John Under Church Entrance - Trinity

Port Union

Thursday - August 23, 2007

Today we woke up to sunshine and it shone all day – hooray!! The temperature didn’t get above 15 that I noticed but the sun was nice.

This morning we headed back down the peninsula and our first stop was at Port Union - the only union-built town in North America. In 1916 William F. Coaker started the town and The Fisherman’s Protective Union Trading Company premises were completed and the union corporate headquarters moved from St. John’s. A salt fish processing store, a department store (with electric elevators), a seal oil plant and a medicines shop were among some of the amenities available in Port Union in the early 1900’s. The Factory, which was home of the Fisherman’s Advocate Newspaper has been restored with a large display of artifacts on the first floor as well as a number of old printing presses. Juanita was our guide for the first part of the tour, then Tom did the tour of the printing presses, then Juanita came back and took us upstairs where there is a carpenter shop and machine shop. At one time most of the carpentry work in the village was done in this shop including making caskets, etc. and a number of lathes, saws etc. have been restored. It was interesting to note that most of the machines on the second floor were made in Galt. There were also a number of other old items on display upstairs.

Across the street from the Factory is row housing that was rented out to people who worked for the company and had the top positions, and these houses had both electricity and running water in the early 1900’s, the rent was $12/month. One of these houses has been restored and we had a tour of it, we were amazed at how large it was inside. Up the hill were more row houses that were rented by the lesser employees for $8/month but these houses didn’t have running water. We then walked to Memorial Cemetery where William Coaker is buried with a wonderful view of the town from the monument. The last stop was the Anglican Church which has some beautiful stained glass windows in memory of soldiers who died during the first and second world wars. All in all it was a very interesting tour and we spent a fair bit of time talking to a few of the guides.

From there we drove to Trinity with a tour through Trinity East on the way. Trinity is a very beautiful, historic town with very narrow twisty streets. We got out and walked around the town then had a late lunch at the marina. From Trinity we drove through Goose Cove, Dunfield, Trouty, Old Bonaventure and New Bonaventure before returning home. Another nice day.

Once again driving around today I wondered how on earth they manage here in the winter with the very steep, twisty, turny roads – I can’t imagine wanting to tackle them in the snow and ice!! Maybe that is why we see so many snowmobiles.

Shoreline at Cape Bonavista

Cape Bonavista Lighthouse

Wednesday, - August 22, 2007

Did I mention that it rains a lot here, wow we sure seem to be getting our share of it. It stopped raining last night for a while but I woke up about 12:30 and it was raining and rained all night and all morning. We procrastinated for a while this morning getting started but John finally gave up and started hooking up. Fortunately, the rain let up and he didn’t get totally soaked.

Last night the couple beside us were trying to set up ExpressVu so John went over to help so this morning while he was hooking up Jamie came over and gave us a large bag of frozen cod that his brother caught last week. We are looking forward to a couple of good meals.

Today we drove to Bonavista, it rained most of the way but just before we got here it finally stopped and the sun actually came out but the temperature never got about 13-14, too cool for my liking! We are now at Paradise Farm RV Park which is about 5 km from Bonavista and is a very nice park. It has hydro and water, no sewer, but for $18/night we aren’t complaining. After we got set up we drove into Bonavista and were quite surprised at how large a town it is and it is very pretty. We drove up to the lighthouse then came back into town and stopped at an internet cafĂ© to download our e-mail, then home.

When we got to the park there were 4 very large motor homes from Washington state here, we have been following them for a while now and we know it is the same group as one of them has a sign in the front window “No Snivelling”. I talked to a couple of the women tonight and they are retired, met up in Montana in mid June and headed east. I asked when they would be home and the one woman said whenever, we’re retired. After dinner we went for a walk and ended up talking to Julie, the one with the sign, and she said they got the sign in Puerto Penasco (that is where we went on the bus trip at the end of February) and she said they go to Yuma for the winter also. It is always interesting talking to other people and realizing how many of the same places you have been.

Looking Out to Sea Near Salvage

Tuesday - August 21, 2007

Today it wasn’t raining when we got up but somehow we were slow to get moving so by the time John was ready to start hooking up it was raining, fortunately is was just a light shower and was over quickly. A man from Port Severn came over and started chatting, then a couple from Newfoundland started to chat so we were really late getting on the road. The couple from here own a fishing business south of St. John’s and had never seen the inside of an Airstream so I gave them a tour and they really liked it.

Once on the road we drove the “Road to the Isles” for a bit then turned off and picked up the “Road to the Shores”. This took us around a peninsula to Gambo (home of Joey Smallwood) that is on the TCH, it was the long way to Gambo but was the scenic route and was very pretty.

One of the places we drove through was Musgrave Harbour and here is a piece of trivia for our daughters, Nan and Kel, who went to Banting Memorial High School in Alliston. Musgrave Harbour is the place where Sir Frederick Banting was killed in a plane crash on February 20th, 1941. His plane had left Gander and developed engine problems so the pilot turned around to return to Gander and they crashed at Musgrave Harbour. Sir Frederick Banting was the co-discoverer of insulin and when killed in the plane crash he was on his way to Ireland. There was a nice looking campground there called Banting Memoiral RV Park. We also drove through Hare Bay, home of Tara Oram (she was just eliminated from Canadian Idol).

We drove the TCH for about 15 km then picked up the “Road to the Beaches” and are now at the Eastport Sunshine RV Park. Great name – Sunshine Park, as it was pouring when we got here! We are not impressed, the sites are narrow and John has never had so much trouble trying to get us level and stable as the sites are not at all even and on this side of the park they all roll to the back. Oh well, it is only for one night so we will survive. After we got set up we drove to Savage which in 2002 was named one of Canada’s 10 prettiest towns by Harrowsmith Country Life Magazine. It was very pretty but I think I still like Tilting better.

There is a nice sandy beach down the road from the park and this is the area in Newfoundland for beaches but with the temperature about 12 the beach didn’t look the least bit inviting - funny, the beach was empty – can’t imagine why!

One of the things we noticed today was that there were no woodpiles along the side of the road (we have gotten quite used to seeing them) and there wasn’t as much wood piled up at houses. On the drive today the trees were very small and not as plentiful so that could explain the lack of woodpiles.

Bees on Flower

View from Museum at Durrell

Another View from Durrell Museum

Monday - August 20, 2007

Today is our granddaughter Cara’s birthday - happy birthday sweetie.

We woke up to rain this morning, and not just a drizzle but a real down pouring which didn’t want to stop. About 10 we decided it was too wet and miserable to try to hook up and move so went and paid for another day and then about noon it started to clear off – figures!
We went back to Durrell and did the museum there which was very interesting. There was a polar bear that wandered into town in 2002 and the RCMP ended up having to shoot it so it is now stuffed and on display in the museum, what a magnificent animal. They had a really interesting video on polar bears that we enjoyed and learned quite a bit about them. The museum is the old armory building and is situated on top of the highest hill in the area, what a wonderful view there was, we wonder if the people who live here appreciate the scenery. We then stopped at the library and thought for a change we would go inside to use the internet, oops, today they are closed so back to the truck to do the e-mail and the blog.

We then drove to Kettle Harbour, came back and got a few groceries then drove out to Long Point Lighthouse, we were hoping to see whales or dolphins but no such luck. Today was still quite windy and cool, the temperature didn’t get over 12 so it was very cool out at the lighthouse, even with my jacket on I was cold.

Once we decided to stay here for the day I put some chilli in the slow cooker so when we got home I just had to do some garlic bread and dinner was ready. After dinner we walked down to the harbour, but with a T-shirt, a sweatshirt and my jacket I was still cold, sure do hope it warms up again!!

A few more observations:

- there are obviously no animal control by-laws – there are dogs wandering all over the place, including the roads – I imagine the road kill here must be something else!!

- the aluminum siding and windows people must be rolling in money, it is amazing how many houses have been redone and they look so good – obviously a good business to be in

- a lot of the houses have very colourful window and door trim as well as the railings on verandas and patios – very pretty

- most of the net lofts are painted ochre so they really stand out

- every single town, village or settlement has a post office – they may not have anything else in the way of amenities but they have a post office

- people stop on the road wherever they feel like to get out and pick berries etc., and because there is very little shoulder on the side of the road the cars are stopped mainly on the road, and heaven forbid they use their hazard signals, makes for interesting driving!!

- try to buy a Newfie brand beer in Newfoundland – the main beers in the stores are Molsons’s and Coors

We are now hoping for a decent day tomorrow, or at least for it to be dry in the morning so John can get us hooked up without getting soaked.


Double Rainbow

Threatening Sky

Cod Drying at Deep Bay


Entrance to Harbour at Joe Batt's Arm

Joe Batt's Arm


Sunday - August 19, 2007

Today is our grandson Derrick’s birthday and our friend Margie’s so happy birthday both Derrick & Margie.

We had a good downpour about 8 a.m. then it cleared off and the sun came out, the only draw back was that there were gale force winds but off we went to Fogo Island anyways. The ferry wasn’t too busy going over and even with the wind the ride wasn’t too bad as it is pretty sheltered between the mainland and Fogo, not like the Strait of Belle Isle.

We visited Little Seldom, Seldom, Shoal Bay, Barr’d Islands, Joe Batt’s Arm, Tilting, Fogo, Deep Bay and Island Harbour – gotta love those names! Fogo was probably named after the Portuguese word “fuego” for “fire”, which were the signs of Beothuk encampments frequently seen by early settlers. Fogo is the location of Brimstone Head which is considered to be one of the “Four Corners of the Earth” by the Flat Earth Society. It is believed that Little Seldom and Seldom got their names from the fisherman who “seldom” passed by without stopping in. Joe Batt’s Arm is named for a deserter from the crew of explorer James Cook, who charted this coast in 1736.

All the little villages were pretty but Tilting was my favourite, it had a lot of the salt box style homes and each home had its own net loft down by the water, it was just so quaint and pretty. The fishermen use the main floor of the net loft for fixing their boat and the second floor for mending their nets.

We stopped and had lunch in Fogo then worked our way back to the dock in hopes of catching the 4:30 ferry but were 6 cars too late, we had to wait for the last ferry of the day, which was late, so it was after 7 when we left Fogo Island. At least by then the wind had died down so it was much calmer. We just got going on the ferry when it started to pour, then the sun was shining and what a treat we had – 2 gorgeous rainbows that stayed all the way over. As one woman said, that was our reward for having to wait for the next ferry.

We got back to Twillingate about 9 and stopped for dinner, John had Fisherman’s Brewis which was very bland, I was glad I had opted for fish and chips.

Fisherman’s Brewis

To Prepare Brewis: Split cakes of PURITY HARD BREAD. In a large saucepan place Hard Bread, well covered with water. Soak overnight. Next day, using the same water, salt to taste and bring HB to near boil. DO NOT BOIL, DRAIN IMMEDIATELY. Keep hot.

To Prepare Fresh Fish: Cut fish into serving pieces and place in pot and cover with water and boil for 20 minutes or until cooked. Add salt to tast. Remove bones after it is cooked. Combine the cooked fish with prepared brewis. Serve with “scrunchions” (Small cubes of fat back pork fried to golden brown). Use as a gravy over Fisherman’s Brewis.

Herring Neck


Moreton's Harbour

Saturday - August 18, 2007

Sharon (the weather lady) was wrong for a change, last night she said rain for today and we woke up to sunshine and it was sunny all morning, clouded over in the early afternoon but there was no rain.

We were going to go to Fogo Island today but when we got to the ferry it had gone and it was 3 hours until the next one so we reversed our plans and on the way back drove in and out of all the little harbours. They are so pretty with the houses clustered around the inlet but I can’t imagine spending a winter in such isolation. Pretty well every house had enormous woodpiles, all ready for winter.

We stopped at a lobster pound and got a lobster sandwich which was very good but the live lobsters cost as much as at Zehrs or Sobey’s at home.