we were all on the aft deck in the glorious sunshine, watching the world, the scenery, the fjords and the icebergs go by, until about 17:00 when it became too cold.

And that reminds me of something. I’ve learnt a new way of describing distance. In Europe, we would say that someone lived, say, 2 miles away. In North America, you would say, say, 2 hours away. But Tupaarnaq, our Greenlander guide told us that her uncle lived “two fjords away”. I shall have to remember that one.

After tea, our host Dave Newland performed a few songs off his latest album. He’s actually a folk singer and his songs are all about the High Arctic. It made me quite nostalgic.

But now it’s bed time. There’s yet another early start in the morning and I can’t afford to hang about any longer if I want a decent night’s sleep.

It goes without saying that I’m really happy that I made it to Hvalsey yesterday and to Brattahlid today, but just 10 miles across the bay is the Norse settlement of Gardar – the site of the cathedral and centre of Christianity in the Norse settlements in Greenland. And we didn’t have the time to go there.

I shall just have to come back!

Friday 1st September 2017 – STRANGELY ENOUGH …

christie's bed and breakfast nova scotia canada aout august 2017… that was the cheapest place where I’ve spent the night so far. And funnily enough, it was the best night’s sleep that I have had since I’ve been back on the road.

But although it was a better night than just recently, it still wasn’t what I would call ideal. I was still tossing and turning in my bed, although not as much as the last couple of nights.

Liz and Terry came to join me though – or, rather, I went to join them. They were moving house and had a couple of boys to help them – and the had done so well that there was only a couple of things in the garage underneath that needed to go. And I reckoned that if we planned it properly we could fit everything into the two vans and do it in one trip. Just then, as we were sitting thinking about it, some English couple (because we were abroad) were push-starting a car – a white-coloured car something like an ADO16 – down the hill at the side. The woman behind the wheel couldn’t control it on the bed and it came round and collided with the side of Liz and Terry’s house, which was made of metal (well, quite!). This is the kind of thing that would happen just before the new owners were coming to take possession. So Liz went out to attend to them. I went off into town to do something and on the way back the town was thronging with school kids being kicked out of school. There was a loudspeaker announcement about the end-of-year results (hence them hanging around) and they started to announce the names of the pupils who had done exceptionally well and had earned a reward. Back at Liz and Terry’s, it seemed that Liz was disappointed about something. “I bet they’ll argue about the time” she said, presumably referring to the people who had collided with the house. “What time do you say that it happened,” she asked me. “16:15” I said confidently. “Well there you are” replied Liz. “At least you agree with me”.

The alarm went off at 06:00 as usual and so did I. in fact, I awoke again with quite a start at 06:11 and only just made it out of bed before Billy Cotton’s strident summons at 06:15.

I’d organised breakfast for 08:15 so that gave me a couple of hours to catch up with stuff that needed doing, and then off to rejoin the Land of the Living.

The people here – other guests as well as the landlady and her father – were very pleasant and we passed quite an agreeable hour or so chatting.

And I learnt something thing morning. According to the old guy who had worked out in Labrador, it was the berserk behaviour of the compasses of the aeroplanes of the Atlantic Ferry flying over Labrador and Upper Quebec that first alerted people to the presence of the iron ore deposits.

Breakfast was really nice – they respected my diet – and the home fries and fruit was superb. along with toast with vegan margarine (the landlady had some in stock). She even let me check the label on the container.

Orange juice and coffee too, and as soon as you had taken a coupe of sips out of your mug the old guy would totter by and fill it up.

After breakfast I had a shower and started to organise my stuff. I need a blanket and pillow for the boat and not much else so I could go through my rucksack and eliminate what won’t be needed until I dock.

That was my cue to hit the road and having safely and correctly negotiated the roundabout, I eventually arrived in North Sydney.

football ground north sydney nova scotia canada aout august 2017But I didn’t go very far, because regular readers of this rubbish will recall that amongst our projects that we undertake on our travels is to find the local football ground.

It’s not exactly what I would call a stadium, and I don’t think that a pair of wingers would be of any great advantage on this pitch, given how narrow it is, but it’s a football pitch all the same and that’s a rare thing to see in North America.

marine atlantic vision ferry north sydney nova scotia canada aout august 2017Ahhhh – so THAT’S what happened to Superfast IX.

Once upon a time, not so long ago, a company organised a ferry service from Rosyth in Scotland to Zeebrugge in Belgium.

It picked up two giant ships from the Baltic that had been part of a (failed) project launched by the Swedish government in the early years of the 21st Century to run a ferry across to Rostock.

marine atlantic vision ferry north sydney nova scotia canada aout august 2017The Rosyth-Zeebrugge ferry service didn’t last too long either and the ships were delared surprlus to requirements. I don’t know where one of them went to and I didn’t know about the second – Superfast IX – but I do now!

Here she is, in all her glory, back in service as Atlantic Vision and I’ll be travelling on her this afternoon to Argentia.

Fastest ferry on the North Sea she was in her day, and I hope that she lives up to her reputation across the Gulf of St Lawrence.

atlantic vision blue puttees lief ericson nova scotia canada aout august 2017And while I was taking a photo of Atlantic Vision I was treated to something of a ballet just outside the port.

As the Blue Puttees was reversing out of her berth on her way with the lunchtime sailing to Channel Port aux Basques, Lief Ericson, the truckers’ ferry that runs between North Sydney and Channel Port aux Basques, was pulling in behind her.

I was lucky enough to be treated to a very rhythmical dance as the ferries manoeuvred around each other

marine atlantic ferry lief ericson north sydney nova scotia canada aout august 2017As for Lief Ericson, what can I say about her?

We all know about her and probably many of us have travelled on her before in her previous existence as Stena Challenger.

Built in 1991, she was named for the lost Space Shuttle and spent the first 10 years of her life operating out of Dover to Calais and occasionally Dunkerque, with a little relief spell on the Holyhead-Ireland route.

marine atlantic ferry blue puttees nova scotia canada aout august 2017As for Blue Puttees, she was one of the two ships that came here a couple of years ago to replace Caribou and Joseph and Clara Smallwood.

Built in 2006, she was formerly the Stena Trader and she and her sister (here as the Highlander) ran the short-lived ferry service from Hoek van Holland to Killingholme in the UK.

She takes her name from the nickname given to the Royal Newfoundland Regiment.

bad english grammar town council north sydney historical society nova scotia canada aout august 2017Another thing that regular readers of this rubbish will recall is the regret that I have for the decline of educational standards throughout the western world.

It’s not particularly important (but it’s still sad nevertheless) if Joe Public can’t speak English correctly.

But when a body like the North Sydney Historical Society and the North Sydney Town Council don’t understand the basics of English grammar then it really is something that depresses me enormously.

nova scotia canada aout august 2017Mind you, having said that, poor English grammar is one thing. The North Sydney Historical Society’s rewriting of history is something else completely.

I don’t know who it is that they employ as a proof-reader but I wouldn’t pay them in washers because this isn’t the kind of error that would normally sneak by un-noticed.

I just wonder what was going through the minds of the people who wrote the text, the proof-readers who checked it and the printers who printed it.

Having been for a good walk around the town I went back and sorted out Strider. But not before I’d been accosted by a particularly aggressive beggar who became most upset when I told him to clear off.

Thanks to the laundry basket that I bought yesterday, all of the food is now assembled in one place. Everything else is filed away tidily thanks to the cargo net that I bought last year.

It was thus quite easy to locate my blanket (the one that I bought at Dysarts two years ago), my towel and my little pillow and they are now nicely stored in my rucksack ready for the sailing this afternoon. I intend to be as comfortable as I can.

And so I went back to where I’d met the beggar (and photographed the ships) with Strider to make my lunchtime butties and sit in the sun admiring the ships.

If you look at the photograph above which shows the dancing ships, that’s actually the site of the coal staithes and the dock in which the coal ships going out to Newfoundland and the outlying islands would have been moored.

A branch of the railway line came down here bringing the coal from a local mine. But unfortunately there’s not a single trace of anything from that period still remaining.

The interesting thing about it all is that it’s actually an artificial “island” – formed by the rocks brought as ballast by the ships that came here empty for the coal.

At the dock entrance we had a nightmare. I had found the tickets but I needed to produce my passport and my driving licence. And I couldn’t find them anywhere, despite stripping out Strider.

The last time that I had had them was yesterday when I handed them over to the girl who took my booking. And so the girl in the booth telephoned just about everyone to see if I had left them and they had been handed in.

But no such luck. I’m hopeless when it comes to finding things as you know, and so I have to discipline myself to have a proper place for anything. And when they aren’t there I’m cooked.

strider ford ranger marine atlantic vision ferry terminal north sydney nova scotia canada aout august 2017But luckily I still have my powers of persuasion and I was eventually allowed to join the queue of vehicles heading for the ferry.

In the ferry office I hustled them there but it was to no avail, and so back outside I started to strip out Strider properly. My driving licence I can at a push live without, but my passport is something else and it must be found.

And then after about 30 minutes of sheer panic, the light suddenly went on. The little bag that I wear around my neck where I keep my bank cards and my North American money. Sure enough, in my haste, I’d stuffed them in there, hadn’t I?

So everything is now back in its proper place where it ought to be. I really ought to be much better organised than I am if I’m going to have a seamless, trouble-free trip around the world.

strawberry moose marine atlantic vision north sydney nova scotia canada aout august 2017We were ushered onto the ferry comparatively early and we were lucky, being one of the first aboard.

I left His Nibs in charge of Strider and composing modern-day sea-shanties for the 21st Century.

I suppose that he has to keep himself entertained until we reach Newfoundland – he’ll have plenty to occupy his mind once he’s there.

marine atlantic ferry terminal north sydney nova scotia canada aout august 2017The lift was occupied so I had to stagger up several flights of stairs – and steep they were too.

But I managed to grab a good spec on board – right at the bow of the ship with a stunning view out over the ferry terminal.

And next to one of the very few working power points on the ship too. Routine maintenance doesn’t seem to be the strongpoint of Marine Atlantic.

marine atlantic ferry terminal north sydney nova scotia canada aout august 2017Much to my surprise, because I’m from Europe, we started up bang on the dot of 17:30

We reversed out and this gave an opportunity to have a good view over the town. Not that there’s a great deal of the town to see are there are vacant plots of land all over the place.

This isn’t just an indictment of the collapse of the town’s industry with the end of the mining and railway operations here, but also of the three devastating fires that have destroyed the town.

highlanders marine atlantic north sydney nova scotia canada aout august 2017And we missed the oportunity to have our own ballet just offshore because we hadn’t gone more than 5 minutes out of harbour before we saw Highlanders coming down the inlet.

We know all about her because we’ve sailed on her before. She’s formerly the Stena Traveller and was likewise on the short-lived Hoek van Holland-Killingholme service.

It’s nice to see Marine Atlantic spending money on upgrading the fleet, and with the F A Gauthier in Matane replacing Camille Marcoux, that only leaves poor Apollo as a relic of a bygone age still struggling across the Gulf of St Lawrence.

shipping gulf of st lawrence nova scotia canada aout august 2017But there’s plenty of shipping in the Gulf of St Lawrence.

With the telephoto lens on the new camera I can take pictures miles away but photographing through a double-glazed marine window with a telephoto lens from a moving platform such as a ship means that it’s always going to come out blurred.

But never mind. We’ll have better luck later.

mike averill folk singer atlantic vision nova scotia canada aout august 2017As darkness fell we were treated to a folk singer.

Mike Averill, his name was, and he entertained us for quite a while with his acoustic guitar, his songs and his semi-biographical stories particularly about his father Garry.

And it’s a good job too because catering facilities on this ship are … errr … minimal. There’s an a la carte restaurant and some kind of fast-food place that does hot dogs and sandwiches, but that’s your lot.

There’s nothing here for me to eat, and so I have a feeling that this is going to be a very long voyage for me.

As soon as this folk-singer finishes, I’m going off to look for the reclining seats and bed myself down for the night. But not until he finishes because I’m enjoying his music.