We’re Here!

Fish and I have just arrived in St. John’s Newfoundland via a 15 hour ferry from North Sydney, Nova Scotia.  Click on the photo below if you want to see a few pictures of the crossing to “The Rock”.  If you are interested in some of the travel details from Whidbey Island, scroll down and click on the next story.   As we progress the the Targa Newfoundland event, it is my intent to blog daily on how the day went.  …I’m not sure this is realistic, but that’s the plan!  Tomorrow is a school on Bell Island, Saturday is a “media day” as well as car tech and a welcome party that evening.  Sunday is the “prologue” stages and then the event progresses through 2200 km of Newfoundland countryside through the week.  If you are interested in more info on Targa, check their website at www.TargaNewfoundland.com.

The photo below was just taken an hour ago right after we unloaded Willy.  We haven’t unstrapped the car since it left the Racecraft shop in Woodinville, Washington 4200 miles back.  He fired right up!

Willy arriving in St Johns

On Wednesday, we left the “Arm of Gold” RV park in the afternoon and after some grocery shopping, queued up for the ferry to Argentia, Newfoundland several hours early so we could grab some dinner before boarding.  The departure time was 9 PM, so we had a few hours to kill.  This ship is massive:

Sydney - Sept 10

We were parked right by several fellow Targa competitors who we ended up going to dinner with and swapping stories.  All these guys had competed several times at Targa so I definately felt like a “newbie” however they were good fun, had a lot of great advice and I was happy we ran into them.  Here is Michael Salter’s 1953 Austin Healey:

Michael Salter Austin Healey 100

And Dave Pledger’s mini “Lucy”:

Lucy - Targa Mini

In another enclosed trailer was Richard Paterson’s first generation red mini named “Betty”.  Richard, Michael and Dave are all part of the “Brick n Brute” team.  Great name!  Since this year is the 50th anniversary of the marque, Richard has organized ”Targa MiniFEST” – a week-long celebration for Mini (and MINI owners and enthusiasts) that will include displays, special events and discounted entry to the annual tarmac rally challenge.  Should be fun – they are great guys!

After dinner, it started to rain just as we were loading for the first time since our trip began.  Lest you think otherwise, I am not opposed to a little rain during Targa – it may be my only chance to do well…  It started getting dark as we loaded and that little ship in the distance turned out to be one amazing large beast – a little bigger than our Whidbey Island ferries:

Argentgia Ferry

The Enterprise on the Argentia Ferry

After getting parked, we made our way up to the 5th level where our “cabin” was supposed to be.  Turns out it wasn’t bad for a ship of this type and we had our own private head.  After we got found our room, I didn’t see any towels so raced back down to the “garage” level before they closed it up for sailing, grabbed some towels and headed back to the cabin (this sounds easier than it is – I think I’ve described how big these ships are?).  As I threw my overnight bag and the newly acquired towels on the bed, Fish casually brought up that our towels were around the corner on a shelf.  ….yeah, we’re newbies all right…

We had a great time with the Brick n Brute team, that also included their mechanic Carl, in the lounge where our entertainment was a pretty decent folk guitar singer who was later accompanied by an accordian player – great stuff.  We drank wine from a box.  …not so great stuff…  We retired to our cabin as the ship rocked and rolled through a fairly brisk gale.  The next morning it was a not-so-bad breakfast sandwich in the ship’s galley and around 12:30 Newfoundland time, we arrived at the Argentia ferry terminal:

Argentia Ferry Terminal

We got stuck behind a house for a while – yeah, a house – that seemed quite a bit larger than a typical “single wide” and had inches of headroom to spare as they went through the “mouth” of the ship.  …finally we were off for the last 1 1/2 hours of driving to St. John’s from Argentia.  We made a quick stop for fuel in both The Enterprise and Willy where more than one Newfie stuck their head in the trailer to find out “what was in there”.  They all know about Targa!

….and here we are at Pippy Park RV campground in St John’s.  It was a relief after unloading Willy when he fired right up.  I hope he looks this good at the end of next week:

Willy at Pippy Park

The weather here is sunny but brisk – typical Newfoundland this time of year.  They are forecasting showers for the prologue on Sunday into Monday, but we’ll see.  Things change quickly around here.  Regardless of how the weather turns out we are excited to finally be here in one piece and beginning another phase of our adventure.

5 comments to We’re Here!

  • Chuck Dimon

    A great Trip. Have a wonderful race. Win Willy Win’ Keep up the entertaining Blog.
    Chuck and Mom

  • Lorraine

    Wow! It’s starting to sound like a real adventure!! Glad you guys made it without any incidents. Now…when is Fish coming home…I need a latte…

  • Andrew Hunt

    This might be the coolest trip anyone has ever taken since Burt Reynolds took off for the Southern Classic

  • Jack

    Now it’s Willy’s turn to to show off that he has more than a beautiful paint job and great graphics.
    The cross country trip made for great morning coffee vicarious travels. Congratulations to you and Fish for an ontime arrival. Keep on posting.

  • Tony Robertson

    Looking forward to your daily updates, and wishing you lots of luck in the race.
    FWIW, I’ve never called my car by name, but the two women who owned from new, (before me), called it Baker Mike Willy.

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