July 24, 2006

Charlottetown, PEI to Port au Basque, NF

We were up at 7:00 a.m. AT. We enjoyed a lovely continental breakfast in the lobby of the inn. The hovering waitstaff was almost too prompt to pick up a dish or spoon, but we went with the flow. We got packed and ready to ride the short distance to catch the ferry back to Nova Scotia. It was raining so we thought we might have to alter our plans to ride the Cabot Trial. The ferry was on time and we board. Rain, rain go away. The rain did not go away so we skipped the Cabot Trail and rode to the North Sidney ferry landing. Once again, the GPS did not show rain, so it was pretty obvious the service was not working here. We were on standby for the 3:30 p.m. ferry with reservations for the overnight trip if we didn't make it on this boarding. They didn't let us board until we sat in line for 45 minutes but finally we did get onboard. We enjoyed the band; a couple of Larry-the-Cable-Guy type knuckleheads who sang only songs about Newfoundland, like one called, "Half an Hour Behind", which was in reference to the Newfoundland time zone being 1/2 hour different from Atlantic Time. They also told God-awful joke stories and convinced a few passengers to buy their CDs. We had some shipboard food for dinner.

The ferry ride was about 125 miles and took 6 hours; the same amount of time the 250 mile Cat ferry ride took to go twice the distance. We didn't dock until 10:00 or 11:00 p.m. NT (Newfoundland Time). Our room was about 1 kilometer from the dock. The restaurant was closed when we get to the inn, but the bar is open. Good thing we had something to eat on the boat.

Our first daylight view of Newfoundland.
There was one other couple in the bar besides us. The bartender was also the desk clerk. Once we got her attention, she asked some peculiar questions about how to serve a glass of Vodka Rocks; like, "What kind of glass do you want?", and, "Do you want ice in the glass?" (Maybe they don't get out much around here.) The other couple told us stories about how they had just sold their house in California and had no real home address. How they had bought a Summer house in Newfoundland a few years earlier and were heading there to spend a couple of months while they decided where to buy their Winter house in the States. He was retired and she was just about to retire. Must be nice. We shared email addresses.

We also learned about getting "screeched in". It's a Newfoundland thing centered around the locally produced "Famous Newfoundland Screech Rum" that involves kissing a dried salted codfish while wearing a fisherman's raincoat, drinking a shot of Screech Rum, and other pranks. Between the bartender and the other couple there was some disagreement on what the other pranks were. You can read more about Screech Rum at www.screechrum.com

Miles Traveled: 198
Getting "Screeched in"

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