6:25pm, about 20 minutes out of St. John, NB, North Atlantic Ocean
Today was an absolutely spectacular day! We went to our only port on this cruise, which was St. John, NB. About 80,000 people or so live in the town, with about 120,000 in the entire metropolitan area. It is a quite quaint little village with arts and crafts, good seafood, and extremely nice residents. This was out first trip to Canada, andit most certainly won’t be our last.
We took the Pink Bus, step off/step on tour. It takes three trips around the city and takes a visitor to all the town-centered activities. It was only $42 per person, which we found to be a value as the stops are all over town and give you plenty of time to explore at your leisure. No beaches are included, but with the weather as chilly as it is, it would be tough to want to swim anyway!
We went to the famous Bay of Fundy, where the river and the ocean meet. Twice daily, the river actually flows backwards, forced in by high tide. The river and ocean meet angrily in the center at low tide, with the river pushing out water into a fast-moving sea, causing eddys and whirlpools to form. There are jet boat rides and a zip line for the brave. Present company is not included in the brave category.
The best thing to do is to get to Fundy under the bridge twice a day, once at low tide (today that was about 10:30am) and high tide (about 5:30pm) so that you can see the dramatic difference in the river and height of the tide on the rock walls of the gorge. It is unbelievable. The bus narrators are also great, giving you information about the city, its history, and the effect of the tides.
There are many places to shop, and a great little museum of natural history in one of the shopping centers. There is also a closed-air market where one can purchase anything from fresh squid to a sweatshirt, and any grocery item you’d want in between.
When the tide comes in in the afternoons, the fog rolls into the city as well. It’s so weird to see it rolling in, only to retreat as soonas slack tide appears. This is when the ocean tide is going back down, taking the ocean currents and wair with it. The fog slowly retreats, although on our day in town, it eventually got very foggy and stayed that way, late in the afternoon as the ship was boarding.
We also saw a couple of parks and historic homes, and we visited the park created by the city for the citizens and visitors. There is a lke there, and you can rent paddleboats and canoes for a small fare. A restaurant serves up ocean and American favorites, and there is a small beach with a swimming area, too.
We found the people extemely polite and helpful, all smiling and grateful for the business we brought to their city today. We also found them to be nice to non-tourists and non-cruisers alike. It was just a great experience all-around.
The weather was great, too. It was a nice 73 degrees today, although the wind at times made it a bit on the chilly side. I had on long pants and a sweatshirt I bought at the market.
One of the best parts of the day was at the very beginning. When ladies get off the ship, each is given a long-stemmed rose in a plastic carrier with a water stem feeder. Each man is given a pin with “St. John, NB” on it. I have never been so nicely welcomed to a country before!
Overall, I loved it and would recommend it for any traveler. It was just fabulous.
As we sailed away this afternoon, the fog surrounded our ship. The Bay of Fundy and the city of St. John were enveloped in a mist so thick I couldn’t even see the Pilot boat unless it was just off our starboard side outside our balcony. The Glory has sounded her foghorn every three or four minutes since we left port. The fog is like the fog on every sailing foggy movie you’ve ever seen, so thick you can cut it with a knife. As we sail away today, I find it comforting, as if it is keeping St. John safe and cozy, until we meet again. It also helped to retain some of the mystery of the sights and sounds we will see on our next journey to this beautiful and friendly place.