How the Cookie Crumbles

An irreverant view of life after SIXTY-FIVE

Whales, Fishing and Fish Oil, Oh My

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We enjoyed a mug up, or tea break along the way (See Newlandland sayings). There were choices of muffins, tea, or coffee. This is snack time after all. It took a while for service. About half-way through our drinks, it was already time to leave. Mary asked if we might switch to a Styrofoam cup to go. “Of course,” the waitress said.

“I don’t suppose I can get a warm up?” Doesn’t hurt to ask.

“Help yourself when you pick up your cup.” She pointed to the coffee service beside the cash register. The mug up had been free as was the warm up and cup.

Next stop, we visited the Red Bay National Historic Site Visitor Centre and the Interpretation Center to view the collection of artifacts.

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I cannot get my head around it. how had whalers managed to chase, catch, and harpoon a 60,000 whale and not drown in a boat the size of the chalupa (also see below).

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  • Red Basque Bay Whaling Station (Bay named because of red soil)
  • 2 types of whale: bowhead and bull
  • 2,000 French sailors came here for whaling
  • 30,000 tons of whale oil back to their homes
  • 1 barrel of oil = $6,000 – $8,000 each
  • Several whaling stations
  • First will was written in Basque Country by a sailor
  • Selma_Barkham five years in the Basque Country (historian / researcher)

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The real deal a-basque-galleon

Later, the bus stopped for a facilities break at an Express Liquor, which carried everything you might ever need: from skidoos, motor oil, fishing equipment, tourist T-shirts, snacks, and wine. Wow. Francis told us not to be shy. The 7-ll we have in Ontario are nothing like this and don’t even carry spirits.

“If you want to pick up some wine or spirits, here’s your chance.” What a salesman!

Mary and I followed the rest of the passengers like sheep. An opportunity not to pass to loosen the bus-sitting bodies. When we asked Francis the chances of finding another Express the following night around the hotel, he said, “No chance.”

“Guess we’ll plan ahead then.” I felt heat rise in my face. He smiled and I scooted away.

Isn’t this a straight highway?

The restaurant where we stopped for dinner was a disappointment. The crab cakes I ordered were a good size, nicely browned, but mashed potatoes over-powered the taste. I couldn’t taste the cod. Had they run out of fish? A salad lay limp and suffering next to them, joined in the deception with a thimbleful of homemade pickle relish and half a slice of white bread. What? Thank goodness I decided to splurge on a glass of beer before I saw my order. I thought my tummy would scream for more food, but it didn’t—not immediately. Mary and I considered ordering a pizza later.

Around 8:20 pm, the bus finally arrived at Northern Light Inn for a one-night stay. A huge bowl of non-alcoholic punch with floating inch-long slices of orange peel awaited us in the lobby. Francis handed out room keys and menu choices for boxed lunches. We had to fill out and drop them off at Reception before going to our rooms. Someone was coming in for overtime to make up the lunches, ready for pick up in the morning on our way to the bus.

The room offered a different experience again. This time the water pressure surprised us. It was exceptional compared to our previous hotel where the toilet couldn’t gather enough pressure to flush without some cajoling.

The sink / powder area were across the hall from the bathroom. Something we haven’t seen on this tour, although, I have in the past. A note on the bathroom mirror requested unused towels not be dropped in the tub signifying laundry. MADE perfect sense. Why not save towel life, excess soap, bleach, water, and electricity? I like and appreciate conservation. Why not in a hotel / motel environment?

TIME FOR A GIGGLE:

A man bought a sheer nightie for his 80-year-old wife. “Oh my gawd. All that money and they didn’t even iron it.”

© 2015 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles.

For more related posts, click on Newfoundland / Labrador tab at the top of the page.

Next on February 26th –  Around and out of Labrador

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Author: Let's CUT the Crap!

I'm getting a little LONG in the tooth and have things to say about---ouch---AGEing. I believe it's certainly a state of mind but sometimes it's nice to hear that you're NORMAL. I enjoy reading by the truckload. I'm a grandma but I don't feel OLD although I'm not so young anymore. My plan is to stick it out as long as I can on this lovely planet and only will leave it kicking and screaming!

81 thoughts on “Whales, Fishing and Fish Oil, Oh My

  1. Did they add the fish? That made me laugh, although it probably wasn’t too funny for you eating that meal. Another interesting post.

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  2. I wouldn’t do well in those times. I wonder if I could kill a whale even if I was starving. Probably…

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  3. If I had to go whaling in a boat that size, I’d definitely need some spirits when I was done!

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  4. The visit to the museum looks interesting

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  5. The museum looked good but the rest of the description sounds a little dreary. Thanks for taking us along.

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  6. Always enjoy traveling along with you Tess. I’m on vacation in Hawaii now with grandkids in tow for part of the time. We’re seeing lots of whales spouting and jumping, and my 6-year-old grandson looked up Humpback Whale and read that they are endangered. What a lesson for him, particularly as my daughter and I explained how they were overhunted in those ships.

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  7. You seem to be travelling over a lot of flat, dull terrain on this trip Tess?

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  8. Everything you write about your trips you fill with interest Tess. I’d love to be sitting next to you for a running commentary someday.
    xxx Massive Hugs xxx

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  9. Love the giggle and the museum sounds interesting, it was a hard life for humans and whales.

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  10. Wonderful photographss – particularly of the model boats.

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  11. Those whaling guys were tough for sure!

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  12. What a beautiful model of a galleon. But the thought of being in the tiny boat while hunting whales…o.O

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  13. …amazingly brave (or stupid! ) whalers! 🙂 great post, m’Lady, Tess:)

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  14. Looking at the photos of boats, Vikings came to mind. Sure, wrong ocean is near, but still, how do we know all the places the Vikings went?

    It appears that the hotel room was pleasant upgrade for you and your sister, and a sensible place too. Were the beds decent?

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    • Lots of Spanish. The Viking did come for the fishing as well, and the English and French. Someone mentioned chalupa is Spanish for boat without a motor. The boats weren’t that small but still too small to go hunting whales if you ask me.
      Yes, the beds were all wonderful. Off and on, the pillows were much too high or full and not comfortable fore sleeping.

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  15. Hi Tess!
    Thought this was a truly great read, and really enjoyed it!
    I have just started my blog and would love it if you checked it out! 😀

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  16. Very interesting. Thanks for sharing.

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  17. Reblogged this on Judith Barrow and commented:
    Travelling long with Tess.

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  18. Loving these posts, Tess. Are you tired yet?

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  19. Fascinating post. Life was tough for those whalers, wasn’t it?

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  20. To think people from Spain went all the way over there to fish! I lived in Canada and never got to the east coast. We have met a few Basque people and they are very nice folks. Great pictures Tess!

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  21. A very interesting post, Tess. I cannot imagine going out in that little boat and catching a whale that large.The model of the galleon with the cut away side is beautiful. It sounds as though you had a wonderful trip. Thanks for sharing.

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  22. I suppose the whalers succeeded because the whales became passive in that bay. Tough life choice mind you. As for the fish cakes my gran used to specialise in flavourless fish. Maybe she was using a Newfoundland recipe book. Great to follow the tour.

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  23. I would be in heaven in a place like this.

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  24. All the trips usually are good as we try to have pleasures in many things, places, company (I mean friends). however we must be prepared for the bad disappointments… anyway I hope tou enjoy your days!!!!! … “Chalupa” are the name we the Spanisch people give to wooden small boats without any motor, of course, an in those times the galleons had at least one or two.
    I wait for the rest of the trip!!!!!! Rosa Ave Fénix

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  25. The museum looked interesting. The towel rules are great. Everywhere I travel there are notes in the bathrooms about water conservation, so I think word is getting around.
    Oh, and LOL to the wrinkled nightie!!! xo ❤

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  26. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    I decided to leave this week’s tour of Newfoundland as my bedtime reading and was not disappointed. This week Tess visits the whaling museum and thought gruesome statistics, it was a different time. I had no idea that so many Basques from Spain when to Newfoundland. Anyway great descriptions as always and a little chuckle at the end of it. Thanks Tess and goodnight. hugs

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  27. That is a whale of a tale, Tess…I love whales (not that I know any personally), but I understand why whaling happened, not sure why it still happens, but…
    Fascinating post, as always, thanks for sharing your journeys with us. Hope this week treats yo kindly. 🙂

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  28. What an awful dinner! I’ve enjoyed the history of whaling since I was little – living in Massachusetts you can’t avoid it!

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  29. I love those old ships, but I get sea sick on a lake! Fascinating history. Thanks for the tour, the museum sounds fascinating. 😀

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  30. I’m a big fan of Moby Dick (it’s one of my all-time favourite novels) so I would have loved the museum. They were hard times indeed. Your meal doesn’t sound to appealing but at least you had a chance to stock up for later…;)

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    • Hi, Olga. Yes, I’m a fan of Moby Dick as well.
      The museum was large and felt new and was packed with interesting models, was on several levels and well lit.
      I don’t often complain about the food, but I had to be truthful about this one. A couple others at our table ordered the same meal and we rolled our eyes together. 😀 😀

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  31. You cajoled the toilet – I’ll keep that in mind next time we’re experiencing plumbing problems. My husband will grab the phone and I’ll cajole the toilet to do the job well enough to cancel the plumber. Oh you made me laugh, Tess.

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  32. 😀 😀 Laughing and giggling keeps my ticker going. ❤ ❤ Anyway, it's also good for what ails you. I still believe laughter is the best medicine. Doesn't cost anything but adds sharing with friends along the way.

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  33. It amazes me, the everyday courage shown in the 19th century. And this is just what working stiffs did to make ends meet. Glad you had a nice trip. The area sounds fascinating. 🙂

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    • I cannot imagine life before this one. I’m too much a feminist to have sat home and tended the fires and I sure as heck could not have settled for a poor working guy like a whaler. No, I’m not a snob but…still… I’m great with the here and now… I might like to visit for about five minutes until a storm hit or there was not food of the house was blown away…
      *sigh* selfish? This is the life I know and I sure don’t want to go backwards after working for 42 years and not enjoying my retirement. 😀 😀 😀
      The working stiff who were taken advantage of by the merchants until Dr. Grenville came along–in NFL, that is.

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  34. LOL LOL LOL…love the funny 😀 😀 😀 Tess, I love your travel blogs, interesting, humourous and full of details, which I just love to read about. You capture the entire experience, warts and all. Shame about the meal…next time, make sure you have more beers, ha! Wonderful adventures you are having, so happy for you 🙂 ❤ ❤ ❤

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  35. I love history and all as well, but it’s not fun to write about like the nitty gritty if I can find it. 😀 L-D
    Thanks for visiting and commenting. Great seeing you.

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