Wow, what a weekend!

Wow! What a weekend – a better time could not be had!

It all started out at my 80th birthday party late last fall. My nephew, who attended, mentioned that he would be going to Sarnia for a visit for a few days in the spring, and he suggested that if I stick a thumb up he would take me along for the ride. In the words of another’s coining, “he made me an offer I couldn’t refuse.”

Then along about the midweek of April an electrical storm flashed, banged and slammed through our area, knocking out about two thirds of all phones. I, not being commercial and obviously not on the top of the repair list, had to wait beyond six weeks for the repairman to show up.

But he did, late on a Sunday afternoon. He repaired the box on the outside of the house, and on checking my phone, found it unrepairable. Another week passed before I was able to pick up another phone.

Thinking I must have missed my nephew’s call while the phone was out, I called him. “No!” was his reply, “I should have called you; I’ve been in the hospital, but I’m up and running and I’ll be ready to go shortly.”

On preliminary discussion it was suggested that we arrive there on my sister’s birthday, which was Aug. 27, and that we did.

Their home is situated on a high bank bordering a sandy beach overlooking Lake St. Clair. You could hear the lapping of the waves from their extended back door deck. You could see the curvature of the earth as the big coming and going cargo ships appeared and disappeared. The “lakers” are 100 or more feet longer than the “salties” which ply the oceans.

Saturday found us boarding the cruise ship Duc d’ Orleans II, which is anchored at Sarnia’s Centennial Park, for a two hour cruise down the St. Clair river turning to flank Stag Island on the way back.

While cruising we munched a magnificent help-yourself free choice lunch, while the humorous captain and owner of the ship narrated all the places of interest as we passed.

In the captain’s words I’ll explain the ship to you.

“That pointy thing out front we call it the bow. If you’re standing facing that pointy thing the side to your left is the port, while the side to your right is the starboard. If you turn around and look back to the area where you toss feed to the sea gulls, that’s what we call, for whatever reason, the stern.”

Then he went on to tell us where the self-inflating lifeboats were stored, where the life jackets were and he added the comment that, “some of them are over the kitchen area, and it might be a worthwhile idea to grab a sandwich, sausage or hamburger as you jump overboard.”

Let me assure you, if you are ever in the Sarnia area, it is a fun, educational, and enjoyable cruise to embark on. As well the price was right.

Take care, ‘cause we care.




Barrie Hopkins