Hi All, Written: May 19, 2009
As I said in my closing yesterday, today we are visiting Sept-Iles (seven islands), Quebec. This is the first time a cruise ship has visited this small community (25,000 inhabitants) and they really spread out the welcome mat, including letting the children out of school for the day. Sept-les means seven islands because the entrance to the harbor is protected by seven islands. This area was first explored and a community formed in 1661 by the French, but English settlers were not pleased with the invaders and between 1692 and 1761, Sept Iles was attacked, destroyed and rebuilt twice. English colonists ultimately won control in 1761 but you couldn’t tell today because I didn’t hear one of the locals speaking English except to us. The major employer is “Aluminerie Alouett”: a state-of-the-art facility that is the largest producer of aluminum ingots in the Western Hemisphere.
Again, because of the cold Susy didn’t come ashore, but yours truly did so let’s have a look at the day in photos (Sept-Iles, Quebec photo album above). When we arrived we really had a welcome, not hundreds of fire boats like you might get in New York harbor, but at least one (ha ha) which you see in the first photo. In photo two and three I patched together some photos of the scene from the boat, the third photo showing one of the islands of the seven that protect the entrance to the harbor. Taking a tender into the port we entered a tent and the fourth photo shows the Sept-Iles sign at the entrance. They gave us a tote bag as we entered and all the locals were welcoming us with open arms. Going out of the terminal I headed down the Boardwalk which you see in the fifth photo. Everywhere you could see the welcome Maasdam signs like the one in the sixth photo. The seventh photo shows a pub along the Boardwalk with “Welcome Maasdam” above the door. In the eighth photo you see some Indian tents from the Innu culture, the Indians who lived in Quebec long before it was settled by Europeans. Just so the townspeople would know about us, the ninth photo shows a banner on the Boardwalk giving all the facts and figures about the Maasdam. It seemed as if the whole town turned out for our visit. The tenth photo shows a bunch of the small children with their teachers who planned a day on the Boardwalk to see the large ship. The eleventh photo shows the rocky shore of the harbor and the twelfth and last is a shot down the main street (Ave. Arnauld). By the way the locals were extremely friendly as I was stopped at least twice and asked where I was from, and how I was enjoying my day in port.
Tomorrow we stop in Saquenay and do some scenic cruising along the Saquenay Fjord.
Love You All,