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Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Ferry Crossing…Local Talk…The Best!

Thursday July 17, 2014
For the first time, I made reservations for the 3:30 pm sailing across to St Barbe. It was now 6 am, dense fog, drizzling and I was ready to hit the road. There was an earlier ferry, I would gamble and try to make the 9:30  am sailing. Maybe I would loose a $10 dollar deposit, but that would be better than hanging around
Drizzling wait to board the ferry
and peering into the fog. The ride back from our roadside campsite to Blanc Sablon was slow going due to the dense fog and drizzle. I didn't want to run into another oncoming vehicle or for that matter a moose.

We arrived at the ferry terminal and where sixth in line for standby. Surprisingly, the ticket agent credited our deposit and or total cost was only $19.95.
When you are on standby, you sit in a waiting room with everybody else and wait. This is where I enjoyed the wait. You see most of the people are locals and know each other. I listened and picked up some of the conversations. They, the locals, talk low and in a drawl, but listening very carefully, I could follow their conversation. Many of them
Not a good photo, but a view of hundreds
of Lobster traps waiting for the next season!
were construction workers and old timers. They were scattered in Labrador from many construction projects, from road construction, to power  transmission line work. One of the conversation that caught my ear was that of a guy saying to another. “I saw one of your wolves.” The other said, “What do you mean?” “Remember those wolf pups that you were feeding? They are grown up now. One of them was within 15 feet of the welding gang. They hollered at him, but he wasn't skittish at all. I figured he might have been one of yours.”
Rain most of the way to Deer Lake! 
Stories like that were being told among the local standby passengers. Another guy was retelling how he left Quebec city early morning and by 9:30 at night he was already in Churchill Falls, Labrador. The other guy said, “very good time”. When we tried that route last year it took us two days just to get half that distance. He must have been flying!

The ticket agent said, “I want the first six numbers.” That was an indication that the first six would make the ferry. We were number six!
The ferry crossing was uneventful. No extra conversations with passengers except for a couple who were in their wet weather gear, which also carried a humongous spotting scope. They spent the entire crossing outside of the ferry in the rain. They were looking for Whales, Dolphins and Sea Birds. Yes, they did spot some. They spoke with a French Canadian accent. We answered them in French and they were surprised. Montreal natives they were. They didn't even bring their vehicle across. They were just walk-on passengers. When you think about it $6 a piece is very reasonable for a whale watch! Tourist pay as high as $200 for a private whale watch.
Upon reaching the shores of St Barbe, I headed for the gas station as the price of gas on the Quebec side was very expensive because of their taxes.
Lunch was on the Newfoundland side in the camper. It was pouring rain and a good day to head towards Deer Lake. We did see one accident on the way down. A vehicle rollover, but by the time we arrived the ambulances were gone and the police were just wrapping things up. In Deer Lake, the sun broke through the clouds and it turned to be a mild end of the day. We looked around for a parking spot for the night. The Canadian Legion parking lot was a possibility, but the highway was just yards away and the traffic was noisy. We settled on a large truck stop, but it was set back from the highway. There was a local campground just a mile up the road, but why would you want to pay good money to get the same amenities at the truck stop!

That is what we did and saw!

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