National Geographic Explorer
At Sea, St. Pierre The bulk of today was spent sailing and eating along the coast of Newfoundland on our way to the secluded island of St. Pierre. Using the utmost ingenuity, not a minute at sea was wasted. The Safety Drill and introductions of the Expedition Staff occupied a bit of the morning, but for some reason neither was choreographed to Gilbert & Sullivan. Expedition Leader Mark take note! And then our historians, Michael and Ben, provided a tag-team lecture on early exploration, French exploration, and the economic and flip-flopping political history of these islands that were originally named “the eleven thousand virgins” by the Portuguese in 1520. Steaming into the harbor of St. Pierre gave us fair warning of the charm and natural beauty of the island and its structures, and our free time walks turned up arts, crafts, patisseries, alcoholic spirits, great locals and a wealth of history. It truly was a place both isolated from and part of the 21st century as we heard and watched the cars of young people vibrate down the street blaring gangsta rap, but as the noise drew away, the views remained in our memory and likely will for a long time. This fine day was gallantly topped by the Captain’s reception, the introduction of the officers—again sadly without appropriate musical accompaniment—but with a wonderful array of appetizers and a splendid meal sure to give us pleasant dreams and the energy needed for a very full day on Cape Breton Island tomorrow.