Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Bar Harbor to Halifax, NS

Well, today was a mixed day. It started early; we both were excited about catching the ferry, so we woke up early to make sure we didn't oversleep.

The ferry landing was close by; about 2.3 miles from the motel. So it was a very easy ride to the landing. Check-in was very painless; gave the officer my passport and he let me through with no hassles or other questions or issues.

We were waived to a line of motorcycles on the far side of the parking lot. We thought we were early; in fact, we were probably the 30th or so bike in line! All kinds of bikes, but mostly HDs. Some bikes with trailers.

Met several nice people from all over while waiting to go. It was an easy wait until they called us forward.

Just before we boarded, the fog rolled in. Before then, it was clear and nice. But the fog was thick, making it impossible to take any pics of the ferry at rest before going on to it.

Boarding the ferry was easy; basically just drive into the bowels of the ship. They had an area reserved for motorcycles, and packed them in very tight, with hardly enough room to get off the bikes.

Tie down straps were provided by the ferry. The straps were the ratcheting type, which are the type I hate to use. They are hard to get to work right, and were dirty. There was not enough room to do anything but to throw the strap over the seat and pull it down tight. That's what we did.

Once tied down, we went upstairs into the passenger area of the ferry. It has two food service facilities, a bar, a casino, and lots of seating. A pretty nice vessel. Of course it should be, at $171 per bike and person boarding. Not a cheap ride.

We got underway after a short wait, and we rode for about 3.5 hours. The ride was good, with some rolling and dipping, but not bad at all. Lost $5 in the slot machines; it lasted maybe a minute, and included no wins.

The fog never lifted a bit. This disappointed me a great deal; I was looking forward to seeing a big boat on a plane in the water, but you could barely see the water 10 feet from the boat. I also had hoped to see some wildlife, maybe whales. But it was not to be.

When we got to Yarmouth, we rode off the boat, went through Customs with no problem, and started north to Halifax.

The ride was easy. For the most part, very light traffic and good road conditions. It was an easy almost 200 miles to Halifax, the hotel, and seeing Gary's wife, who was waiting for us at the hotel.

So far, virtually everyone I've met in NS has been very friendly and helpful. They seem to have an attitude of "what can I do to make your stay here better?", an attitude that is rare and appreciated. I hope it stays that way the rest of the time we're here.

So, it was an easy day, but somewhat disappointing due to the fog. We did about 200 miles for the day.

Tomorrow--Sightseeing Halifax and surrounding areas.

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