Published: August 3rd 2011
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Wednesday August 3rd, 2011

St. John’s, Newfoundland

The historic port of St. John’s, billed as one of the oldest cities in the New World, was a bit of a disappointment. A serious lack of truly historic old buildings along with the absence of a really cute old city center was a letdown. The people were very friendly and the city was clean and safe, so it must all be put in proper prospective. The very narrow opening into the harbor was a dramatic entrance, but I guess the foggy, cloudy conditions did not help the cause of St. John’s either. Today was the famous Regatta Day on the nearby Quidi Vidi Lake and the whole town was there for the festivities. Rowing races were taking place all day on the Lake and the entire shoreline was filled with people, numerous booths selling all manner of treats and a truly carnival-like atmosphere. We walked over the ridge and down to the Lake among a smiling, cheerful populace. Children, dogs and cotton candy were all in abundance. The races were exciting and looked really strenuous because they went all the way to the end of the Lake and back; not a short distance. But, in the end it lacked the historical spectacle of Festivals that we saw in Europe and was really more of a local affair. As we cruised out of the harbor the fog was closing in, but the end of the day provided a nice caveat. We were both looking forward when two whales surfaced in front of the Ocean Princess and let off huge spouts. Jane and I were treated to a really close sighting as they vigorously dove down, completely exposing their full length and tail flukes in a mad dash to avoid the rapidly approaching ship.
I know it is crazy, but after all the cold, rain and fog of the last few weeks we are looking forward to some heat and sun in the lower forty-eight. After a couple of plus 90 degree days I am sure I will reevaluate that sentiment.


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