Friday, September 18, 2009

The Land God Gave to Cain

5 July, 2009-Day 4

Late evening last eve. Back to ship from Red Bay 7:45 p.m., dinner 8 or 8:15, meeting at 10, conked out at 11:30 without meditating or flossing.

Addition on 23 Sept.: Someone mentioned that the Americans had not made much of Independence Day yesterday. Didn't even occur to me. I was too busy getting on board the Zodiacs, getting around, stretching to relieve my pain, and taking pix of LaM and Red Bay. You could say we were celebrating Independence Day by pouring ourselves into something that really interested us. Just saying, for myself.

Battle Harbor.
Building at Battle Harbor

Light rain, then rather hard. "Battle Harbor" is an English bastardization of the French, which means “boat harbor.” BH is the only remaining outport of Newfoundland/Labrador that is authentic and that hasn’t been touched by industrialization of cod fishing or groundfish fishing.

Battle Harbor from Reception Center

Has been deserted since 1966, when govt resettlement was complete. Govt re-settled people in communities all over Newfoundland and Labrador, because it said it couldn’t provide hospitals, schools, post offices for the communities that were re-settled. Our Newfoundland Wildlands tourguide told us before the cruise that some communities were so small that there was considerable intermarriage. As in the south, many people took their houses with them, either in pieces or by floating them to another un-re-settled settlement. [Fascinating pic of a house floating, but I didn't get it.]

Stained glass windows of St. James Church, Battle Harbor

Mournful song in St. James Anglican Church at BH about abandoning the old communities. I loved the stained glass windows, which bring together the Trinity, the cross, sailing, waves,
and nets.

Store provided salt for cod, wouldn’t provide salt, if fisherman sold his cod to another buyer, so people were locked into the store. Cod particularly
. . .

Additional comment 18 Sept., 2009--This
was the first time that we got to enjoy other voyagers' talents as part of a visit to a site on shore. Peter and Hannie played the organ, Peter and Benoit played the guitar.

Hannie playing "What a Friend We Have in Jesus"

Mike, if I remember his name correctly, was our host from BH. He sang a couple of songs, including "The Land God Gave to Cain," the words of which can be found at the following URL:, accessed 22 Sept., search words, "Land God Gave to Cain."

Mike (?) telling about re-settlement, closing of the fisheries

Peter at the organ, Benoit on guitar

During the Newfoundland Wildlands tour before the cruise, the tour guide on O'Brien's whaling and birding boat sang a similarly heart-rending ballad about fishermen being wrenched from their work and transplanted to the oil fields of Alberta.

Some years ago, someone left the door open in the church in winter. The sanctuary filled with snow and eventually the building collapsed. The people decided to rebuild the church, and they insisted "don't touch the organ." So the re-builders had to work around the organ as they replaced the floor, sanded and finished the floor, repaired and painted the walls, etc. Peter and Hannie remarked that the organ sounded very good for all it had been through.

As we sailed from BH, Benoit showed his video of his bicycle ride from Paris back to Montreal (?) via Siberia and Alaska. I didn't blog about his video, but put a bit in my personal journal about turning deficits and difficulties into something that contributes.

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