St. John’s, Newfoundland

We awoke to find our ship had somehow managed to either back into or turn around in The Narrows that fronts State Street, the main street of St. John’s, and North America’s oldest commercial street. One of the oddest things about St. Johns is that it’s 30 minutes off from the rest of the world. The clocks here are one and a half hours ahead of east coast time.

Our five hour shore excursion wasn’t particularly well selected, with two hours on a bus and two hours on a small boat in nine foot seas to spend ten minutes looking at puffins from a hundred yards away.

Their activity was interesting, though. They seem to spend most of the day trying to fake out the seagulls running interference at the entrances to their burrows. The gulls make a living by stealing fish from the puffins before they can carry it down their five foot deep tunnels to feed their chick.

On the way back to St. John’s we made two very brief stops, one at pretty Petty Harbour, where a stream competes with the surf for governance of the tiny boat harbor, the other at Point Spear, easternmost place in North America. At Point Spear there is a lighthouse that has been tended by the same family for almost 200 years, and also the remains of a WWII artillery bunker.

Back at St. John’s we had an excellent late lunch at Bianca’s, a French restaurant that reminded us how mediocre the food has been for the past ten days!

Then it was time to squeeze our way back through The Narrows and out into the North Atlantic, where we watched the pilot take his life in his hands leaping from The Crown Princess to his tiny boat being tossed in twelve foot seas.