7.27.10 Ferry from NFL to Nova Scotia

Argentia Travel Blog

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We're waiting in the ferry line!  We think ferries are always exciting!

Our ferry, the Smallwood, just arrived in port, so we'll be boarding in a few hours.  We were to leave at 8pm, but an email notification of 11pm departure is now the schedule.

We've arranged to spend the night on our dormitory bunks in a 4-person cubicle, which is good since they are sold out of both cabins and bunks now.  They are kindly trying to get all 4 of our bunks in the same cubicle- we'll see.  Cabins are few and our getting on the cabin wait list during my phone call wasn't effective apparently, so we'll just not worry about it.  At least people are nice and helpful.

For other travelers, here was our check-in process for the Argentia Ferry:

1.  You pull up to painted road lines to measure the length of your RV, so they can insure honesty, since the longer you are, the more you pay (by 10' ranges). 

2.  Then we checked in at the drive-thru booth where we showed the woman my photo id and gave our reservation number.

3.  Then we got selected for a random security inspection, which involved opening 2 ouside compartements. 

4.  An inspector boarded to check for agriculture- no pototoes or onions allowed.

5.  We closed all vents and windows and drove through a wash where water shot up from the floor and we drove over it.  Meanwhile, some teens used water hoses to spray the lower half of our rig.  A free wash!  Ciao was thrilled.

6.  Then the parking guy directed us to our parking line! 

Whew!  Security is very tight and every time you leave the terminal, you must show a guard your boarding pass and a photo i.d. 

Everyone was very nice and they even showed a little movie in the "TV Room" in the terminal.  There's also a little cafeteria, customer service, a little gift shop, and some bathrooms in the terminal.

This morning we got to visit with Evelyn and Steve and I even got to drive Tulip!  She is a Navion View, built by Winnebago on a Sprinter chassis, and could turn on a dime.  With her sofa slideout, she feels inside at least as roomy as Ciao even though she's 3' shorter technically.  A fine rig indeed!  It was sad AGAIN to say goodbye to those fun friends.

We drove the 10 extra miles north off the CA-1 to Cupids, which is the first English settlement in Canada and celebrating its 400th anniversary this year.  Honestly, the town was cute but so small that perhaps more space was apportioned it in the St. John's The Rooms Museum than the entire town took up in person!  Lunched on the quiet harbor (we saw no stores even) and we headed on.

A fun stop at the Rodriguez Winery in Whitborne, which was just a few miles off the CA-1, was on my list as one of only 2 wineries in NFL (the other was Auk Island in Twillingate).  We bought some Cloudberry Wine (bakeapple berry) and Blueberry Wine (their first wine and most popular), as well as a mug that I could not refuse which said in a Newfoundland accent:  "Oh me nerves!"  Ha!  A very worthwhile stop indeed!

RV'ers like us find it hard to vacate our Ciao Baby for the night!  We are taking travasacs and pillows (ferries are often cold and the provided blanket is often not enough).  PJ's or sweats.  A few toiletries.  Earplugs, eyemasks, meds for seasickness.  Some bagels, waters, and granola bars.  No computer (yikes!) as we plan to sleep most of the trip.  I hope we got it all.  It's dark once we park below deck on the ferry and feels very rushed to grab and go, so we want to be ready.  A lot of work!  RV's spoil us!

I'll make one more trip in at 7:30 pm to check to see if our cots are together in the one room.  Teresa in Customer Service was going to talk to the ship's Purser for us to see if we could oust the person assigned to our room to get all of us together in the 4-berth open to the hall dormitory sleeper.  Will report more on that later!

I am sad to be leaving wonderful Newfoundland and Labrador, which is my favorite province in Atlantic Canada.  The 14-16 hour ferry ride I hope is not too rough.  A westerly wind weather advisory showed near tropical storm force gusts, but they should be calmer later this evening.  We're grateful for some bunks for overnight sleeping.

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