Saturday, September 20, 2008

St. George's Dream Part Nine - Canada is Killing My Tan

At the moment I am sitting in my room, while the ship sits outside of Bar Harbour, Maine. It's late in the afternoon, and the last tender is bringing back the pax for one more night at sea before they acquiesce to the real world on Sunday. Then, we pick up our last group of pax for our Canada and Maine run, and then it's five more weeks of Bermuda... and I say thank God, because Canada is killing my tan.

Actually, this run is probably the least... how do I say this without biting the hand that feeds me... this run is... boring. There, I said it. The port cities, with the exception of Halifax I suppose, do not offer a whole hell of a lot to the visiting pax. Of course, there are tons of things to do outside the cities, but if you're like me and just want to kick around town... well you'll be kicking yourself for wanting to do so. Still, I try and find things to do... let's look back on the past two weeks and see what I can dig up.

I'll start with our first port of call, St. John's, New Brunswick. This is the place that has the dramatic change in tides at the Bay of Fundy, as well as that reversing waterfall I was telling y'all about. I have plans to go see that next week, so what have I done there to bide my time until I get to witness water flowing upstream? Here are some pictures...

Here's a church.... They have churches there.

Here's a spider... They have churches and spiders.

And, it looks like they have enormous meat sandwiches.

I have taken three pictures in St. John's over two weeks. But I didn't tell you that we couldn't get in this week. As we were coming up the coast from Boston, one of those hurricanes, Ike I believe (and I would know more about it if CNN wasn't such as pain in the ass to watch), was causing some weather up in the Bay of Fundy. Reports came in that they were experiencing winds up to 50 knots... I don't know what that means in mph, but since they closed the port to all traffic coming in or going out, let's just assume that it was windy. So, because of that, we did not make it in this week, otherwise I might have more pictures of arachnids and fantastic lunch bargains.

Next stop, Halifax... What pictures do I have... let's see...

Hitched a ride on a tour with Fede into Mahone Bay... Mahone Bay is best known for this picture, proving that they have a least three churches.

Here is a picture of pumpkins on a roof. Oh, those kooky Canadians!

A self portrait of a man enjoying some maple walnut ice cream.

Taken back in Halifax. It's true... Canada loves their moose... mooses... moosi... whatever.

Okay, that was great... Next stop Sydney. You remember Sydney... That's where they got that great big damn fiddle. This port is my least favorite out of all of these least favorite ports. Last week I went out and got a haircut. Really... Imagine going on vacation...

“Hey, so what did ya do on your fantastic trip up north to Canada?”

“I got a haircut.”

“Oh, really... well, that's... nice.”

When I was in the chair I asked my stylist (I couldn't find a barber shop... ) what there was to do in this town. “There are some great bars” she replies. I mention to her that I work on the cruise ship, and that we are gone by night fall. “During the day?” she asks aloud... she ponders... “Huh... nothing really... have you seen the fiddle?”

I've mentioned it last time, but it's worth repeating. The town of Sydney is not there for visiting tourists. It exists only because people live there. The people at the post office needed to eat, so they built a grocery store. The people that stock cans on the shelf needed a way to get to work, so they put in a gas station. The pump attendant needed his hair cut... you get where this is going. Anyway, like the other ports, taking a tour is ideal, but a walk around the city will yield you nothing... unless you like cruising second hand stores in exotic locations. Did I take any pictures? Hmm...

Well, last week Victor, Peter, and I fed some ducks. Say what you will, but it beats saying you got a haircut.

I had no idea that I have spent my rife going to unricensed, amateur Chinese restaurants. I feer so cheated.

I get the feeling that the people who live here don't like visitors.

Do you ever see something and feel like mimicking it? Well, take this store for example. It's called, if you believe the sign, the “Bargain Bargain Bargain Bargain The Bargain Shop.” Wait, I got that wrong... it's called the “BARGAIN! BARGAIN! BARGAIN! BARGAIN! THE BARGAIN! SHOP” Well, with a name like that, we all felt like jumping in the air to celebrate the savings! Jumpers are, from left to right, Emma, Lyndsey, Christy, Megan, myself, and Victor. Incidentally Victor, who did the editing of this picture, decided that my attention to the bargain essence deserved extra attention. Can't say I blame him.

This was the only picture I took in Sydney during our third Canada/Maine cruise. It was especially cold that day. Earlier we had a great big boat drill, complete with ISPS (I don't know what it stands for, but people come on board and ask us questions about safety and stuff... I stay in my room) and a Code Bravo exercise. Us blue cards had the choice of getting off early, before the drill started, or waiting until after it was over. Judging by what you've seen above, you can guess what we did. Plus, it was really cold that day! I walked around for an hour, and feeling like fresh air is overrated, I walked back to the ship.

Finally, let's take a look at Bar Harbour, Maine. Despite the tendering (and immigration for the pax), this can be a nice port. They call open tendering (which means you don't need a numbered ticket to get off... and also means crew can get off) around 10:30 AM. With the last crew tender leaving at 3:30 PM, we still get a fair amount of time off here. The past two weeks have found me at a breakfast place, enjoying healthy amounts of blueberry pancakes (Maine exports most of the world's supply of blueberries) and other breakfast delights. After that, I pull out the cell phone and make some phone calls as I wander aimlessly amongst a main street built with tourists in mind. Let's see what I have here...

Here's a car, parked by some wood.

Cadillac mountain, looming over the city of Bar Harbour.

The Dream, anchored out in the fog, waiting to get back to warmer weather.

That's it for the ports... Each one unique... each one robbing me of my precious bronze Bermudian pigmentation. Next time you hear from me, I'll be setting that straight.

Keep on Livin' The Dream,

Michael Lamendola (taking in the sites of Halifax)


  1. You are as funny as ever. I ALWAYS enjoy your blogs. THIS ONE I actually sent to my sister. I laughed and laughed. Thanks. -Jess

  2. Where are the retarded pictures man?

  3. Hi Michael! I saw you perform on board the Dream on a trip to Bermuda. Great job--very talented, and cute! =)

  4. hey hun how are things! i miss talking to you! my picture buddy! hope things are well hopefully by dec ill be on the jade if all works out! email or call me! ciao!
    - heather chamberlin