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Sabin’s on the Sea 2023 - Day #31 - St. Anthony, Newfoundland, Canada

by Nina Sabin - Travel Blog

Another beautiful morning on the seas. There are mixed feelings about this 35-day Viking Voyage coming to an end. We are excited about going home but there is that sad feeling that comes when a journey is over.

The good news is we still have two more ports after today. So we are trying to keep our focus on the fascination of the trip and the exploring still to come in the next four days.

Today we arrived to St. Anthony, Newfoundland.

St. Anthony is a town on the northern reaches of the Great Northern Peninsula of the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador. St. Anthony serves as a main service center for northern Newfoundland and southern Labrador.

There are a lot of walking trails visitors can do once off the tender.

The visitor center and Grenfell House Museum is right by the port.

A short walk from the port is a mounted polar bear. This mounted polar bear is on display in the lobby of the St. Anthony Municipal building. The bear was wandering in the community in 1984 when it collapsed in the harbor. Since then, the bear has been on display.

Now that we are back in Canada, we were able to use our data service. After leaving the mounted polar bear we stopped for a coffee and tea at Tim Hortons, a well know restaurant chain in Canada.

Since we didn’t want to do too much walking today after so many long days of walking, we stayed locally.

One of the highlights of today was going to a local pub, Ragna Rock, and watching a ‘Screech-in” Ceremony.

The "screech-in" is a ceremony performed on non-Newfoundlanders (involving a shot of screech rum, a short recitation, tasting some Newfoundland food- "Newfie steak" (a slice of baloney) and Toutons (fried bread dough served with a generous drizzle of molasses) and the kissing of a cod fish.

The process starts with a leader asking the participants of the ceremony to introduce themselves and asking those present if they'd like to become a Newfoundlander. The proper response is a hearty "Yes b'y!"

Each holding their shot of Screech (the local Newfoundland rum), they are then asked "Are ye a screecher?" or "Is you a Newfoundlander?," and are taught the proper response: "Indeed I is, me ol' cock! And long may yer big jib draw!" Translated, it means "Yes I am, my old friend, and may your sails always catch wind."

There are other sites to explore if you ever go to St. Anthony such as Dare Devil Trail and Fox Point Lighthouse where you might see icebergs or whales. There anre many other trails throughout the town.

The Daredevil Trail on Fishing Point Municipal Park in St. Anthony, NL on the Great Northern Peninsula is a daunting 476 steps up and another 476 down. The views at the top will give visitors perfect panoramic views of the community, St. Anthony Bight, the coastline, whales, icebergs, birds, fishing boats and so much more.

Due to my soreness we decided to skip Dare Devil Trail, which was disappointing but we enjoyed the alternative of watching the “Screech-in” ceremony.

The two man band playing local music was wonderful to watch as John tried a local beer. They performed with an accordion and an ugly stick.

The ugly stick is a traditional Newfoundland musical instrument fashioned out of household and tool shed Items, typically a mop handle with bottle caps, tin cans, small bells and other noise makers. The instrument is played with a drum stick or notched stick and has a distinctive sound.

We were so intrigued with the “Screech-in” ceremony we decided to buy our own bottle of Screech rum to bring home.

Each time we leave a port there is a sail away party. As we left St. Anthony, the sail away was a wine and cheese party on the lido deck. The wine was half price at $5 per glass. There was also a jazz band playing. Probably the best sail away party so far.

Tomorrow we will be stopping in St. John's, Newfoundland.

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