Monday, June 23 (On the ferry):
We got in line just before midnight. Joe decided to sleep in his reclining passenger seat with his feet on the dash. He got about 3 hours before traffic started coming in and woke him. Sue was going to sleep in her recliner, but finally lay down on the bed and slept an hour or so. They came by at 4AM for our boarding passes and about 5AM to tell us to get ready for boarding. We drove on about 5:30 and they got off a bit after 6. Fortunately, the weather was calm and the seas smooth, so Sue didn't get sick. The bow of the ferry swung up to allow us to drive on from the front. (See "Ferry.jpg"). In Argentia they parked stern first so we could drive off the rear. We both got a little sleep, in chairs, but were completely beat by the time we arrived at 8:30PM Argentia time, so we went out as far as a welcome center and spent the night in their parking lot for a good nights sleep.
Tuesday, June 24 (Argentia, NFLD):
We drove back to the old Navy base area, but there is little left of the base as we knew it. We thought the base was closed many years ago, but they said at the visitor center, it was just returned to Canada in 1994. We found it amazing that the US gave back a complete Naval station with airfield, docks, buildings, medical facilities, a chapel, hundreds of housing units, clubs, a 10 story BOQ building with elevators, dining facility and bowling alley, hobby shops, repair shops, etc., and the Newfoundlanders have demolished the whole thing, to where nothing is recognizable, in just 10 years. They built a dock for the ferry and a few new buildings, for industrial use. A few of the old buildings are still here and some are being used, but there was very little activity around and, judging by the cars and people we saw, there were not 50 people in the whole area where the old base was. They said the BOQ building was imploded just 2 years ago, but nobody seemed to have a clue as to WHY. The lady at the Visitor Center said she heard the buildings were all destroyed because they didn't meet Canadian building codes, but that sounds far fetched to us. Some of the old streets were still there and we drove up on the hill and found where we THINK our apartment building MIGHT have been. When we turned into the old housing area, we saw a bull moose near the road, with antlers in velvet. As Joe was making his picture, a female came out of the woods and joined him. See "Argentia.jpg". They didn't seem bothered by us. We found a big grassy, open area where the BOQ MIGHT have been but since NOTHING looked familiar, except some of the terrain, it was hard to tell where anything had been. Even the terrain is changing, since the biggest industry (after the ferry) looked to be Epoch Rock Co., which is excavating the whole area. Part of the old runways are still there but have grass growing up through them. The welcome center has displays, maps and mock ups of the area during WWII and shortly after, but those had little we could recognize from the time we were here in the 60s. We drove into Freshwater, where we lived while waiting for base housing. They said Mr. Murphy, who we rented from, had been dead for several years and his store had burned a couple of years ago. We talked to someone who knew Mary King, our neighbor, and he told us she was in a nursing home in Placentia, and her daughter, Aggie, who used to baby sit our kids, was in Ontario. We went to Placentia and ate lunch, then looked up Mrs. King at the nursing home. We don't think she knew us but seemed to enjoy our visit and let Joe take her picture with Sue. We stopped at Castle Hill, an old fort held at different times by the French and British and learned that the French flag in the 1700s was solid white. That is history but might be joke material, as well. From the fort, we had a great view of Placentia, and Palcentia Bay. See " Fort.jpg ". We have a good cell phone signal but they won't accept our calls. Our phones may prove to be useless in Newfoundland. We don't know when we can send email, again. We spent another night in the Visitor Center parking lot.
Wednesday, June 25 (Placentia, NFLD):
The low this AM was 31 F. We don't remember having freezing weather this late in June when we lived here. We moved the M/H to a parking lot in Placentia, and drove to Cape St. Mary's, where there is a bird sanctuary and nesting area. The drive along the coast was nice, with steep rocky cliffs, a very rugged coastline and small fishing villages. There are 1000s of sea birds who nest there every spring. We saw a video about the area and different kinds of seabirds. The road we traveled did not exist when we lived here 40 years ago and the villages along it were only accessible by boat.
We passed cattle farms, a sheep farm, docks with fishing boats and an animal we thought was a baby caribou. See "StMary.jpg".
Thursday, June 26 (Pippy's Park, St. John's, NFLD):
Joe got up this AM and went to the ferry landing to make a picture of the ferry. It got in at 7AM. He got a picture of it loading (this time from the rear), and sailing out into the fog at 9AM. It was really foggy this morning. Some things about Argentia, such as the fog bank, are still the same. When he got back, we hooked up the car and drove to St. John's. We left the M/H in a WalMart and drove around in the car. There are Wendy's, Burger King, KFC and Dairy Queen here, so we stopped at Wendy's for a spicy chicken combo. We also have a useable phone signal here, so are back in contact with the rest of the world. We found a large park with campground, water and electric and a place to do email, so went back to WalMart and got the M/H. Joe will try to send this, tonight.
Joe & Nancy Sue, On the Road, Pippy's Park, St. John's, Newfoundland
On the Road # 30, 2003 - Nova Scotia/Newfoundland Ferry,
Argentia, Placentia and Cape St. Mary's, NFLD