What an amazing and spectacular drive we had today. The day dawned clear, but a fairly hefty wind came up early and strengthened during the day. That meant as we toured the absolutely rugged coastline of the Bonavista Peninsula that some major surf was pounding rocks everywhere with spray flying into the air. It was quite something.
We had to slow for our second moose of the trip - a young bull who didn't seem in any particular hurry to get across the highway. It was a long, straight stretch, so there was never any danger to him or us.
Bonavista itself is an extremely historic town that has retained much of its flavour. We were very tempted to try to tour the older section at the waterfront, but opted for discretion at the narrow streets and our "30-foot dog kennel" as Linda calls it.
Easing away from the Trinity Bay area, we head for Clarenville via Shoal Harbour and stopped for lunch. It's quite a bustling place.
Now this part of the trip involved seeking out the home town of our very talented Creative Director, Shawn Dalton - the (as we discovered) aptly named Hillview. What an amazing drive and what amazing vistas in a section of road that rivals Nova Scotia's Cabot Trail. It's an absolutely beautiful place. We had no idea - but we do now understand his constant home sickness.
And you might know, the first person we spoke to in Hillview (a young woman operating a vegetable stand on the edge of town) was a first cousin. This is Atlantic Canada after all.
Then it was back on the trans-Canada for a bit before turning off and heading for communities with delightfully intriguing names like Heart's Deight, Heart's Desire, Heart's Content - and Dildo.
We made a stop in Dildo (getting the T-shirt, of course) and revisited the harbour where Jim had spent a memorable rum-soaked weekend aboard Capt. Morrisey Johnson's sealing vessel in 1989 during his newspaper days whilst covering the seal hunt issue at the height of the controversy. (Probably the less said about that weekend the better.) That left us time only to make our way down to the Argentia wharf for the 15-hour overnight crossing to North Sydney. The Atlantic Vision left and arrived right on time and we enjoyed a fine dinner on calm seas before turning in and (special treat) TV news.
The longer journey, however, required boarding the dogs in the ship's kennel area - and obliged us to be (literally) on deck, in the dark and a howling wind, at 10 pm and again at 5.30 am to check on the puppy and permit the older dogs a bit of a stretch. That was interesting.
The weather forecast for Nova Scotia looked very good.