St. John’s, Sort Of…

9 Jul

The anchor comes up clean at 6am and we are on the move again. In the bay, wind has gone into the southwest overnight. It has warmed and become fragrant with the exhalations of evergreens. Terns are already on the wing in search of breakfast, but above them, the village surrounding Admiral’s Cove remains quietly asleep. It is Sunday, after all.

Cape Broyle Harbor is clear, but in the offing, fog covers the sea surface in farm-sized patches and only lifts for good around mid-morning. Now on the horizon, I can see the Canadian Icebreaker, Louis S. St-Laurent, returning slowly to her home port, St. John’s.

Equally distant, but in the opposite direction, the radar picks up another target distinct from the shoreline.

As we approach, the target becomes our first ice sighting at three miles to the west.

The berg and the icebreaker are disjuncts against the day, which is as balmy as the coast of Vancouver Island in July.

Off St. John’s, the wind intensifies. From five miles offshore, the coastal vista is oddly reminiscent of home; the red cliffs sloping down to the sea, the single opening in the line of hills, the city reclining in white over the rim of bay. Missing only is that span of bridge called the Golden Gate.

The summery feeling continues as we round Cape St. Francis and begin to head southwest towards the Royal Newfoundland Yacht Club in Conception Bay.

Here, villages line the lower coast, neat and tidy and always with a church to mark the town center.

Now the wind dies. The water of Conception Bay is like a lake surrounded by hills as rugged and severe as those of the Sierra Mountains.

In the afternoon, Mo and I enter the Long Pond channel…

And are warped to the pier before sundown. Fourteen hours to come seventy-five miles.

This is our last stop before entry into the north. Here we complete final preparations and await the delivery of some spares for the engine.

This article was syndicated from The Figure 8 Voyage


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