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Subject: St. Pierre and Miquelon Traveloge
We had a little concern about the small people ferry to St. Pierre as we were visiting with a young man from Alberta in the CG and he had been to St. Pierre that day and going over nearly everyone got sick! Edith and I have never had a problem but that got us wondering a bit. Anyway we got our two boxes, blue tub, two flag poles, bag, back pack and two other pieces of mounting hardward and our antenna bag down on the dock at 7 am and then I took the F-350 back to the CG. I had to convince the shuttle van that I had lost my ticket as we could not find it and never did find it. When I told him we were the hams that had all the stuff he remembered us fromt he office so I was OK. The trip over was fine and it was amazing the amount of French. It seems a lot of people from Quebec go and a lot of people from France come to visit. We got to St. Pierre and gave French customs our list and they never even looked at the stuff. A ham I know of works in the same building so they knew all about ham radio and there have been other hams go there as well. They even looked the stuff in the customs room for us while we toured St. Pierre and waited for the 6:30 pm fast ferry to Miquelon.
St. Pierre is truely French, very little English spoken. They have great pastry, seen lots of interesting prohibition pictures, Al Capon did all his liquor trade out of here and seen where he stayed, etc. We toured the cemetery got some tee shirts and walked all over. I hiked clear up above town where a statue over looks the town. They had free entertainment in De Gaul square which was nice. It was a magic show.
At 6:30 we were on the fast ferry to Miquelon. Boy it has power! Christina from the hotel met us at the boat and we filled her little van. Boy that was nice as it is about a mile to the hotel! She speaks perfect English and was so helpful to Edith and I. Edith found out where to hunt for sea shells from her and really got some nice ones and also where to get things in town!
We had a great radio operation, making 1276 contacts. I was amazed at the number of people calling us as I did not think so many would want a contact with Miquelon!!! Another couple was there operating amateur radio as well so we worked out a schedule and it turned out fine. We had a nice time visiting with them. Miquelon village is clear to the north island and to the south is Langalade where people just live in the summer and clear to the south is St. Pierre which is a much smaller island.
About 65% of the people work for the government. They must get paid pretty well as things looked nice. Many of them have summer homes and there are lots of cars. France spends a lot of money to make things good on the islands and things are subsidized. The police and fire people serve a 3 year tour of duty here from France.
There is only grade school on Miquelon, they go to high school in St. Pierre. College is in France or another country. Most go to France as I believe they said it was paid for by the government. Lots of flowers planted every where. The islands have just a few scrub evergreen but are mostly hilly and rocky. The fishing industry used to be the big thing but now it is government jobs and tourists. People were friendly and polite and we had a good time. I would definitely recomment you go there if you get a chance.
Ed and Edith
[MID: 1459_W0SD Sent Via: W9GSS Date: 2002/08/03 00:48:54]