AmeriCanada 2015

NOTE:  When Sharon adds comments, they will be in {curly brackets}. 

Day 29. Saturday, August 22, 2015. Ferry to Newfoundland!

Our path today is shown below. We start with a six hour ferry ride to Newfoundland, then about a 30 mile drive to our RV park.

Getting ready to leave the RV park, I goof off a little with a couple of kids on an example of something very prevalent in Maritime Canada - enormous chairs. {Why the big chairs? We see them everywhere, in front of stores or cafes mostly}

As we drive the five miles or so from the RV park to the ferry, we pass two fast food places. The first serves chicken, and the one across the street serves desserts to top off your chicken. As you see, the names are quite interesting. Are they competing with each other?

The ferry leaves at 11:45, and we were told to be there 1 hour before sailing, but we want to be there 15 minutes or so before that.

Sharon got a brochure or newspaper, and is looking at what things we might want to see. She is saying "Oldest town in the world, oldest rock, oldest street. How can anybody know that?" She reads more - xxx town has more bars per square mile - that's what she meant to say, but what she says is, "more pubs per square route (pronounced root) than anywhere else.

10:00 am. I have had my shower, and we plan to leave here at 10:15 or 10:30. We wind up leaving at 10:35. This RV park was pretty nice, really level, but too far north to get Dish satellite TV. I understand that Canadians use their own, much farther north satellites for TV, but we're not on their system. We turn south, taking the route that leads directly to the ferry.

We wind around the last bit of highway, then get to the check-in booth. I pull up, give the lady our we've-already-paid info, and she waves us through after we wait for the man who measures our entire rig, front to back. {I guess to know where to put us. It's like a giant Jenga set with each block carefully placed.}. The lady gives me labels to put on our two propane tanks to show that they both are closed. I pull out of the path of anyone behind me, and begin to put the labels on. A guy yells to Nancy, who is outside the truck, that we're gonna miss the boat unless we get down and on the boat. What? We're here an hour early. What's the deal. Others are waving us to get on down. I just toss the tags in by the propane tanks, jump in the driver's seat and hot-tire it down to the entry.

Here's our view, driving in and up to the boat entry point.

We pick up all the stuff in the truck that we want to have with us during the six hour trip. We have access to the reserved seat section, at the rear of the boat, with a great view out the back. We also have access to the rear deck (as does everyone on the boat, I think), from which we have great views of all the activities and sites below.

We slowly withdraw from the dock, and it's fun watching everything we're passing.

Sharon talks with a young couple - the girl is pregnant and the guy has band-aids and scrapes on his face. I asked him what happened and maybe Sharon can remember what he said. {Nope, but an accident I think. They are moving back to Newfoundland to be close to family when the baby is born. They had been living in Montreal.}I get a nice shot of what I think is a Greater Black-backed Gull.

There are lots of trailers below us at the rear of the boat. The weather is great, and lots of people are up here.

We get further out, where Sharon and Nancy are talking about the buildings and landmarks. The orange boat is a lifeboat.

A pair of Northern Gannets fly along beside us. And Sharon demonstrates the stairs back down to our 9th Level.

At 3:30, I estimate that we are about 60 percent of the way, so we should get in at about 5:45. The weather is oveercast, the water is covered with small waves with a few whitecaps. It is comfortable outside, but we are inside, and Sharon is proofreading Trip Report #10, which I just wrote.

We go to dinner, and Sharon and I split southern fried chicken, with a salad, green beans - both white and green ones mixed, a strawberry shortcake thing, and all you can drink root beer, in my case. After dinner, we wander around the boat, which is the MV Blue Puttees.

I love this display of Newfoundland Sayings. By the way, anything having to do with Newfoundland is fondly called "newfie" here. I later by a newfie-sayings book.

As we come back to insert our key to get into the reserved seating section, there are two little boys facing each other, but on opposite sides of the glass door. {The little one is "Charlie", We enjoyed watching him run around followed by Mom or Grandma the whole trip. The section we were in was fully enclosed like an airplane so there was no place he couldn't go. I don't think he slept but he probably did.}

Here are some more photos of our reserved seating.

 

It's foggy as we come into port. {Looks exactly like I imagined Newfoundland.}

The announcement is made that we are requested to go down to our vehicles. We go down, load up and after a time, finally we can see the vehicles ahead of us moving, then our line begins, and we are out.

WE ARE IN NEWFOUNDLAND!

When we left home, I had planned for us to take this ferry over, sleep, get back on the return ferry - all so we could put the Newfoundland and Labrador sticker on our trailer map. But when we were in Canada, parking our trailer on Jerry's friend Ed's farm, Ed's wife asks if we are going to Newfoundland. We said yes, and she says are you going to the oldest settlement in North America? I say, "Where's that?" She says the name of a place, and I just ask where that is, and she, of course, says it's at the far northern-most point on Newfoundland. {It's the site of archeological discovery of a Viking village lived in during their exploration of Greenland, Iceland, and this tip of North America. I would really like to see it and tell Bob so.}

Aaaargh (Later, I rescind this reaction). So I began re-tuning our trip. After the fishing trip, and when we picked up Nancy in Wisconsin, we discussed the situation, and decide to try and see it. I love the way we are loose and can re-adjust our itinerary. {And WE love that he listens to what we would like to see and provides that for us!}

Sharon has read earlier that Newfoundland has its own time zone, and we learn that it is only 30 minutes, not 60 minutes, ahead of the Atlantic Time Zone, which itself is 60 minutes ahead of the Eastern Time Zone of the U.S.

We head for the visitor center, and they help us to make a reservation (well, they let me use their phone to call) for an 11:45 am return trip Tuesday morning. So we will spend three nights on Newfoundland. It's 6 pm.

Back in the truck, headed for our RV park, we keep passing over brooks - McDougald's Brook, Cooper's Brook, then the Little Codroy River.

We make it to our park, talking about the Northern Lights, wondering if we might see them, and here is the office building, after we have checked in and set up in our site. A few guys are tending to their barbecue.

We go for a walk while it's still dark. This octagonal shaped barrel is a common sight on the side of the road, in front of homes.

The picture at right shows a sand bar in a channel, and another visitor tells us that several hours ago, you could walk across to the greenery on the other side of the water. {A preview of the Bay of Fundy experience, that we find happens in many sea side towns.}

Nancy has learned that her son broke his ankle, and has had surgery. The phone coverage here is very, very spotty. First, from one point in the trailer to another might lose your call. Second, stepping from outside to inside the trailer may lose your call. Nancy finally gets a semi-decent connection but can barely hear Clay. This is unknown to me when it's happening. I am outside the trailer, trying to readjust a bracket so the trailer door will close and latch easily. I am hammering and banging while Nancy is trying to hear Clay. Sharon shushes me. She's a sure shusher. I shush. {Nancy finally gets a signal on my phone and she and I are staying stock still so she doesn't lose it and, yes, Bob is just then banging the door closed several times until he realizes the situation. We are like the Keystone Kops at times. (Young people, ask your parents who they were.)}

It seems that Clay hurt his ankle a few days ago on a bike ride, and finally gets it checked it out, to find that it's broken. He will have surgery shortly.

It is softly raining off and on. There is a little thunder too. Nancy and Sharon look out the door, then look at each other and say, "Lightning!"

As we play Rummikub, suddenly it's a little darker in the trailer. We look around, then I notice that the microwave window, usually showing the time or a number of minutes or seconds remaining, is blank. We've lost AC. So we switched to the trailer battery, and without the AC-driven battery charger running, the battery voltage drops a little. Then it gets lighter again. AC is back.

This happens another time or two, but we get used to it. Once, when the light comes back on, Sharon says, "Aurora Bore-lightbulb."

In bed, later, it's an unbelievably warm cozy feeling to hear the rain on the roof, being dry and warm inside, with the electric blanket on low. As Sharon says, "This is camping!"

That's it for today, a momentous day. Good night all.

PS Broken pencils are pointless.

Began: Arm of Gold RV Park, Little Bras d'Or, Nova Scotia
Pass Through: North Sydney, Channel-Port aux Basques
End: Grand Codroy RV Park, Doyles, Newfoundland
Miles Today: 5 on Nova Scotia, 25 on Newfoundland (+ 200 mile ferry)
Miles for Trip: 5684 (doesn't count ferry)


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