2014 Sep 6 – Day 79 – St. John’s, NL

Well, we have finally made it!  The most easterly point in Canada; in all of North America actually – Cape Spear – the location of the first lighthouse to be built along the Newfoundland coast in 1836.   A map shows the nearest landfalls after you step into the water here.  We have been to one of them so far.  That is Flores, The Azores, Portugal.  On our Voyage of the Vikings cruise next July we will make it to two more: Reykjanesviti, Iceland and Uummannarsuaq (Cape Farewell), Greenland.  That only leaves Tearaught Island off the coast of Ireland and Cabo de Roca, Portugal for us to get to. I’ll have to put the names on a list so I don’t forget.

IMG_9069 IMG_9073 IMG_9074  We made it!IMG_9075 IMG_9072The original lighthouse had the lightkeepers house built around the base of the light just like at Bonavista.  A new modern light was installed on the Cape in 1957.  There are trails all over the cliffs at Cape Spear.  We wandered up to both lighthouses and along the cliff face to a cove but didn’t venture to the paths on the rocks below.  It was very windy today; albeit a warm wind and I didn’t want to meet any of the rocks face to face.

IMG_9086 IMG_9088 IMG_9089 IMG_9092  Nice view.IMG_9093  Long drop!IMG_9094 IMG_9098 IMG_9101

Some more of Parks Canadas nice red chairs.

IMG_9106IMG_9125 IMG_9128During WWII a joint USA/Canada defense agreement installed two disappearing guns atop Cape Spear.  There was a complete military base built into the rocks.  From below on the cliffs (so definitely from the water) the installation was invisible.

IMG_9079 IMG_9082 IMG_9083 IMG_9085

This is what you see from below the battery.IMG_9081                                            Another nice cloud formation.

The only other place we visited today was Signal Hill.  We are supposed to get rain again in the next few days so we decided to do both of the ‘must see’ outdoor places today while the weather was still good.

Signal Hill has been an important defensive point at St. John’s since the  18th Century.  The harbour at St. John’s is considered a hidden harbour.  It has a very narrow entrance that is disguised by projecting 100′ cliffs.  The Queens’ Battery overlooking this narrow harbour entrance provided defense protection for over 100 years.

IMG_9141 IMG_9143


Cabot Tower. Built between 1897-1900.

IMG_9150St. John’s harbour.  Notice the narrow entrance at the lower left.IMG_9151  Deadman’s PondIMG_9154  Cape Spear is the furthest cliff. You can just make out the lights.IMG_9169The entrance to St. John’s Harbour.

.IMG_9170 IMG_9171We thought the wind was blowing at Cape Spear, but at the top of Signal Hill we literally had to brace our feet to keep steady.  We have a few out-of-focus photos because we couldn’t keep the cameras steady.  John especially had trouble with the wind today because he has had to use his phone to take photos for a couple of weeks already.  He left his camera charger in a hotel room somewhere not long after we got to Newfoundland (none of the hotels he thought it might be in had found it).  He has had to wait until we arrived in St. John’s to buy a new generic one.  All the little towns here don’t have grocery stores or shops of any kind let alone a place to buy specialized camera equipment.IMG_9165

Just before you get to Signal Hill you pass the Geo Center where they have dug deep into the rocks and have a beautiful geology center.  We are thinking of going to check it out while we are here but haven’t decided what day.  But….the most important thing about the Geo Center – to me anyways – were the two life-size sculptures of Newfoundland’s dogs;  the Newfoundland and the Labrador Retriever.  Just in case we don’t get back here before leaving the city I insisted John stop so I could get my photo taken with the ‘dogs.’

IMG_9175 IMG_9177 IMG_9178

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.