July 31 – Cape Spear-St. John’s Harbour-Signal Hill-Quidi Vidi Bay-Confederation Building

We tried to rent a car but there were none available. It seems there are not very many rental cars in St. John’s and they were all booked up for several weeks. Now what do we do?

David at the Delta concierge arranged for a local taxi to drive us around to see the sights and the driver would also be our guide. Sounds good to me.

Our first stop was Cape Spear located on the Avalon Peninsula just a bit south of St. John’s. It is the easternmost point in Canada, and North America.






A short walk up the hill to the lighthouse keeper’s house


Parks Canada has placed a pair of red Muskoka chairs in National Parks across the country. We came across these at Cape Spear.

This is the oldest lighthouse in Newfoundland. I couldn’t imagine being out here in such a remote location but I am glad someone did it. The fog horn still works and there were several signs warning that if the horn sounded it could cause a hearing loss, proceed at your own risk.

Just over the hill from the lighthouse is the remains of a gun emplacement from World War II. There is restoration work taking place to be better display the gun for its historical significance.

St. John’s Harbour – some of the fishing fleet

 Colourful buildings

Terry Fox Memorial at Mile 0



Harbour entrance


Signal Hill


Quidi Vidi Bay


Confederation Building


The Rooms Archive



July 30 – St. John’s – Screech In


Delta Hotel

colourful buildings

a long walk through St. John’s

rainy day


We ended up at the Colonial Building, which was built in 1850, where we met a nice man on a walk with his two children. He seemed quite pleased when we asked him to take our photograph.  We didn’t have our Canada Flag so a hardy wave had to do.

Government House


Valerie signed the guest register at Government House.

This plaque is about the last of the indigenous people based on the island of Newfoundland. The Beothuk people of the land were here before the Europeans arrived around 1500. Their demise is not well known or taught across the country. They lived only on the island of Newfoundland. They are no more.


party town

Kitchen Party

Screeched In kiss the cod


air traffic controller – Gander Oceanic


her cousin, who is a helicopter pilot, arrived a while later and joined the party. He had taken some of his early training at Boundary Bay airport then later advanced helicopter training at Abbotsford.

party time

the family invited us to join them 



July 29 – Charlottetown to St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador

Using my iPad and ForeFlight I had a good appreciation of the weather on our planned route to our final eastbound destination of St. John’s, Newfoundland. A phone call to the Flight Information Centre in St. John’s was in order. With changes in policy and procedures with Nav Canada, my phone call was routed to Ontario and I ended up talking to a briefer in London, Ontario.

The weather was very good for our departure from Charlottetown and our arrival in St. John’s.  There was some weather enroute that wouldn’t likely present a hazard for our flight.

We had planned to stop along the way at a small airport off the south coast of Newfoundland. There are a couple of islands that are part of France; the islands of Saint Pierre and Miquelon. They are officially the Overseas Collectivity of Saint Pierre and Miquelon, and are a self-governing territorial overseas collectivity of France. So the plan was to fly across the Atlantic Ocean to France!

A check of the NOTAM for Ile-Saint-Pierre airport showed that due to construction on their only runway 08/26, the airport was available only for aircraft based at the airport, Search and Rescue aircraft, and MEDEVAC aircraft.  Since this airport is actually regulated by France, the runway distances and displaced threshold distance is in metres instead of feet.  Well, we were out of luck for this airport and somewhat disappointed since we had hoped that this stop would be one of the many  highlights of the journey.

So a pilot has to assess the risks in aviation at all times.  This leg would be across a significant stretch of cold Atlantic water.  If there was an engine failure near either shore the aircraft could glide to a landing somewhere; probably crash but would still be dry and perhaps reachable by a ground rescue party. If there was an engine failure in the middle of the strait the aircraft could not reach either shore and would crash in the cold Atlantic.

One thing that made the decision a little easier to fly across the strait was the small island about one third the way from Cape Breton to Port aux Basque; St. Paul Island. With that in mind the risk was reduced to about a 10 to 15 minute window where gliding to a dry landing would not be possible.



We filed an IFR flight plan from Charlottetown to St. John’s at a cruise altitude of 9,000 feet. From Charlottetown it was on Victor airway V300 to a point where the airway met the coast of Cape Breton, then across the Cabot Strait to UMETI intersection near Port aux Basques. From there along the south coast of Newfoundland direct to St. John’s.

After topping up the fuel tanks and a careful pre-flight inspection we were soon airborne climbing to 9, 000 feet for our flight that should take a little over three hours. After passing the northern tip of Cape Breton Island I requested and was cleared to 11,000 feet. That altitude gave us a little better comfort crossing the Cabot Strait.

Here we are in cruise at 11,000 feet over the Cabot Strait.

Along the south coast of Newfoundland there was some cloud cover as anticipated so we climbed to 13,000 feet for a smoother ride.

Newfoundland is noted for its place names sometimes being a little different than the rest of Canada. Our route had us cross the north-west arm of the Avalon Peninsula where Highway 80 passes through the town of Cavendish, with the village of Hearts Delight to the north and the village of Dildo to the south.

The clouds dissipated as we got closer to St. John’s and were cleared for a visual approach to Runway 16, following an Air Canada A320 well in front of us. It was quite turbulent on short final for runway 16, however, we landed, taxied in and parked at PAL Aviation Services, the Shell AeroCentre.

We made it!

July 1st we were on the west coast in Victoria, British Columbia, looking out on the Pacific Ocean and today, July 29th, we were on the east coast in St. John’s, Newfoundland, looking out on the Atlantic Ocean. The trip was safe and successful and went pretty much according to plan.

The staff at the AeroCentre was so very warm and welcoming providing suggestions for taxi and things to see in the local area. We had reservation at the Delta hotel and it wasn’t long we were on our way for a bit of R and R. After having lunch we checked out the ships along side at the harbour.

Valerie taking a break as Bob is taking more photos, again.

My father now has a boat named after him.

This one is named for my niece Tina.



July 28 – Charlottetown – Province House of Prince Edward Island

Our accommodations were in a small boutique hotel in the downtown area of Charlottetown. We had a short walk from our hotel to the legislative building where here the building is known as Province House. The building was constructed in the 1840’s and the Legislative Assembly of Prince Edward Island has met here since 1847.

We had to have our photo with the Canada Flag taken outside of the grounds for Province House. The building has been undergoing major renovations since January 1, 2015, and the Province House National Historic Site will be closed for 3-5 years while this extensive restoration and conservation work takes place.

Since Charlottetown, and this building, is considered the birthplace of Confederation, we had really been looking forward to seeing this National Historic Site. Needless to say we were disappointed, but on the other hand, we were pleased that the work is taking place to ensure that the building will remain safe, accessible and functional for a long time to come.

The Confederation Chamber, the actual room where the Charlottetown Conference took place in 1864,  had been restored several years ago to its original splendor.

During the construction period the temporary Legislative Assembly Chamber is hosed in the Honourable George Coles Building, just a few blocks away.

In the downtown area period actors are walking about playing the roles of folks that may have been in the city 150 years ago. Their conversations stayed in character and they never once had a smile. I guess these presumable university students really loved their job.

The water front on the Hillsborough Heritage River is the site for the 

This nice young lady was conducting walking tours of downtown Charlottetown, including of some of the secrets of the city and the lesser well-known, or less talked about, areas.

Other folks were dressed in period costumes for the tourists (us).

Anne of Green Gables happened to be walking so we just had to have a photo with her. She told us that she was on her way to market to buy wool to knit socks and beeswax to make candles.


Now for a little history.

Up until 1867, the United Kingdom had a British colony in North America with several provinces; Canada, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.  A proclamation by Queen Victoria signed on March 29, 1867 established that the three provinces shall form and be one Dominion under the name of Canada. The proclamation is known as the British North America Act, 1867. The existing province of Canada was divided into the provinces of Ontario and Quebec, so on Confederation there were now four provinces in the new Dominion of Canada. 

The Dominion of Canada wasn’t born out of revolution, or a sweeping outburst of nationalism. Rather, it was created in a series of conferences and orderly negotiations, culminating in the terms of Confederation on 1 July 1867. Perhaps this is where Canadians established their national politeness. 

Earlier this same year, the United States purchased Alaska from Russia. Negotiations between the United States and Russia for the purchase of Alaska had been taking place for several years, prior to the American Civil War (1861-1865). After the war ended negotiations resumed and culminated with the agreement for purchase signed on March 30, 1867, for a price of $7.2 million dollars.

One can only imagine how North America might have developed had the United Kingdom been interested in purchasing Alaska.

History lesson over (there may be a test).

July 27 – Halifax to Moncton, New Brunswick – Air Cadets – then to Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island

The first flight today was from Halifax to Moncton for a stop to visit the Air Cadets training at Moncton Flying Centre. The Arrow was already fueled so it was a quick walkaround then off we went.

Jon had flown with me when he was a little boy and now he jumped it to check out the Arrow. Many years ago I took him flying in a Piper.

For departure it was Runway 14, the opposite of our landing runway. So it was another long taxi past the terminal for departure.

From this view you can see where we were at the FBO at the very far end of the runway off to the right.

The soil around here is quite red and consequently the river water is red. With the extreme tides in the Bay of Fundy and the red river water, Moses might have wondered what was going on.

After landing at Moncton we taxied to the Moncton Flight Centre. The flying school was as busy here as they were in Fredericton with international students. This school was also training the Air Cadets for their Private Pilot Licence so we met with them for a chat then it was out to the Arrow for a photo.

A short while later we were off on another uneventful flight from Moncton to Charlottetown.  It was another over water flight across the Northumberland Strait. Our route of flight had us passing directly over the Confederation Bridge. Pilots have to be aware of the restricted airspace surrounding the bridge up to 500 feet. You can check out CYR 754.

Charlottetown airport was also under construction; the east-west runway 10/28 was closed for paving. For our arrival it was Runway 21 then a long taxi past the terminal to the Charlottetown Flying Club at the south end of the runway.

We welcomed the taxi ride to the boutique hotel, a good meal, and a good night’s rest.


July 26 – Nova Scotia Province House Speaker in Halifax – Lunenberg

On July 23 I sent an email to the office of the Premier, the Honourable Stephen McNeil to arrange for a meeting at Province House for a photo with our Canada Flag. On July 25 I received a response that the premier was not available, however Mr. Kevin Murphy, Speaker of the Nova Scotia House of Assembly was able to meet with us on the afternoon of July 26. Great! We felt honoured.

Province House is where the Nova Scotia legislative assembly, known officially as the Nova Scotia House of Assembly, has met every year since 1819, making it the longest serving legislative building in Canada. The building is Canada’s oldest house of government



July 25 – Halifax Citidal

We woke to a rainy morning and had a relaxing leisurely breakfast with Jon and Linda.  Our escort and guide for the day was Jon and we decided to go to the Halifax Citadel, an historic military landmark built by the British Army.


The army had the task to defend the port of Halifax which at the time was a very significant harbour on the east coast.


Like a lot of the attractions across Canada the young men and women in uniform are university students.

I am sure it gives them a patriotic perspective which they will carry with them for quite a while.



Construction was everywhere we went.



We later drove around Halifax and came across this very historic building; Pier 21, the Canadian Museum of Immigration.

This immigration building was the site where our soldiers last set foot on Canadian soil and headed off to war in Europe. Many of them gave their all.


July 23 – Fredericton to Halifax, Nova Scotia

Our early Sunday morning departure from Fredericton to Halifax has us looking forward to a very pleasant flight in clear skies.

The flying school at Frederiction is very active with a fleet of Diamond DA 20 aircraft and Piper Seminoles. They operate 24/7 training future pilots for an airline in China. The students are housed, study and fly right at the Fredericton airport.

Their maintenance hangar was very busy working on the training fleet. With such a busy schedule the shop works every day.

After takeoff it was a climb to 11,500 feet to take advantage of a tailwind of about 30 knots.

We flew across the Bay of Fundy where they have the highest tides in the world. At the head of the bay the height of the tide can reach over 50 feet; incredible!

Off to the left it was possible to see the end of the bay and easily see the red soil so prevalent in this part of the east coast.

The controllers on our way to Halifax International Airport were very efficient and had us overfly the airport to land on Runway 32. The crossing runway would have been our preference, however there was construction once again that impacted our arrival.

We cleared the runway north of the terminal and had to taxi a very long way to the FBO at the very south end of the airport.

After about a ten minute taxi we made it to Gateway Aviation FBO at the far end of the airport quite some distance from the main terminal. What a great FBO. The had cold water and very cold ice cream to welcome us to Halifax.

This was an upscale FBO catering to aircraft from Pipers and Cessnas to executive jets. Real good service too but their fees reflected the services provided. No problem, we were in good hands.

We planned to spend a few days in Halifax to take a bit of a break and visit with my nephew, Jon and his wife Linda.

I phoned Jon and the line man gave him directions to the FBO. The FBO is quite a ways south of the main terminal and I wouldn’t have had a clue on how to get there. A short time later, the Arrow was fueled , parked and tied down, and Jon was there to take us on our way.


July 22 – New Brunswick Legislative Building in Fredericton

It was another sunny summer morning for our visit to the legislature building. Our tour guide kindly offered to be our photographer.

The Legislative Assembly of the elected Members. Like other provinces, the photo of the Queen Elizabeth is proudly displayed.

Here is a view of the Lower House from the gallery with our tour guide.

The Canada Flag along with the New Brunswick  Provincial Flag are proudly displayed in a prominent location.

The old Senate Chamber is now a meeting room and is much less decorated than the Lower House.

I found this round desk to be very interesting and I am sure it would be especially interesting if you are a cabinet maker. The desk was in the Senate and was the official signing location of various high level government documents. At the time, there were twelve Senators who would each be required to sign the document. They sat at this table and each had a separate locked drawer for their personal items. Rather than pass the documents from one Senator to the other, the table was design and built to rotate!

What a great idea. King Arthur would be very pleased indeed.

We came across the Canada 150 sign near the Soldier’s Barracks in downtown Fredericton. Many such signs are all across Canada in the major cities.