Friday, September 17, 2010

Adventures on the Open Sea

Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale,
A tale of a fateful trip
That started from this tropic port
Aboard this tiny ship.

We were so blown away when dozens of our friends from "the mainland" said they wanted to join us in St. John's for our wedding. That is ONE LONG TRIP from B.C., Alberta and Washington State to St. John's Newfoundland. In fact, it's the furthest you can go from West to East in this fine country of ours.

So it was super important to us to provide every opportunity possible for people to fall in love with Newfoundland. The day after 13 people arrived from all points west, we invited folks to join us on a boat tour that would take us from downtown St. John's, out to Quidi Vidi, and to the most easterly point in North America. Most of these destinations would be available on the bus tour the following day, but we thought it would be great to give folks a chance to see the sights from the water, and to get a taste of the Atlantic Ocean. The sun was blasting, and the winds were high. It promised to be a great day for a boat trip. (Particularly if you'd ingested some gravol prior to pulling up anchor!)

This is where I should 'fess up. I'm a terrible Newfoundlander because I get seasick. Nothing makes me want to heave more than 20 minutes on the North Atlantic. So I showed up with a Transderm patch stuck behind my ear, half a gravol in my gullet, and a packet of gravol for anyone else who was fearful of the side-effects of the sea.

It turns out that Susan, like me, was terrified of the seasickness. So she medicated, and then I shared with her my seafaring mantra: "I am NOT going to be seasick." "I will not throw up." "If I feel woozy, I must move my eyeballs towards the horizon - when in doubt, stare at the horizon." And throughout the voyage, I checked in with her to make sure she was chanting the mantra. Even though it got a bit bumpy out there, the mantra (and the gravol) worked like a charm. Lookit her! She's even smiling!! (she'd be the one in the green sweater.)

We headed out through the narrows,

past the battery. And in case you're wondering what you're looking at, this is a bit of an old school fishing stage where cod fish would be dried and salted for the winter months. The heritage folks have said that folks shouldn't tear history down. Rather, there's been an edict saying that these old relics of a way of life that is no longer, must return to nature of their own accord. I love the landscape, dotted with history....

We puttered around the corner to Quidi Vidi Village.

And then we motored along to Cape Spear, the most easterly point in North America. This is the closest we got to "hitting the open sea". Howie and Dodie held their ground below...

I was most pleased because we were joined by two very old and very dear friends. I've known Kate (or Katie-Jean) since I was 14. That was a few years ago, I can tell you. (she's the redhead). Jennice I've known for ALMOST as long.

And because the three of us have the opportunity to be in the same place together so rarely (let alone, be in the same boat!), there was a lot of this going on.

In fact, the trip was filled with paparazzi. And who could blame us? The sun was shining, the scenery was stunning and it was a glorious day.

One of my favourite moments was when Randy, our tour guide, pointed out a waterfall in a chunk of rock. But, the waterfall had dried up in recent months. So in lieu of the real McCoy, he held up a photo so we could all see what it SHOULD have looked like.

The trip was fairly glorious and people seemed to have a hoot.

And then, before we knew it, it was time to head back in.

We all hooked up later that night for the Haunted Ghost Tour of historic downtown St. John's. This is an ambulatory tour in which you get to wind your way along the streets of old "Sin Jawns", tiptoe into back alleys and meander through the maze-like nooks and crannies of the oldest English settled city in North America.

St. John's is rich with tall tales and it was a perfect cap to the day. Rest up everyone! Because we've got a big bus tour in the morning!! And my cousins have invited you all over for a cocktail party....

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