On hurricanes, ferries and moose

We’re just over mid-way through our holiday and we’ve hit a bit of a snag. We were supposed to be taking the ferry back to Cape Breton today from Newfoundland but there’s this little hurricane getting in the way – Hurricane Bill. We first heard about it when we arrived a week ago in Fundy National Park, and Chris was all like “oh don’t worry, we’ll be long gone before it gets here.” Problem is, now that it’s actually hitting the Maritimes, we’re a 6.5 hr ferry ride off the mainland. Boo.

So we’ve been watching the weather, getting CBC when we can, when we’re not between mountains in Gros Morne. We had a bit of a meltdown on Friday night (okay, maybe I had the meltdown). We had a lot of rain that night, and we’d heard so many reports and conflicting opinions about what the hurricane was going to do that I didn’t really know what we should do. Should we spend another night in Gros Morne? Should we high tail it out of there? How can we high tail it out? All the ferries were full. To make matters more challenging neither of us has any kind of cell phone service here, on The Rock, since Rogers appears to have only cable services here. So the only way we can make contact with any services is using Skype over WiFi whenever we find it. Can’t receive calls, can only make them.

We got the word last night that all ferries, including ours, were cancelled for Sunday, and Monday. Then today they said the storm will likely hit more of eastern Newfoundland than western, which means that Monday is expected to be clear. Now they say the storm has slowed, so getting out Monday may still be a challenge. We’re hold up in a hotel in Corner Brook, about 280 kms from Port aux Basques, where the ferry docks, waiting for the storm to start and killing time. We opted not to go to Port aux Basques because it’s a really tiny town, with only about one motel, and likely there are many others like us having to find places to stay and wait. Not to mention it’s on the southwestern coast, which is expected to see some serious storm surges and 15 metre swells. Sheesh!

Otherwise we’ve really been enjoying our trip. Sadly, we’re probably going to have to skip spending a couple days in Cape Breton, like we’d planned. I’d really been looking forward to that, but I’m trying to roll with the punches here. We’re due in Quebec City on Wednesday night so we have a bit of wiggle room. Hopefully we can indeed take the ferry tomorrow as we’d hoped. Gawd hurricanes are so unpredictable. The nerve of Bill to screw with my holiday!

Re: Moose. Newfoundland has a lot of moose. Over 120,000 actually. That works out to about 6/square km inside Gros Morne (signs indicate there have been 8 car-moose collisions inside the park so far this year). Apparently all of Newfoundland’s moose are descended from a total of 6 moose (three bulls and three cows) that were introduced to the island only 100 years ago. They call them Newfie Speed Bumps here, and we narrowly missed one on Friday night, while driving back to our Trout River campsite (and while I was having my meltdown). It was a bull moose crossing the highway and I caught sight of it about 100 yards ahead of us.

I of course have taken plenty of photos but rather than try to go through them all here I’m saving that for when I get home. Instead I’ve been using Chris’s iPhone to take the odd photo and update my Twitter page, or using my Blackberry when we have service. For some unrelated pics however, I can send you over to BlogTO and check out their feature of my garden, published last week. Enjoy!