Saturday, August 01, 2009

Day 7: Hurry Up and Wait

We left the campground to go into Port aux Basques for breakfast since we had several hours to wait for the ferry back to Nova Scotia. We ate at the Harbour Restaurant just like last night. Then we got ice and Subway sandwiches to eat later for dinner on the ferry.

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I will never again complain about BC Ferries. I know the Atlantic Vision (one of two ferries on this route) had a heating unit fire on July 29, but this is ridiculous! It’s August 6 and they’re still running about five to six hours late. And that isn’t the worst of it. Marine Atlantic ferries are just plain disorganized. We arrived 45 minutes early for our 1:00 pm “required” check in, but were turned away by an attendant on the off ramp, telling us to return in half an hour. When we finally got in, there were four entry booths, but then everyone had to merge into one line for the Canada Agricultural Inspection.

After lots of confusion on everyone’s part, we were finally given a line assignment for our two-hour wait for departure. But we know it will be later than that because the ferry was at least half an hour late on their “delayed arrival time.” Are you confused yet? I know we are, plus a little bit frustrated since we lost one of our three planned days here on the “Granite Planet” and two camping experiences.

Enough complaining. We did enjoy our brief (briefer than expected) visit to Newfoundland. We enjoyed the geology, different types of topography, sweeping ocean views, small fishing villages, food and friendly people. I even found some handmade wool socks and a toque for John. We want to return someday, but think we’ll fly direct rather than driving all the way from Montreal. The airfare will be more expensive, but cost less for ground transportation, meals, accommodations and the $278 ferry cost for two adults and a car to get here. Actually, in the end, it might be cheaper. We can spend more time in Newfoundland and then cross over to Labrador to see that province.

Because of our late arrival in Nova Scotia, we had to cancel our campground reservations for tonight. We didn’t want to backtrack into Sydney, so we are staying at the Clansman Motel in North Sydney. That’s where we ate before our departure a few days ago. It isn’t a modern establishment, but it’s well kept. Then we can get an early start to our camping destination on the Bay of Fundy. I’m excited about seeing that. It was one of the places we studied in school that really stuck out in my mind. -- Margy

FREE HOTSPOT WATCH: The Clansman Motel has three (count them) hotspots to choose from. Now my pictures are posted.


  1. This is why I fly home - ferries suck. Glad your island experience was good enough to entice you to go back sometime. Have a safe trip home.

  2. I guess the secret to ferry travel is not to plan to tightly. We find that hotels and motels that are near the ferry are not as stuck on the cancelllation fee and are much more helpful. I personally love the ferry. Spent 3 unexpected days on the ferry in 2002 from Dec 23rd 11 p.m. until 6 p.m. December 26th(prior to the new BC Ferries Corp). They fed us Christmas dinner, had a Christmas party, Santa came and rooms were free! It was a ball.
    Glad you are having a good time!

  3. Hi Carolyn and Elaine - Thanks for following my trip. I haven't had much computer time except for posts. I'll get this quick reply off here at the Clansman Motel before we head to the Bay of Fundy. Carolyn,that sounds like the ferry really took care of you then, but I wonder now how it would be with BC Ferries. We loved the ferry ride, even though it was a bit long. In fact we liked the older ship better than the new one. We got to sample both on our trip over and back. It had more space, was more organized and they even provided a free dinner in the cafeteria. We brought our food so didn't eat, but lots of people did. The line was long for the two hours they were open. Maybe that was a thank you for their delay, but they didn't do it on the Atlantic Vision we took over. Our problem with cancellations was camping reservations at a distance from the terminal. We didn't want to drive in the dark to unknown locations on roads that were supposed to be thick with moose. We were surprised how easy it was to get last minute reservations at nearby hotels. They were very accommodating and helpful with that. Off we go, bye for now. - Margy

    p.s. Elaine, are you in Newfoundland now?

  4. I love the socks. What is the white flower ?
    ~~ Betty ~~


We welcome your comments and questions. - Wayne and Margy