Thursday, August 3, 2017

St John's, Newfoundland

The entrance to St John’s harbour is called The Narrows for a reason.  If you have more than one cargo ship going through the channel at a time, things can get tight.  So we called St John’s traffic and advised them we would be entering and we were cleared to go ahead.  There was no anchoring available in the harbour and within the last couple years, they have removed the docks that small private vessels would tie to so we asked where we should dock.  They suggested a pier, we confirmed and headed that way.  As soon as we tied up, we had the harbour master and customs descend on us like flies on honey.  No, we could not tie up there and have we checked in – while they were talking to us in person, we were being hailed on the vhf to move to another spot.  So, just for clarity, they said we could tie up anywhere, but just not there.  

So we moved…but there was no other open wharf space, so we tied up to “Scademia”, who was tied to “Lucky Buoy”.  Getting on and off Terrapin would require walking across three boats so I was skeptical how all this would work with Kala, but we didn’t have another choice.  Getting Kala on and off the boat turned out to not be too difficult – she’s a smart girl and we ducked and jumped over gates and on and off each boat.  It was more like doggie adventure than anything too hard.  We  left the pier and headed to check out the town.  We were ready for our fish and chips…but it was only 10:30, so we took Kala on a long walk and then tried again at noon.  

As we were eating lunch, we received a message that our friends Al and Tess on Ingomar, who we met through the Salty Dawg Rally last year and whom we climbed Mt Pele volcano in St Pierre, Martinique in February – the Al and Tess who were from Newfoundland, would be arriving in an hour.  We told them to feel free to tie up to Terrapin and we would see them when they arrived.

As Dan went off to make calls, check email, and all things ashore, Baxter and I caught up with Al and Tess on what’s been going on for the last 6 months.  Dan then received an invitation from the Canadian Navy ‘s “St John’s” to celebrate with them (yes, all of them from that boat) as they just finished a tour across the Atlantic and it was the first time they were back in Canada after seven months.  On the more tame side of things, Baxter and I had a great dinner with Al and Tess and talked about all fun things sailing and Newfoundland related.  It was great to have an insider’s perspective and we were super excited to experience Newfoundland – but a little sleep would definitely be in order.
You can tie up anywhere - just not here
So we tied to Scademia (blue boat) that was tied to Lucky Buoy in front of the cargo ships.
Terrapin is the prettiest of all
Al and Tess - 5 months after we last left them in St Anne, Martinique - tied up to Terrapin in St John's Newfoundland.
Welcome to St John's!
They even make their stair cases look nice!  St John's and Labrador is the Canadian province (map in the middle)
Hopping across boats to get back aboard Terrapin
Valiant (which sank off the coast of Iceland a few days ago) on far right tied to Ingomar (Al and Tess) tied to Terrapin tied to Scademia tied to Lucky Buoy
A warning sign for falling ICE - yeah, it gets cold here in the winter
Walking the streets of St John's
St John's Anglican Church

The city's namesake church
The local seagull was pretty friendly - just like all the Newfoundlanders we met.

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