Jul
07

The G.U.N.S.E – The Iceberg Man Cometh

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I woke up early, excited by the prospect of seeing the medium pinnacle iceberg we knew was out there, what we’d come so far to see. And today, if everything went right, we’d see it up close and personal. Yes, an iceberg is just a hunk of floating frozen water, but Iceberg Fever had hit me, and hit me hard.

The fog still blanketed everything, but I had hope. And some time to kill, so I killed it my favorite way, coffee in hand, scanning the front pages of the small town newspapers I’d picked up along the way. It’s always fun to see what constitutes front page news in these smaller, more remote areas.

The hour arrived, and we were pleasantly greeted by Captain Cecil Stockley, the Iceberg Man himself, while his boat, the mv Iceberg Alley idled at the dock, it’s engine chug-chugging away. We were good to go!

Before departure, Unleaded and Sleeping Beauty feel the need to properly gear up for this tour.

A simple rain hat wasn’t enough for Fiona.

All on board, the Iceberg Man revved the engines, and the tiny ship eased out of its slip into the foggy harbor.

Unleaded and Abi (nickname coming soon…) settled in for the voyage.

I struck up a conversation with an older lady on the way out. Her husband decided that for his… get this… eightieth birthday he wanted to see an iceberg. He planned their travel for half a year, and when the time came, they drove from Maine to the ferry, then all the way up to Twillinage, where they’d holed up for a week, waiting for weather good enough to allow tours to go out. A week! Mother Nature might not like me much, but I think she is a fan of stubborn determination. It also makes me happy to think that we’re not putting these things off until we’re too old. Life’s too short to wait until eighty, and there’s still too much to do.

Half an hour later, our stubborn determination was rewarded. We found what we’d been looking for, our medium pinnacle iceberg, floating majestically in a small cove.

The Iceberg Man told us this particular berg had been floating back and forth between two coves for the last five weeks. In that time he estimated it’s lost half it’s size. Little chunks of iceberg, called ‘Bergy Bits’ or ‘Growlers’ depending on their size, had melted and broken away, surrounding the iceberg like little lost children.

With that little mission accomplished, Keith and Abi did their best Sleeping Beauty imitation. I’d say they both fell a bit short.

The inevitable had been avoided and put off as long as possible. It was time. Time to slog 400 miles back to the ferry. But, I have to admit, the extra wait and the upcoming long, high speed ride were worth the views and the experience.

On the way out of Twillingate, we passed this place. I have been absolutely forbidden from making *any* comment about it whatsoever. I will leave the caption up to you, dear reader.

The first half of the ride back to Port-aux-Basques was as cold and miserable as the ride out.

And the roads were just as torn up, wet and bumpy as they were on the way in. The winter took its toll on the roads, and I imagine the road construction season in Newfoundland must be pretty short.

About halfway back to Port-aux -Basques, Mother Nature called another temporary truce, and it went from late fall fog to early spring to the middle of summer, all within fifty miles.

Though we’d been warned numerous times, these were the only moose we saw in Newfoundland.

What’s the big deal anyway? For all the warnings, we were sure we’d see something. We looked and looked and looked for Bullwinkle, to no avail.

By dropping the hammer, the Expedition made the Port-aux-Basques ferry with time to spare, so, as a reward for our 400 mile sprint, we stopped in a small restaurant offering a delicious sounding treat.

And thus, Abi will be forever known as Dark Meat Snack.

Killing time in the ferry line, Fiona surprised me. Not only was she awake, but she jumped on Stormbringer, and she had that *look* in her eye. I could see the wheels were turning in her head. Perhaps the next Expedition, to claim more non-islands for my non-island Kingdom will include a forth bike?

The next installment of the Great Unsponsored Nova Scotia Expedition can be found here.

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Categories : Motorcycle

Comments

  1. Ttiana says:

    DMS?? I think Abi would be better as DMM (Meal 😉 )(or D Msquared to those in the know.)
    Love the blog….some awesome photos you have there….keep em coming!
    Tracey

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