26 Jul

Inn on the sea. I’ve got the last room within a couple of hours of wet riding. Luckily the hosts took me in.



What a beautifully maintained comfy home in which to rest.

I’ll leave after the weather improves and on Sunday, if the forecast is correct, I’ll be able to enjoy my last few days on this island; The Rock as it’s called by most.

The were no Ro-Ro ferries operating on my route along the south coast. Only well aged supply ships carrying passengers and each ship is equipped with has a small crane capable of lifting pallets of supplies, an ATV, or in my case my motorcycle which was rather a novelty. The Marine Voyageur was built in 1964 and the Northern Seal in 1979, now both well aged vessels and probably very expensive to keep in service.  I found a detailed report regarding and have selected some information regarding the ferry service along my route.


Submitted to: the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador PO Box 8700 St. John’s, NL A1B 4J6 Submitted by: BMT FLEET TECHNOLOGY LIMITED PO Box 2113 25 Kenmount Road St. John’s, NL A1C 5R6

3.4.5 Routes K – N: Western South Coast Services The current South Coast services include those provided by the provincially-owned Gallipoli and the remainder provided by the small, privately operated ships. They have been considered together here to highlight how a more radical revision to current service levels might be accomplished.

Traffic statistics indicate that none of the routes is under-serviced. The Gallipoli runs overall at a small fraction of capacity, and the other services are also poorly utilized. However, none of these services is currently set up in a way that promotes economic development, notably (but not exclusively) tourism. Travelling the length of the South Coast requires complex planning, takes the better part of a week, and is only an option for backpackers **.  Service reliability issues also increase the risk of being stranded or of having to backtrack if connections are missed. The very limited cargo/vehicle capacity of any of the private sector vessels is a barrier to other types of development in the South Coast communities. An alternative service delivery model is suggested by the ‘Hurtigruten’ routes along the coast of Norway, in which several vessels run the considerable length of the country, maintaining a regular schedule at each port. The ships serve both local needs and also an increasing volume of tourism. On a smaller scale, this approach could be replicated on the South Coast of Newfoundland. At the western end of the system, there is reasonably convenient road access to the major ferry ports at Port aux Basques. Adding similar capability to Route O (see section 3.4.6) would shorten the eastern link to Argentia. All of the ports along the route could benefit from better access. A minimum of two vessels would be required to provide a daily call at each port. The size/capability required is discussed in more detail at Section A, but should be sufficient to offer a reasonable level of comfort to passengers and in the order of 6-car equivalent space and deadweight.

** From my experience, I see that tourism travel along the South Coast is a large economic potential. While there is no need to have a vehicle along the way, except to transportation at both ends of the trip, I imagine that travelling by mountain bicycle could become a world class route.  It’s hardly “only an option for backpackers.” Visiting these small communities and having use of a mountain bike to explore would be an awesome holiday.

BMT Fleet Technology Limited 5973C.FR Vessel Replacement Strategy 93 7.2.1 Safety It should be stated up front that one of the major reasons that there has been no serious accident to date is the quality of the crews currently employed. Ferry systems operate around the world but very few operate in conditions as severe as those encountered around Newfoundland. The Bell Island and South Coast Services are operated while being fully exposed to the rigors of the North Atlantic which can be extraordinarily severe in the winter months, and the Northern routes are all required to operate in sea ice to some degree. Operating any ferry system is challenging but to do so reliably in the weather conditions prevalent in Newfoundland presents challenges that few mariners ever encounter.
My South Shore coastal adventure is at and end, Burgeo is now the end of the line because there are no more westbound ships. Any boats necessary to complete a trip west to Rose Blanche have been recently discontinued.  CRAZY government decision to create a gap in what could easily be a world class loop boosting the tourism economy.

As usual I have a loose schedule and have no clue about the ferry times leaving Port aux Basques back to the mainland. I suppose I will try and board late at night and sleep on the floor during the crossing. Hopefully, if the weather cooperates I will be able to sleep with Big Agnes one more night before I leave Newfoundland. My mattress, sleeping bag and tent has worked perfectly; in fact all my gear is fine. Of course I didn’t need my merino wool long underwear because the temperatures have been great for this adventure.

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