November 18, 2011
Continuing our Fall Foliage cruise diary, once we left U.S. waters, the weather took a decided turn for the worse, as the Eurodam started playing hide-and-seek with the remnants of Hurricane Ophelia that was working its way up the Eastern Seaboard.
The result was 40-foot waves and unsettling groans and moans of the ship all night as the expansion joints in the windows and walls moved back and forth ceaselessly.
Communications with the Mainland (or any land!) also became dodgy. As expected, the moment we entered Canadian waters, our cell phones quit working unless we paid odious data-roaming charges. So I broke down and bought a computer plan at 55 cents a minute so I could stay in touch with my work and family as needed.
Our first port call in Canada–Halifax, Nova Scotia–was underwhelming. After we trudged up the hill to The Citadel, a Canadian military outpost (from where the photo above was taken), we went back downtown in hopes of finding interesting shops and a good place for lunch.
Finding neither, we went back to the boat and enjoyed delicious salmon and lamb burgers. Oh, well!
The storm was so serious that our scheduled stop in Sydney,Canada, the next day was cancelled! This is referred to as a “blow-by,” and really upsets the local economy and residents of these other-worldly places who rely on tourism to scratch together a meager living.
Our next port call after Sydney–Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island (PEI), Canada–was in question due to Ophelia’s wrath. It’s a place I’d always wanted to visit since I’d heard a lot about, and even sometimes eaten the famous PEI mussels.
But after another rocky night, we got through to Charlottetown okay. Even though we were greeted by extreme wind and cold and weather that ranged from hail to sleet to sun and even snow (!), it was VERY nice to be on terra firma once again.
We enjoyed a long bus ride through the countryside en route to the Anne of Green Gables house and a lobster lunch at a local jam shop and restaurant–the Prince Edward Island Preserve Co. This shot was taken through the bus window as we were leaving–it was so cold and drizzly we didn’t even want to get off the bus for a better shot.
Our lobster lunch was fun and tasty and the shellfish was from local waters. We shared our table with a Dutch couple who were very experienced mariners–the husband had worked for Holland America for many years, although there was a bit of a language barrier and we never could figure out exactly what he did.
Our guide pointed out the mussel beds. But sadly for this foodie, we never did get to taste the Island’s most famous export.