We consider ourselves to be fairly seasoned travelers, but even we took a step back at least a dozen times before we had the balls to book the 17 hour ferry from Sydney, Nova Scotia to Argentia, Newfoundland. With our kids. Overnight.
What was on our mind, you ask? Well, the Titanic, for one. Night sailing. Icebergs (2017 has been a "banner year" for icebergs in Newfoundland). Leonardo DiCaprio. All of it. In fact, Cape Race, Newfoundland was the closest point of land to the Titanic the night it sank, its wireless station near the Cape Race Lighthouse receiving the ship's cry for help.
Second, puke. Seasickness. Us. Kids. Should we give them something? Will it make them crazy? Will it make them tired? Should we take something? Dramamine? Will we be totally out of it? That seems unsafe. If we're drugged up, who will look out for... you know... icebergs?
Third, is this sooooo dumb? We don't even have a guide book... or a map. What are we doing? We only know one other person who has ever even been to Newfoundland... but she (Erin Reichert) is so cool and seems to have great taste and she loved her time with the Newfies. And she gave us a whole paragraph of Newfoundland suggestions via Facebook Messenger. Plus, we read 4 or 5 mom blogs on "Things To Do with Kids in Newfoundland." Surely that's enough? Right?
Fourth, our massive camper. Driving it. On a ferry. Off of a ferry. This fear had calmed itself slightly since we'd already ferried from Prince Edward Island to Nova Scotia, but that ferry was child's play compared to this giant open-water cruise-ship-looking no-nonsense ferry.
Due to our vehicle size, we arrived the required 2 hours before our 5:30pm departure and checked in via the "commercial" lane. A very friendly attendant answered our questions and found us quite amusing. As we waited for her to process our paperwork, we rolled down the windows and admired the beautifully sunny day. Two seconds later, ice started to fall from the sky. Hail. Lots of hail. In July.
As they like to say in these parts: "If you don't like the weather, wait 5 minutes."
Five minutes later, the hail subsided, the sun returned, and we were ushered onto the vessel. We followed behind semi trucks and other campers through the narrow passageways of Deck 3 until we were expertly parked, bumper-to-bumper, for the night. We turned off our propane as required, hoped the blocks of ice we'd set in our freezer would keep things cool until morning, and grabbed our overnight bags and room keys. Time to get our ferry on!