The ship sailed under clear blue skies, through the blue waters of the channel, which on one side had the high rocks of the small island of Lie du Havre crowned by fir trees, and on the other; our destination, the quay of Havre Saint Pierre which was littered with eager friendly local volunteers waiting to greet us to their town, which lay on .the northern banks of the St Lawrence River.
The small town had laid on a 24 seater coach, and for only $20 Florie and I could ride it all day long around the town in hop-on hop-off style, we went round the first time to see what was on offer, a 25 minute journey including commentary from a nice old retired chap who was full of interesting facts about his small community that he was very proud of; when the bus went round the second time we got off at Tim Horton’s and got coffee and donuts Canadian style then we were ready to brave the strong cold wind and walk across to the supermarket, the only one, but it was a very good one with lots of little interesting things that we don’t have in the UK, we stocked up on necessities up to what my backpack could take then we caught the bus when it came round again.
The next time we got off at the Post Office-come-Souvenir Shop where Florie inspected every item in detail before settling on a special memento; we walked the 100 yards from there to the Cruise Terminal-come-Information Centre-come-Local Facility, in the biting wind, to use the free Wi-Fi on offer in the warm, before going back on the ship before it’s early afternoon departure.
The small town is laid out on a corner of mainland Quebec Province and consists well kept bungalows and few shops, we drove past a beautiful long beach, which anywhere else would be filled with sun worshipers in today’s sun but here with a temperature of about 5°C it was deserted; the old chap who was giving us the information about the area told us that it is rarely used because of the cold wind, the sea temperature varies between 12°C in summer and 4°C in winter, but he proudly told us about the towns latest acquisition, a brand new Heated Swimming Pool complex something they have waited 50 years for, he went on to tell us how whales regularly swim up the channel we had sailed down to get there, it apparently happens every morning at different times of the year.
We enjoyed our short visit, the people were nice and friendly telling us all about themselves and their lives there, the place had a certain character so when we left we felt we knew the people personally, and were sad to leave them, many of whom were lined up on the quayside in that wind to wave us goodbye, the ship had to leave up the same channel the whales travel up to get to the rich feeding grounds.