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6th October, 2015


Saguenay is at the head of a very long fjord which is on the north side of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, west of Anticosti Island. Having picked up two pilots off Escoumines, we entered just before 5:30 am, in inky blackness. It wasn’t until the first vestiges of twilight came that we could take in the beauty of the waters through which we were sailing. The on duty pilot pointed out a statue of the Virgin Mary, high up on the west side at Cape Eternity that had been placed there in 1881. The twenty five feet high statue is made from three solid blocks of pine and covered with lead.

The weather was perfect as we anchored in eighty meters of water, and our tender operation was soon under way. An old Beaver seaplane had come past us as we approached and it turned out this was operating pleasure flights from the same series of piers that were to be used by our boats. Throughout the day the roar of the rotary engine could be heard as he took off and then made a climbing turn across our bow.

Ashore there was a very modern terminal building, pretty busy of course, but seemingly well organised and which led out to a very smart paved area close to the main street. I had time just to take a quick stroll and was suitably impressed by the tidiness of it all. The leaves of the trees around the church were just turning and the fall colours were superb. Tours for the passengers took in a walk down the Meandres des Falaises trail of the national park, a very well received cultural show, Le Fabuleuse’, and a tour along the Heritage Route’. In addition there was a Zodiac cruise, but also a helicopter was operating from the front of the terminal building making flights down the fjord, and there were more than just a few smiles from those lucky passengers who took the opportunity.

The blue sky remained for the whole day and I took the opportunity of taking some great shots of the ship with the tree covered hills in the background, a rural maritime scene in North America photographed for the first time. The anchor, because of the depth of water, took some time to get back on board, but we were away just about on schedule to carry on our journey further up the St. Lawrence.

Captain Philip Rentell

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