St John’s – the port that wasn’t

it was extremely early when I woke to look out the doors at the white caps on the water. Feeling still a bit blurry and noting the rocking of the ship I decided to see what it was like on the balcony.
Cold. It was cold and extremely windy. The cold would not be an issue, but the wind was going to present some challenges if I correctly remembered what someone had described last evening.   St John’s is a really well sheltered harbor. The channel leading into it is called The Narrows. With typical quiet bluntness – it is narrow. As in 90 meters wide. The harbor behind it is deep but clearly affected by tide and wind. They don’t have tug boats since bringing a ship in during a bad storm is unlikely due to the channel and getting out during one is even more remote a possibility.
As I am thinking through all of this (and downloading email, getting dressed and contemplating coffee) it suddenly occurs to me that my thrill of suddenly being in range of shore with the phone might just be overcome by the fact that I could no longer see the shot. The Harbor is on the Canadian Coast and the ship is now headed east. What the ????
By the time we repeated this dance with water and wave it was pretty obvious to all but the least intelligent of passengers that we were not going to be challenging 6+ meter waves, 40 knot windows and a narrow channel that morning.  A ship whose length is longer than the channel is wide would be taking a serious risk in even attempting entry.  The only thing that might have been worse would be to get into the harbor and be stuck for several days. (Not for me, but all but 12 of the ship’s passengers have plans that involve taxis. cars, trains, buses or planes starting on the 23rd. Being somewhere along the Atlantic seaboard would not make them overly thrilled).
So it was only the occasional idiot who was complaining about not being able to get off the ship: demanding that the Captain “do something.” Well he had. Made a decision not to risk life, limb or ship just to enter a port so that a few people could have seven hours on shore. I mean really – we had only had three days at sea. Being on for another three is not all that difficult.
Not for those of us who met up at the morning craft table anyway.  We have yarn!


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