Ice, Fog and Rain in Red Bay, Labrador

  • Day 6, Voyage of the Vikings 2019
  • Sunday, Aug. 4, Red Bay, Labrador, Canada

It isn’t too far from Corner Brook to Red Bank in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. But weather-wise, it was a world of difference. Our warm (dare I say hot?) and sunny day in Corner Brook led to a cool (dare I say cold?), rainy and foggy day in Red Bay.

We almost didn’t make it ashore. Red Bay is a tender port, and when we saw it raining in the morning, my sisters and I decided to have a leisurely breakfast before going ashore to explore on our own. Before we went, Captain Bart Vaartjes announced that due to the increasing fog and wind, he was suspending tender service. Officers would join each tender to go ashore to retrieve passengers already there, and the tenders would travel in a group in the fog.

Frankly, it didn’t look that bad from the ship, but we figured the captain knew best. So we settled into the Crow’s Nest for coffee and chatting.

The good news came perhaps an hour later. The captain decided the fog had lifted enough that the tenders could resume service. So we bundled in our hoodies and waterproof jackets and headed ashore amidst a soft rain. The temperature was in the 40s – not really that cold but brisk in the wind and rain.

The town is small and situated in the lee of an island that blocks the Gulf of Saint Lawrence. A combination café and small gift shop was the first building we reached, and we took refuge from the rain, as did many from the ship. Since adopting a minimalist lifestyle and ridding myself of a lifetime of stuff, I have pretty much lost my interest in shopping. So I wandered on outside to take a few pictures and decided to head back to the ship. Elaine explored more of the village, including the church, further up the hill.

Back in the crow’s nest, I peered through the rain-covered windows to sketch the village. My sketch really should reflect the gray weather and fog, but those are beyond my artistic abilities.

As we left our anchorage, we passed our first iceberg. Earlier in the day a small piece of ice floated by, but this was the real thing. We anticipate seeing more in the next few days as we travel to Greenland and then to Iceland. We hope to hit the happy medium between too many icebergs to make some ports and too few to admire. The captain gave this one a comfortable berth.

We opted for the New England-themed dinner in the Lido buffet. The menu included steamed mussels (one of my favorites) and clam chowder. Sadly, there was no lobster. It is perhaps the first time I have noticed a difference in the food offerings between this and last fall’s Grand Asia cruise, which had a larger food budget. Needless to say, we won’t starve. The food has been very good.

Because dinner in the Lido went quickly, we got to the Billboard Onboard show early enough to get good seats. This is a new music venue for me, featuring two baby grand pianos nestled together. Justin Lacey and Rachel May are great singers and musicians with a loyal following on the ship. Tonight’s theme was “Never No. 1” with pop and rock songs you know by heart, but that never rose to No. 1 on the charts. I think this will be a nightly event for us.

Before we went to bed, we set our clocks ahead another 30 minutes. Now we are three hours ahead of Central time. Tomorrow is a sea day before Greenland.