saguenay-title A Fjord in the Northeast

A “fjord” is an inlet of water with cliffs and/or mountains on both sides.   As you will see, the Saguenay River can thus be defined as a fjord.   Traveling upstream, we were told that the depth of the water, even at the cliff line, is about 300 feet.   At the head of this river is Lac Saint-Jean where there are hydroelectic generators.   Closely examining some the photographs, power lines can be seen.   It is considered a major Canadian river and was a route for the fur traders of past.   It is 698 km long, 436 miles, and tide water from the St. Lawrence River push into the Saguenay to 105 km, 68 miles.   This river has an unique history which I will attempt to recount.


The following photographs record the scenic beauty as we progressed up the river.   There is nothing in particular that I can tell you about what they show, except they confirm that we were there at the correct time of the year.

The Unique History

Looking closely at the next two photos and you will see a statue of the Virgin Mary, atop one of the mountains.   ( The statue is just about on center and atop the mountain in the foreground. )   The third photograph was taken with a telephoto lens and the statue is very evident.   But the first photographs give an idea of the surroundings.   It was explained to us that years ago, a sailor was in the fjord when his ship sank.   The swim to the shore was most difficult as the water was so cold.   He prayed to the Virgin Mary to keep him safe.   He survived, and decided to erected a statue on one of the hills near the fateful spot.   The statue was first planned to be bronze.   However, he found that it was too expensive and would be too heavy to place on the mountain.   A decision was made to use wood.   On removal from the ship to hoist it to the mountain top, it was dropped into the water.   Once again luck prevailed, as the statue floated rather than sink in the 300 feet of water.   Retrieved, it was finally put in place.   To protect it from the elements it is encased with lead.   It is customary that all ships visiting this area play the Ave Maria through the ship speakers.   The music and gorgeous scenery made it very memorable.

The statue is as far as the ships journey up this river.   We turned around and headed back to the St. Lawrence.

Ships do not travel everywhere under the command of the ship's captain.   When traveling in narrow waters or into and from port, the ship is under the command of the Pilot.   A Pilot is a highly skilled person who is capable of directing a ship, no matter its size, through the waters that he is knowledgeable.   They embark and disembark the ships without the ship stopping.   Here is the Canadian authority coming to retrieve the Pilot from our ship.

As we continued toward the east sailing down the St. Lawrence, our sun set in the west.   Halifax, Nova Scotia, is our next port call.


Next Port Call - Halifax