While visiting my location can be seen on Findu

Saturday, July 21st 21C overcast

We left for the airport at 15:00 so we had plenty of time for checking in as today is a very busy day for Brussels airport. The BMI Embrear 145 took off after a 10 minute delay and when we got close to Heathrow we were told that we would have to circle a while before we could land. It took three ‘tours of London’ before we finally touched down. A short bus ride took us from T1 to T3 where we had to wait for our Air Canada Airbus 319. Once again there was a short delay for taking off. We made it to St. john’s Airport just 8 minutes late. After immigration and customs we picked up our rental car and drove to the nearby hotel.

Sunday, July 22nd 22C sunny morning / afternoon showers

After breakfast we went to Signal Hill. This is a historic site where the first transatlantic signal was received. The letter ‘S’ (three ‘dots’) where send from Pholdu in the UK and received here. Unfortunately there were no operators present at the amateur radio station VO1AA. I did leave one of my QSL cards for them. At 11.00 we watched the Tattoo and firing of old rifles and a cannon. From Signal Hill we looked down on the first lighthouse that was build in Newfoundland at the opposite side of the entrance to St. John’s harbor. Cape Spear, at the other side of the city sports not only another lighthouse but is also the most easterly point of North America. As we left here it started to rain and so we went back to Signal Hill where we visited the Geocenter. There was an exhibition of the Titanic and displays on oil drilling and geology.

Monday, July 23rd 26C sunny

We left St. John’s for Bay Bulls where we booked a Zodiac whale watching tour at 10. We first had to get special warm waterproof suits and then boarded the small Zodiac. First we followed the coastline to watch birds and a few caves, then it was on to the open ocean to look for whales. After only 10 minutes we saw the spray of a whale in the distance and while heading that way we spotted 3 Minky whales too. After a while we were able to stay with the whale and see him dive flipping his tail out of the water. We then started to head back and spotted another one. This time the skipper stopped the boat completely. The whale then began to swim closer to us and in the end even swam right underneath us. By then our time was up and we had to return to the docks. We continued our trip along the lighthouse route to Cape Race. At this location the SOS from the Titanic was first received and action taken. Here too there is an Amateur Radio Station, but as on Signal Hill, none of the local hams was around. We took the tour of the lighthouse, up the stairs and even inside the light itself. It’s a strange view through the Fresnel lens looking out. Continuing from here we drove through caribou territory. It seems there are herds roaming the area but we saw none. It was around 18:30 when we arrived at our B&B in Mount Carmel.

Tuesday, July 24th 27C sunny

We left a 9:00 for Bonavista where we visited the Ryan Premises, a collection of buildings with artifacts of the old fishing days and the history of seal hunting. A short drive away is the historical Bonavista lighthouse and museum. The lighthouse building is restored with furniture of the 19th century and give a good idea of life in that era. Nearby is Dungeon Provincial park with coastal rocks and a collapsed arc. We moved further south to find our accommodation in Trinity.

Wednesday, July 25th 26C sunny with cloudy periods

Our main objective today is Terra Nova National Park. This year the park celebrates it’s 50th anniversary. We walked a few trails and went to look for a hidden geocache. We continued north to Gander where we went to the Aviation Museum where we found newspaper clippings from a Sabena DC4 that crashed near the city in 1946. After we checked in to the hotel across the road we tried to go plane spotting at the airport... no such luck, there were no planes to be seen except a small Cessna.

Thursday, July 26th 16C rain in the morning, 23C sun and clouds in the afternoon

From Gander it’s 120 Km to Twillingate. We drove as close to the coast as possible and saw a few icebergs. A few kilometers further we found the Long Point Lighthouse from where we again had a viewof the icebergs and some whales. We found three geocaches nearby and then, after a late lunch, we rook a boat trip that took us very close to one of the icebergs. This one was huge at 40 meter above the water (90% is below the water).After all this we headed back to Gander.

Friday, July 27th 33C sunny

We got up and saw only light fog outside, teperature was about 14. Around 10 we took the Trans Canada Highway west We stopped in Grand Falls Windsor at the Salmonid center to view the salmon jump upstream. After some shopping we continued to Deer Lake where we wanted to visit the Insectarium. There is a greenhouse with all kinds of different butterflies here as wel as an exhibition of insects from all over the world and a few cases with live tarantula. The last part of our drive brought us to Gros Morne National Park where we moved in to our accomodation for the next two nights.

Saturday, July 28th 27C sunny

We got up early as we had booked a boat trip on the Western Brook Pond. We had a 30 minute drive ahead of us and from the parking lot it was a 1 hour walk to the boat launch. The view from the boat was spectacular as it looked a lot like the fjords in Norway. The afternoon we spend on a few geocaches and preparing our luggage for the following day.

Sunday, July 29th 14rain, 18 sunny by evening

We left Rocky Harbor at 9 and drove north for more than 4 hours through the rain. Along the road we saw our first moose. At Quirpon harbor we boarded a small boat that would take us and 4 other people to Quirpon Island. Here we stayed at the only building on the island, the Quirpon Lighthouse Inn. We choose this place because whales tend to come very close to the shore and can be viewed from the Inn. When we just arrived the rain cleared and the sun started to shine so we could have a bit of a taste of whale watching before dinner.

Monday, July 30th 18 foggy, clear late afternoon

After a good night’s sleep and breakfast we went on a hike along the rocky coastline of the island. About halfway we crossed the island to the other side and tried to follow the opposite coastline. There were a lot more rocks here and it was difficult to walk. When we got back to the Inn we climbed the lighthouse stairs and went outside at the top. We could once again see whales getting close to the shoreline.The rest of the late afternoon we spend near the viewing platform watching the whales.

Tuesday, July 31st 20C mostly sunny

Time to leave the island. After breakfast we had to prepare our luggage so it could be transported to the boat launch by quad. We had to walk there. The boat arrived, was loaded and went on it’s way to the mainland but not before we got another demonstration of macrel and cod fishing, porpoises and a fin whale. What a great way to end the stay in this special location. At Quirpon harbor we loaded everything in the car and drove north to L’Anse aux Meadows, an old Viking settlement that is on the Unesco list of historical places. Nearby is Norstead, a rebuild Viking village with reenactments of Viking life. After all this we checked in our nearby B&B and went for dinner in ‘The Daily Catch’ where we were served a very good meal of Newfoundland mussels.

Next page