I arrived in St. John’s Newfoundland today at 12:30am, accompanied by rain, thunder, lightning, turbulence, and screaming children…thankfully a friendly face and a warm greeting were waiting for me. I quickly signaled out Albert, with his sign in the crowd, and off we went to Ocean Quest and the start of my adventure!
The next morning I was treated to a wonderful breakfast, and then I was told to get myself ready to go out on the boat. So, we went down to the boat launch where I met my guides, Bill and Arthur. They were taking two local tech divers out to dive on two of the four Bell Island wrecks! While the divers were down Arthur told me about the wrecks, and how they were iron ore tankers from WWII, that had been sunk by German submarines to prevent them from taking the iron ore, mined from Bell Island, off to make more warships.
He also told me that the ships were sitting down on the ocean floor perfectly upright, and preserved from the weight of the iron in their holds and the cold water. They are basically living history, a museum designed for a very unique audience. They are in the category of the top 10 wreck dive sites in the world. I can’t wait for my turn to dive on them!
Once the divers came up, we toured around Bell Island so that I could see the landscape and cliffs. It was fantastic! You could see the striation in the cliffs all the way up. It was gorgeous. We also saw a couple bald eagles, and once some of the fog cleared we could see out to some of the other islands around us. It was beautiful! Then we went down to help the divers in for their second dive. While we waited for them to come up I was treated to Bill’s famous moose stew!
It was my first time eating moose, and it was delicious! After the divers finished their second dive it was time to head back to home base. On our way back I saw my first Newfoundland whales! There were a few minke whales swimming around in the harbor. I was pretty excited to see them. We also found ourselves moving past an enormous oil rigger on our way back. I couldn’t even begin to comprehend how big it was, and I don’t even want to think about how long it took to build her!
Once we got back, I didn’t have much time before I was headed right back down to the boat launch! This time Holly and Jamie were taking me out on one of Ocean Quests’ fishing charters! Me, plus a zodiac, and a fishing pole…I wasn’t too sure what the outcome would be. Despite growing up on a farm and having a pond, I’ve only fished a few times, and caught a handful of fish.
Well, today I caught twenty-one! The customers on the boat each caught an average of about five. It was crazy! The blonde American with no fishing background (and no CLUE what she was doing) was getting all the fish! Everyone was laughing, and saying that I had a magic rod. The one lady even asked if we could switch rods for a little while….turns out it was me and not the rod! I kept catching fish, and she tried, but to no avail. Eventually though my line got snagged on a buoy and I retired my rod. But, I caught my first Newfoundland cod fish, and there will be fish for dinner for those folks!
Once we got back to the Ocean Quest Lodge, I had some free time to explore before my hosts, Rick and Debbie Stanley got home from their trip. Then it was time to hit the sac, and I was asleep before my head hit the pillow! And so my time in Newfoundland has officially started!