Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Random snap ...

Know your beer!

New York ...

Back in New York greeted, as always, by the Lady.

Looking good!

Looking up the Hudson from our berth at Pier 90 on NYC's West Side, the George Washington Bridge in the distance.

That would be New Jersey.

As usual, either the Coasties or the NYPD keep an eye on the cruise ships when they're in. Today the Coast Guard drew the short straw.

And, like every other cruise, the mad rush to get away from the pier and back to reality. Heh ...

So, I come to the time where I thank, firstly, our wonderful, great, outstanding travel agent Ann Hayward at Aqua Cruises and Tours who not only found us a wonderful, unforgettable trip, but made the whole process seamless, especially getting out of the pier when we got home. You are, and always will be, the very best. Thanks, sweetie.

And, secondly, Dr. Melinda Grove and her staff at Glen Animal Hospital. They look after the girls when we're gone and we couldn't take the vacations we do without them. Thank you all very much for making it possible.

Now, we return you to your regularly-scheduled reality ...

Halifax ...

As I said in my post from Nanortalik, we blew off St. Johns and headed straight for the port of Halifax, Nova Scotia. Once again, the Cap'n called the weather correctly (better than the local weatherman at home, that's for sure) and were greeted by a beautiful day as we arrived. We also got an extra day here to make up for missing St. John's.

Cunard Line has a big history here (Sam Cunard is from Halifax) and he's the first thing you see when you leave the ship.

Halifax is also the home of the Canadian Atlantic Fleet and there are many maritime monuments about.

The Maritime Museum of the Atlantic is also here.

They've also created a beautiful "Harbourwalk" on the pier downtown where you can walk on a boardwalk along the shore for several miles. It is lined with shops, souvenir stands, and great seafood restaurants.

We had lunch here, oysters, a small lobster each, shrimp, salmon, and split an order of Nova Scotia mussels. Did I mention the two pitchers of Moosehead? Heh ...

We wobbled back to the ship and took a nap so we could celebrate my birthday that night.

It wasn't really my birthday (it's in October) but my travel agent told them it was because the cruise was a birthday present (big 5-0) from the Mrs.

This beautiful sunrise greeted us on the second day and we took a tour out to the quaint little town of Peggy's Cove (pop. 38).

We left Halifax that evening, bound for New York, sad the trip was almost over but happy to be going home.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Nanortalik ...

We pulled into Nanortalik, Greenland the morning after we left Prins Christian Sund, Eurodam having to anchor out in the shallow port. It is one of the largest settlements on Greenland and is home to about 1500. The population almost tripled when all us crazy tourists got ashore.

The Mrs. and the only street sign in the place.

Cute little Eskimo kid and his mom. I think they got as big a kick out of the tourists as we did with them.

With 6 tenders conducting operations constanlty during the 4 hours we were there, the ride back to Eurodam was bumpy.

We said goodbye to these wonderful people and headed back out into the ice and the North Atlantic.

We met another big storm (the remnants of Hurricanes Lesley and Mikhail) after we left Greenland, causing the captain to make a speed run for Cabot Strait in Canada for protection. We had to blow off St. Johns, Newfoundland but we would get an extra day in Halifax once the storms blew over. 2 bumpy days at sea but I've been through worse. Cap'n and Cruise Director JC came on the TV every day with the weather report to let us know what he was doing and why. Throughout the trip, he consistently made the right choices. We might have missed a couple ports, but we got the most out those we saw.

Prins Christian Sund ...

Prins Christian Sund is a ~130 mile long fjord that runs from the southern tip of Greenland, northeast to the Eskimo village of Nanortalik. It is one of the most beautiful places I've ever been.

We stopped at a remote Eskimo outpost of about 120 people. Eurodam put out 2 of her fast boats filled with supplies, fresh fruit, vegetables, canned drinks, donated clothes, and the galley sent along a bunch of fresh pizza for the children there. The only way in and out is by small boat and about 70 miles from the nearest village (Nanortalik). We stayed for about an hour and then headed northwest up the Sund to make Nanortalik by morning.

The ice got thicker as we moved northeast.

We left the Sund 10 hours after we entered it, everyone in awe of what we'd just witnessed. The pictures don't do it justice.