VOV: Red Bay, Labrador, Canada

Wednesday, July 12, 2022

We enjoyed some slot time before going to the Main Dining room for dinner. We were happy with the menu again this evening. We both had the crab cake appetizers and the halibut for our main dish. We were seated at a table for two, but it was so close to another table for two, it might have been a table for four. The other couple seemed fine chatting with us. I hope they weren’t planning on an intimate dinner for just the two of them.

We had a little time for another round of slots. Chuck was notified that he had enough points to get three tickets into the slot tournament. He played his 3 rounds and is so far number 6. He may get some more tickets to try and move up. Only the top 3 players will get paid.

At 9:00, we attend the Main Stage show featuring the 4-man group: Cantare. This particular groups sings on several of the HAL ships, but it is not the same four men on every ship. Their song selection tonight was called “Timeless”, and they were mostly love songs. The group consisted of three tenors and a bass and they harmonized beautifully.

The Ocean Bar band had a night off tonight and tomorrow is a port day, so we called it an evening. I will be glad to see land. I’ve only caught glimpses of shoreline in the distance since we left Bar Harbor.

I was up with the alarm at 6:00 and was glad that I had slept better than I did the night before. We are in Red Bay Labrador Canada. It is a tender port. We are definitely heading north as it was only 50 degrees this morning and the Internet is getting very weak.

We ate breakfast in the Lido and then got our backpacks ready with rain gear, jackets, and stocking caps, binoculars, and my waterproof camera. I had read that flying, biting bugs could also be a problem so I had purchased two head nets from Amazon (still sealed in the original package) and put that package in my backpack also. We were ready to go (or so I thought).

Since we did not have a planned excursion, we arrived at the dining room on the 5th deck to get our ticket to get on the tender. HAL was running three tenders, but the Red Bay dock only had room for one tender at a time. They had it pretty organized, one tender unloading/loading at Red Bay, one tender full making its way to the island, and one tender at the ship loading/unloading.

Once we arrived at the dock, we were greeted by some local representatives who gave us a map. I asked about hiking, and she said the nicest hike was at the little island in the Bay called Saddle Island. A fishing boat was ferrying people back and forth. Okay. We would go there.

By the time we walked to the small dock to wait for the fishing boat ferry, the bugs were on us – black flies and mosquitoes. SNAFU #1 – I forgot to pack our bug spray. I had a small can for each of our packs and they were still in the room. SNAFU #2 – when I opened the sealed package to remove the 2 head nettings – there were 2 netting holders but only one net. Ugh! I cannot believe I didn’t check the order before now. What was I thinking?

I gave the netting to Chuck because the bugs were much worse around him. Every time we encounter bugs or mosquitoes, they always seem to treat him like a Golden Corral buffet. The head net helped but he was wearing shorts and getting attacked on the legs so much that he decided to return to the ship.

I put on the head net and had on jeans and my jacket, so I was fairly protected. I decided to go ahead and hike the Island. The trail followed the coast, and it was mostly flat and even in some places there was a boardwalk. I eventually caught up with a couple who are going to be on some of the same tours we are on, and they invited me to walk with them.

I enjoyed looking at the various flowers and watching the sea gulls scan the water and argue with each other. There were a lot of mussel shells and sea urchin shells all over the island. The park ranger told us that the sea gulls get them out of the ocean and then drop the remains on the island.

The bugs didn’t seem to be as bad as they were in the town, but the wind was stronger and colder. The entire hike around the island and up to the light house was a mile and a half according to my Fitbit.

Once we took the fishing boat ferry back to the town, the couple decided to walk up the hill to see the whaling museum which houses the skeletal remains of a 16th Century Greenland Right Whale. I decided to pass on that trek. I stopped by the gift shop for my souvenir ornament and then got in the long line for the tender back to the ship.

I was happy with my decision because by the time I got back to the ship, it had started raining and the fog rolled in thick. I could no longer see the colorful saltbox houses on the land. Chuck was in the room, and he said he spent a very pleasant time on our balcony watching a pod of porpoises leaping and diving in the water. When I was walking the trail, I had hoped to see a whale or porpoises, but didn’t so I am glad that Chuck did.

I warmed up at lunch with a bowl of mushroom and wild rice chowder. Afterwards, Chuck got a coffee with Bailey’s, and I got a hot chocolate with Bailey’s. We wrapped up in the wool lap blankets that HAL provides and sat on the balcony for a while. I was hoping that the porpoises would make another appearance, but they did not.

The afternoon passed quickly and soon the Captain came on the PA System to announce that we would be leaving Red Bay soon and making our way to Greenland. Once the ship left the protected bay area, we could expect for the temperatures to continue to drop and the wind and swells to get rougher. Time to take a Bonine.

Author: mmmtravelmemories

A retired college administrator who loves to travel. I write to remember the experiences and, I hope, to inspire others to make their own travel memories.

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