Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Port aux Basque, Newfoundland, Canada

I made it to Newfoundland. I am currently on the Southwest coast in Port aux Basque. This is the ferry terminal for the run from Sydney so I got to watch the ferries avoid me all night long. At least up until the last few minutes. At that point in inbound ferry was standing off waiting for the outbound ferry. Needless to say I waited for them both to clear the channel before proceeding in.

Port aux Basque has VTS, that is,Vessel Traffic Services. At 5 miles out I reported in. From that point on not only did they give me traffic advisories but they warned the other traffic of my presence. Not a bad deal.

I was greeted by a local man who waved me into the dock and then helped me with my lines. One problem with coming into new ports is you are never exactly sure where you can tie up. I have learned to tie up and then ask questions since driving around rarely helps one figure out where to go. It took me a minute to realize that my helper was carrying his oxygen bottle around with him. He told me he greets all of the inbound boats. Very cool.

I checked in with the Harbor Master who informed me that my arrival was anticipated and the entire town was throwing a festival in my honor. The beer tent is less than 100 yards away, and the bandstand about 1/4 mile. (Actually I made that up. This is "homecoming" for people who have left Newfoundland. They travel back to visit and the town holds a festival for them.)

The accents here are different than in Nova Scotia and I am having difficulty getting used to them. I wonder if they will change when I get over to the east side of the island.

The weather forecasts here are not very good. I was warned but did not fully appreciate just how much local conditions could vary from the forecast. Last night the forecast was for wind from the South at 15 to 20 knots. I got wind from the nowhere at 0 to 5 knots until I got to Port aux Basque. Then of course it blew at 20 toward the rocky shore I had to get around to get into the port.

Off to explore and find out when the beer tent opens. XO is sleeping off a long night standing watch!

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