Tuesday, 19 August 2008

On the ferry crossing

Yes, this entry is arguably out of sequence, but I had to write about my great day yesterday, and didn't want to waste time writing about the ferry. Not the end of the world.

Getting on the ferry involved waiting around for a fair bit in the sun while Leif Eriksson was first unloaded. At first, I chatted with motorcyclist who was a trip that had taken him and his terrier (yorkie type) all around the coastline of the continental U.S.. I joked that it would be rather hard to do the same for Canada. A little while later, another cyclist showed up, namely an Israeli on a CCM bike wearing a huge backpack. From talking with him, I gathered that his deal was more being a backpacker with a bike, than true cycle-touring. When our paths crossed again as we were untying our bikes at the end of the crossing, he told me that he had cadged a lift from someone during the crossing.

On the whole, I think the crossing was pretty unremarkable. That almost makes it remarkable. It was quite sunny and warm at first, so I lay on a bench on the deck and suntanned for a stretch. I was half tempted to go to the bar and order a boat drink!

Later in the trip, I saw at least one whale. I had been reading the shade, when I happened to look out to sea. There I saw a whale blow. I jumped up and ran to rail, in time to see a second blow. Unfortunately, that was all I saw. Whether this was one whale blowing twice or two separate whales, I cannot swear to. Nor can I swear to the species. My pet theory is that it (or they) was (were) large rorqual type whales, likely fin or blue whales. This is based on the fact that the blows were fairly substantial (suggesting a large whale) and that I didn't see a back breaking the surface, thereby likely excluding humpbacks or sperm whales. Then again, it could have been minke whales closer than I thought.

It eventually became foggy, and it was in the fog that we made Port-aux-Basques. The town seems almost stereotypically Newfoundland with houses clinging to the rocky shore. Why someone hasn't built a subdivision a bit inland where it is flatter is a question for the philosophers or possibly the human geographers.

In any case, I should be off. Today will be a relatively short and easy day to Deer Lake.

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