We were standing on the farthest-east point of land in North America: Cape Spear. A cold blast of air sent chills through us but here we were, a year after being at the farther-west point, Anchor Point, Alaska. And to make the moment special we had a pod of humpback whales feeding just offshore. One massive mammal did a full breach, rising straight up and curving into a dive back into the deep with a huge splash. Another humpback seemed to lie sideways in the cold Atlantic, raising one enormous flipper which he/she waved at us. The other whale pooped while swimming inshore, leaving a gigantic trail of brown stuff in the water.
Cape Spear light was built in the 1830s. Gun emplacements were built to repel German subs in World War II.
We looked westward and could see Signal Hill, at the entrance to St. John's Harbor. This stone building on the horizon was used in the early days to spy out approaching merchant ships. The word then would be signaled to the wharves of St. John so the stevedores could prepare to quickly offload the cargo.
Today, Signal Hill sits in the gloom of a heavy black cloud, with wreathes of fog on the surrounding approaches.
St. John's is a real city – one of the very few in the entire province. This is the seat of government and there are universities and much industry here. We were even able to find replacement batteries for our RV. One of our 6-volt batteries lost a cell and we endlessly were filling the battery with distilled water to no effect. As a result, we have not been able to dry camp for the entire stay in Newfoundland. But now we are rebuilt and ready to live away from the electric grid.
One strange occurrence worth mentioning: Last Sunday, I stopped at a gas station for my final fill-up of gas on the island. I filled the RV's tank to the brim – I thought. $336 worth of gas. We drove up to Trinity and I noticed our gas gauge did not register that the tank was full. I sagged and thought “just another electrical issue.” So I checked fuses but they were fine. So I prepared to drive and calculate the number of miles. The next day, however, we drove back down the peninsula and I noticed the gauge had actually dropped a little, making me believe the gauge was actually fine. I pulled into the gas station and went inside. I explained my dilemma and asked if there was any possibility that the gas pump did not actually pump gas.
The lady behind the counter rolled her eyes and said, “You're the missing link!”
“Excuse me?” I said.
She explained the pump had failed at 3:30 pm on Sunday and they had a discrepancy of money paid for about 270 liters of gas – my non-existent gas. She was profusely apologetic. I was just delighted that I had stopped in. She told us to go ahead and fill up and I found I could only fit $325 worth of gas into the almost-empty tank. She refunded the $11 difference and then presented me with a bag containing two Irving Gas tee shirts and two water bottles.
Saturday's weather broke for the better in the afternoon and we headed for Quidi Vidi Village, a unique place in our experience. The village has its own entrance from the Atlantic Ocean, through a 30-foot-wide cut between vertical rocks. When you pass through the cut, you are inside a quiet haven where storms cannot reach you. A sailboat had just come through this little cut and was tied up at the Quidi Vidi Brewery docks.
We visited the brewery and bought a sixpack of one of the smoothest ales I've every experienced. One of their beers is made from the purest water from icebergs.
We walked the rocky shore and marveled at the variety of colors in the flinty rocks. Then we wound through the narrow streets (9 feet wide in places) before heading back to Paradise, where our rig is located.