Sunday, August 15, 2010

Ham Radio - British Sports Cars - XO - Beautiful Women - Music in St. John's

I started the morning by taking a cab to Avalon Mall, St. John's big shopping mall, to meet many of the Newfoundland Ham Radio operators that have been supporting me and tracking my course across the Maritimes. We had coffee and great conversation and I was offered a ride back to Reboot. There was some laughter about my ability to fit in the car, and it was not until I got out into the parking lot that I understood.
Graham, my host, had driven his 1969 Lotus Super 7 sports car to coffee. This is a classic British sports car. Think Emma Peale in "The Avengers." I climbed in and wiggled my butt down into the very form fitting seat, attached the 5 point racing safety harness and we were off. Graham fired up the engine with its open exhaust and every head in the parking lot turned. Off we went to purchase coffee and drive me back to the boat. Of course, given that it was sunny, 75 degrees, and about as beautiful a Newfoundland day one could ask for the coffee run quickly converted into driving around St. John's to show me the sights. Everywhere we went people just smiled and waved. It was great fun.  BTW - Graham's is red!

Part of our trip was to Signal Hill where Marconni received the first Transatlantic radio signal in the beginning of the 20th century. An appropriate stop for two guys with a long history of high frequency radio.
We eventually did buy coffee and headed back to Reboot. Graham joined me for a beverage and we let XO sit up in the sunlight with us. Just a minute or two after Graham left two pretty young ladies showed up and asked if they could come aboard to see XO. Boat, sports car, kitten - the trinity of chic magnets. Of course I said yes and we had a pleasant conversation. One is finishing her PhD in marine sciences, the second is an actress home for a visit before going back to her traveling company.
I eventually headed up to George Street for dinner. As I was strolling and listening I was once again struck by the fact that the performers actually had beautiful singing voices. So much of what passes for modern music is sung by people who can not carry a tune. This part of Newfoundland has a strong Irish heritage, in fact the peninsula down to Cape Race is called the "Irish Loop." For whatever reason, and much to my delight, St. John's is a center for music and the arts. It seems that just about everyone plays some instrument or sings or dances or all three. Every restaurant/bar has live music, usually starting in the late afternoon and continuing late into the night. It is not unusual to hear three different groups in one place over the course of the evening. I am discovering the truth in what other cruisers have written, Newfoundland is not a place to miss.

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