Mel And Nancy trip to Maritime Provences travel blog

Port aux Basques

coming into Port aux Basques


A short 5 mile drive to the Marine Atlantic Ferry Terminal followed by a 6 hour “Super Ferry” ride on the motor vessel “MV Highlander”, a Russian built ferry that sailed in the Baltic for a few years before being purchased by Marine Atlantic. It was modified in Europe for this route to Newfoundland. This was a ocean voyage across the Cabot Strait between Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. The Cabot Strait connects the North Atlantic with the Gulf of St Lawrence.

We arrived in the small and very rocky harbor of “Port Aux Basques” Nfld. It was most impressive to see this huge ship, approx. 500ft long ship, turn around in this small rocky harbor and back into it’s berth at the ferry terminal. It is a perilous feat when done in dense fog, but they do it routinely. These ferries were first equipped with navigation systems that enabled these maneuvers in the fog with ease during the mid 1980’s. A very good friend of Mel, Helmut Lanziner, developed “PINS”, a Precise Integrated Navigation System which displayed the ships outline to scale on a electronic marine navigation chart which enables ships personel to see the ships postion and heading as it moves in real time. Accurate position was initially provided by micro wave or specially designed radar , also developed by Helmut. Todays GPS positioning is now used and electronic charts have advanced tremendously in the 38 years since these early accomplishments. You even have electronic charts and maps in your cars and on your phones these days.

Helmut received a Canadian national award for his contributions to Maritime Safety in navigation.

After arriving in Newfoundland we drove to Grand Codroy RV park in Doyles Nfld. To begin our Newfie adventures.



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