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Yarmouth Port, Massachusetts, United States

Thursday, September 8, 2011

"O Canada" Part I

Hurricane Irene jeoparized the entire cruise.
But just before it bore down on Boston,
The M.S. Maasdam escaped to the North Atlantic,
Bearing its cargo of 1200 intrepid passengers.

Despite the problems of the weather,
We would commend Holland America Line
For cheerful service in adversity.
Most enjoyable was being seated at dinner
With different groups from
Canada, Scotland, and various U.S. points.

Alas, three ports of call were cancelled:
Bar Harbor, Maine; Halifax and Sydney, Nova Scotia
Were in the path of the storm, its high winds and rain.
Thus the first landing was on charming Prince Edward Island.

Of course, that tour had to include Anne of Green Gables,
Or rather the putative house of a fictitious heroine.
Surprisingly, the province resembles Cape Cod
In its extensive beaches and rolling landscape.

Sailing down the St. Lawrence River panorama,
We spied Joan and Tim's house on the bluff.
Immediately, the red roof of the hotel,
And the harbor of Tadoussac came into view.

Saguenay was a last minute, unplanned stop.
The locals welcomed us enthusiastically at the pier,
But the tour was to an odd mix of company towns,
Industrial installations, and the Victorian homes of their nabobs.
Still, not many other people can say that they have visited
Bagotville, Saguenay, Chicoutimi, and Jonquieres!

The all-day excursion into and around Quebec was a gem.
First, a walking tour of the old village
Where Benedict Arnold almost conquered Canada.
Next to the shrine of St. Anne de Beaupre.

Never mind that Mary's mother is not mentioned in the bible.
She has a huge basilica built in her honor
Where she performs miraculous cures, and
Receives donations from thousands of pilgrims.

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