171008 Saguenay

Today we will cruise the Saguenay Fjord and marvel at its immense glacier-carved rock walls.

I awoke with the ship’s foghorn blasting signals into the dense fog. We were in the St Lawrence River about to enter the Saguenay Fjord. There was hardly a ripple in the bow wave but we were moving towards this little town of 12,000 inhabitants to what turned our to be the best welcome we had received of any of the ports along the cruise. The town was giving away blueberry welcome pies and the local Indian people had a tepee set up with an open fire. Happy dancers were performing their folk moves to entertain the passengers lining the balconies before breakfast.

We had booked a kayak cruise in the Parc National du Saguenay Interpretative Centre, which was preceded by a one-hour drive through the colourful countryside in a disused school bus. You could tell it was a school bus; it was yellow and the knee space was very limited between the seats. We had come all the way from Melbourne to see the Fall Colours and only two days ago, the leaves started to show colour. However, Saguenay sure has turned it on for our farewell to the tour. The roads are literally lined both sides with autumn yellows and reds. The only thing missing from our photos today were blue skies and sunshine, but you can’t always have that after nearly four weeks of sunshine.

After arriving at the interpretive centre, the twelve of us budding kayakers were given a 5-minute lesson in the art of paddling and steering an ocean kayak. We then proceeded to get changed into wetsuits and kayak garb for our paddle across the fjord. Grey skies, but calm waters with a little rain is better than sunshine and wind blowing us out to sea. The kayaks were great to paddle, but when Lyn and I were told that our rudder was not in the water and we needed to pull a rope to set it down in the water, we started to get some distance in a straight line. The steering was done with pedals in the back seat, and fortunately, that was my role. Oooops! I think I have said too much.

When the rain stopped and the water was glassy calm, we had some great reflections of the colours up the sides of the cliffs leading into the fjord. Our kayaking experience was terminated after an hour and we were back on that school bus for the trip back to the ship. We did enjoy the time but have not decided on buying a kayak for our trip around Australia in the motorhome next year.

Tomorrow, our cruise ends in Quebec and after a night there, we fly back home to Melbourne.