After breakfast we head to the Observation Lounge to watch the approach to the tiny hamlet of Red Bay. The Labrador coast is in sunshine, but the Newfoundland coast is barely visible through the clouds. Carolyn spots several whales swimming along with the ship as we cruise. Then we see a large hump of land, with a marine signaling tower and what looks like an old light keeper's house on top, sticking out into the water. As we get closer we see a few houses tucked back in a small bay.
There are several tours today, a short walking tour and two long ones that head to a light house down the coast, but we decided to just walk about the town on our own. The Basque settlement has been developed into a National Park featuring the results of the extensive archaeological work done on both land and under water in the area. Around 11AM, we decide that there have probably been enough tender runs to get the tour groups off so we head to deck 3. There is still a line as one of the tenders died in the water so we opt to go up to the open deck off the Club, where we can sit and watch for the tenders to start moving again. This doesn’t take long and we are soon on our way to Red Bay.
There is really very little to do in Red Bay, but we still found it interesting. One hundred and fifty hardy souls live there, many third and forth generation. The nearest medical services are 40 minutes away...we found this out because a local fell and it took 40 minutes for the ambulance with first aid to arrive. There is a K through 12 school in the village and there are 19 students and 4 ½ teachers!
Most people thought the tours were not worth it as they used the school buses. Since school is in session now, the tours were rushed so the buses could do the school runs. Too bad the residents didn’t come together and offer rides over to the walking paths...the one along the beach looked very easy and doable by most people if the hour and a half round trip walk from the tender to it was removed. Several people did do the whole walk and enjoyed their day. The weather has been so bad/different this summer, many of the planned cruise calls have been canceled because the ships couldn’t get into the harbor, including the one yesterday. We were lucky and had a beautiful warmish day to boot!
On the way back to the ship Dick strikes up a conversation with a couple who turn out to be one of Carolyn’s CC friends we had never caught up with on the ship. He learns that the plans for the tours tomorrow are all messed up due to the lack of enough busses. The only tour they could get was one that didn’t really appeal and it was scheduled to be on a school bus. Since we have a car rented, Dick asks them if they would like to join us. We meet for cocktails and enjoy a great sunset. Then go to dinner to set up the day.