Saturday, November 6, 2010

Newfoundland? In November? Sign me up...

I've traveled all over Canada.

The first time I visited Canada, it was 1982, and I was a Third Class Petty Officer in the Navy, stationed aboard the USS Pigeon (hey, would I make that up?). The Pigeon was a submarine rescue ship that was featured in the movie "Gray Lady Down". Now, while we never actually rescued any submarines, we did pull into some pretty cool ports. It was on this ship that I enjoyed my first trip to Canada, pulling into Victoria, British Columbia.

Since then, because of what I do for a living, I've had the opportunity to visit other parts of British Columbia, such as Jasper and Banff National Parks in the Canadian Rockies west of Calgary, Alberta, the Old Port in Montreal, Quebec, and the harbor of Halifax, Nova Scotia. Every time, I've had my camera in my hand.

A week from tomorrow, though, I'm heading someplace new: Newfoundland.

Officially known as Newfoundland & Labrador (not a bad place to start, I guess, if you're puppy shopping), it's the eastern-most part of Canada. While British Columbia is in the Pacific Time Zone, and a place like Nova Scotia is in the Atlantic Time Zone, Newfoundland does not follow that same convention. If it's noon in San Diego, it's four in the afternoon in Halifax. Newfoundland, I suppose, has a need to be different. You see, if it's noon in San Diego, it's 4:30pm in the afternoon in St. John's. It's as if we're stopping at the exact halfway mark between time zones. We're not, of course, but it seems that way.

I dunno'.

I leave for St. John's, Newfoundland, a week from tomorrow. We'll fly, on a Hawker 850XP, from Gillespie Field in El Cajon, CA to Salina, Kansas. We'll kill about an hour on the ground to refuel and stretch our legs before heading off for the frigid climes of St. John's, Newfoundland. I'll do some business while I'm there and, if my luck holds, I'll get in some quality photo time. Normally, I don't take the "big rig" with me, opting, instead, for my trusty Canon G10. But, having never been to Newfoundland before, I don't want to be in a position where the weather cooperates and I find myself without the Canon 40D. I'm crossing my fingers.

There's more to prepare for than just the "photo ops" aspect of this trip, though. This is, after all, Newfoundland in November. We're not exactly talking about the tropics here. Temperatures will hover in the high 20's.

I live in southern California.

I remember, the last time I walked through Sears, seeing "cold weather working long underwear". Now, in the past, I may not have even noticed it. It's funny how your perception changes when faced with a trip like this.

So, I'll be spending the next week preparing not only my camera gear, but also preparing my suitcase contents. Because we're traveling on a business jet, I need to be mindful of the size of my suitcase. Functionality, with regards to being able to what I pack being able to keep me warm, will have to rule the day. I just won't be able to pack a lot of it.

I can only imagine the chuckles from those is colder climates laughing right about now. Yeah, I get it. If you're in Michigan or Montana, temperatures in the mid-twenties would, I suspect, feel like a warming trend to you in the dead of winter. But, then again, you're in Michigan or Montana. I'm 20 miles east of San Diego.

And I'm here for a reason...

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