Monday, 6 September 2010

Ferry to Newfoundland

3rd/4th September: North Sydney to Dunville, NL

Odometer: 18 km, Start: 10.30pm, Finish: 5.30pm, Avg: 19.0 km/h,
Weather: Dark then foggy during crossing. Sunny in NL, Temp: 16-23°C
Road Conditions: #100 (from Argentia, NL), sometimes had a 1m shoulder.

It felt very strange checking out of the motel at 10.30pm, switching on my bike lights and riding the 2km to the ferry terminal in the dark! At the terminal, I met up with the Tour du Canada crowd. I spoke to Andy, the only Brit on the tour while we waited for about an hour for loading to begin and then waited some more as bikes weren’t being put on first as usually happens.

First sight of Newfoundland

The ferry car deck was only about half full when I took my bike onboard and lashed it to an immovable object for the voyage. It seemed unlikely that this would be the normal state of affairs on a Labour Day holiday weekend so I presume many people had cancelled their travel plans because of the incoming storm.

We sailed at 1.00am, on time. The crossing was actually pretty smooth and it wasn’t affected by Hurricane Earl in any way. I couldn’t see anything at all on the way across. At first it was dark and then during the day we steamed continuously through fog with the ship’s horn sounding every few minutes.

Closer view of the two rounded islands

It wasn’t until we got into Placentia Sound that the fog cleared and nice views of Newfoundland’s coastline greeted us, causing a mass exodus from the ship’s interior to the sun decks.

Ship wake in Placentia Sound

It took very little time after that to dock and unload the ship. On Newfoundland the clocks have gone forward again by a strange 0.5hrs. I’m only 3.5hrs behind UK time now!

I was soon on my way from the port and in my tenth and final province! I only had a very short ride to do, but I didn’t feel good. I was decidedly groggy after 14 hours of disorientation caused by the continuous vibration of the ship’s engines and the rocking motion on the water.

I'm on Newfoundland!

Hopefully I will have recovered enough by the morning. I’m only about 130km from St. John’s by the direct route. I’ll probably try to do it in one go and that means I could complete my cycle across Canada tomorrow!

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