Thursday, July 22, 2010


St. Anthony’s has a population of between 1200 and 1300 persons. This does not include the tremendous moose population. Two basic ship tours were offered: 1) Cruise the scenic coastline in an open boat looking at all the birdlife, or 2) Travel 45 minutes to a Viking Village and talk to one or more of the Viking re-enactors who work at this World Heritage site. We decided to visit the Vikings. (The open boat tour was cancelled, due to horrendous weather conditions.)

St. Anthony’s was very different from St. John’s. For one thing, it is quite a ways farther north. We missed one of the two sunny days it has had so far this year. It was very rainy, windy, and slightly above 40F. The storm we missed in Halifax was still lingering here. Naturally, due to it’s size, St. Anthony’s did not have the facilities for docking a ship the size of the Ocean Princess. As we bobbed up and down in open waters, the shuttle boat announced it was taking passengers. This boarding procedure took a little longer than normal, as we each individually had to wait for the proper moment to leap aboard. We had a lot of assistance. There were at least 2 crewmen shipside and 2 more in the shuttle boat to grab each person boarding the smaller boat. The seas were quite rough until we reached the inner harbor. Many passengers decided to forego the trip to town.

Once in town, we all boarded the local school buses for the trip to the Viking Village. Thank goodness I had purchased a nice umbrella at Peggy’s Cove. I would need it for this trip! When we arrived at the village, I opened my umbrella, and within 2 seconds it was turned inside out. (Oh, well. I might have gotten into trouble displaying the Nova Scotia tartan in Newfoundland anyway.) We made our way into the nearest mud hut and stayed there listening to a fantastic Viking re-enactor (Bjorn the Beautiful) until it was time to journey to another part of the village. When I found out that a Viking ship was waiting a few hundred yards away, I quickly purchased another waterproof jacket and made my way past Wilbur the pig to take photos.

(Yes, both Wilbur and the ship will appear in August.)

On the way back to town, we saw a family of rain-drenched foxes and one shy moose.

Everyone successfully re-boarded the big ship. I later learned that those who tried to do a walking tour of town did not find much of interest there.

Note: Moose are so plentiful here that one can normally see several while driving down the road. However, during moose season (knowing they are protected on provincial park lands), they all go to the park and stand en masse, smiling at the hunters. (They say this is true.)

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