Swaying to the beat of a Newfie Drummer.

Trip Start Jul 22, 2009
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
Grand Codroy RV/Tent Camping Park

Flag of Canada  , Newfoundland and Labrador,
Thursday, August 27, 2009

What could be one of the worse travel days of all my traveling...or not!

Ferry is scheduled to leave at 11h30. HAVE to be checked in an hour and a half before. Show up just before 10 am.

Problem #1. Pre-purchased ticket says truck and trailer length is 40 feet (that's what I was charged for last year when I went to Vancouver Island. I didn't re-measure my total length before purchasing the ticket online). Nope...43 feet...owe another 50 bucks. Get in line, park and go for a walk to Tim Horton's.

11h30 announcement...departure will be delayed until 1h15 with boarding commencing at 12h30.

Go for a walk around town. Hang out in trailer and have lunch. Call the campground in Newfoundland to make a reservation.

12h45 start boarding. I'm directed to the top deck but am stopped just before the ship. They direct about a couple dozen cars and quite a few motorcycles to pass first. I look in my rearview mirror at the line-up ( people who arrived after me) and there are none with the exception of a semi truck carrying a front end loader on a low-bed trailer.

I'm FINALLY directed to the second row on the right...next to the motorcycles (this is just inside the doorway).

Problem #2. I'm not close enough to the motorcycles. They didn't give me much room to swing over into the lane they want me in. The trailer is too far into the center lane (by about 6 inches). They want me to back up and try again. This time I'm barely inches from the guys on their motorcycles watching their toes so that I don't knock their bikes over and a pick up truck who's mirror I must have missed by millimetres.

I'm parked and the semi is coming in. I quickly grab my back-pack from the backseat with my laptop and a book (stuff to do on the 6 hour crossing) and head to the passenger deck.

Problem #3. The ship is freezing. In my hurry to get out of the way of the semi I left my jacket on the backseat of the truck. No way to retrieve it as the ship is underway.

The first part of the crossing is going well. Sea is fairly calm. The sun is out and shining through the dining room windows. I can stay a little warm. Sitting at one of the dining room tables next to me is this girl of 5 or 6 who is quite rambunctious and seems to be on the ship with her grand-parents. Her grand-father gets her some chicken fingers for supper. The kid doesn't sit still when she's eating. Climbs onto the window ledge to eat. Jumps from chair to chair. When they're done eating they leave.

A few minutes later one of the dining room staff comes by to pick up the leftovers and trays. I watch as she starts cleaning the table. I notice a look of disgust on her face. Then I start chatting with Jessica. She states she's never seen a table and area so dirty. Pieces of chicken and dipping sauce all over the window ledge and on the chairs.

I go wander around the ship for a while. The waves are getting higher and the ship is rocking...really rocking...I mean....really really ROCKIN'. Oh right! I'm in the lounge now and they're playing some live music, but the ship was also swaying quite a bit from the waves.

Problem # 4. I'm not feeling so well. Not quite seasick but not 100%. A little chilled. Head back to the dining room. Sun's gone. No heat. Brrrr!

In the dining room I meet Professor Slawinski and his wife. He notices my Royal Military College Dad t-shirt. He says he almost taught there. He teaches at Princeton. Physics. Has taught at the University of Calgary. Is teaching at Memorial University in Saint John's. Has taught at Berkely and numerous other institutions. His parents live in Calgary and teach/taught at the University there. His wife isn't doing so well. She's feeling worse then I am from the rockin'.

Problem #5. Announcement. Ship will be delayed a half hour as they can't get a berth in Port aux Basques. It's already quite dark out. The original 6 PM arrival is now after 10 PM.

The Professor and I continue chatting about Universities, travels and various other subjects. He and his wife are going hiking in the Gros Mornes National Park and will be in Saint John's next week. They have a place there and he invites me to meet up with them so that we can continue our chat. We exchange cards.

Finally off the ferry. Campground is a half hour drive. The wind is howling. Get to the campground at the same time as a half dozen other vehicles that were on the ferry. It starts raining and it's cold out. I get my spot. Drive to it and and I have to back in.

Problem #6. I can't see a thing. My mirrors are dripping wet. It's pitch black out. There are no back-up lights on the trailer. I get out and check behind the trailer. Not much there to hit but there's an incline off to the sides. The power and water connections are quite far back. It's a deep site with a dog-leg to the left. Not much to use as a reference when backing in. This will be fun.

After 5 or 6 tries I'm close enough to the power to plug in but too far from the water and sewer. I give up...time to go in and warm up. Turn the furnace on full blast. Then off to bed.

Now this was a good travel day!  (said sarcastically)

Probably not my worse travel day...but definitely in the top 10.
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