One of the interesting facts about this caravan of 17 rigs was that no one had brought a dog along for the journey. This is a pretty rare event both on caravans and RVing in general. Today we were boarding a passenger/ cargo ferry for what turned out to be nearly an 18 hour transit to Argentia, Newfoundland. The ferry rules stated that animals either must remain in the RV for the duration or be kept in a cargo area in a suitable animal cage. One of the reasons that Halley did not come with us and enjoyed the summer with her cousins instead. We left the Sidney campground for the approximately five mile drive to the ferry terminal. Checking in was simply a matter of showing the gate attendant you reserved space number and you were then told which muster line to drive to. Then several people came by to check the rig. First to double check your total length, since that was what the transit fee was based on. Second to sight and tag your propane value to ensure it was in the off position. Since the trip was to be over night we also were provided a cabin to sleep in. The ferry also has restaurant services along with bars and some entertainment. Since the weather was pretty foul we did not get to enjoy much time on deck.
On arrival, it was an easy drive off After plugging in the Pippy RV Park Campground on the GPS on the north side of St John's, it was a pleasant drive to our destination. The campground is part of a larger city park with plenty to do on site in good weather. The only fly in the ointment was the scheduled concert by Rod Stewart that would take place just across the road from the campground. This promised to be a real traffic stopper, but we simply decided to spent that time in the campground.
We had a bus ride thru the downtown area to get the feel for the city. I was looking forward to visiting the city, as I have been here twice before. Both times in the winter of 1972/73 while I was Operations Officer on a Coast Guard Cutter assigned to winter North Atlantic Ice Patrols. I experienced the worst weather I have ever experienced at sea during that winter. Constant freezing temperatures and huge seas made for some exciting moments. Getting into the frozen harbor by breaking ice in that small entrance was something I will not forget. The city is known for its colorful houses and a real party attitude. If you cannot have a good time here, you aren't really trying. Another couple and ourselves did a little pub crawl and enjoyed some local entertainment. St John's is also the most important commercial harbor in Newfoundland.
We also explored the Signal Hill Historic Site which provides a great overlook of the city and a great view of the famous narrow entrance to the harbor. This site has been used for centuries to signal incoming vessels to the harbor in the days before radio. Because of its strategic location it has been fortified since the 1700's thru the end of WWII. The last battle of the Seven Years War in the Americas was fought here in 1762. The city was involved in numerous battles between the French and English during the colonial years.