My Trip to Newfoundland

13 Year old MORGAN ELIAS delivered this speech to her class as part of a public speaking competition

Imagine a place with a landscape of all enormous rock overlooking the beautiful ocean. You can breathe in clean, fresh air while enjoying the breath-taking scenery. Hello everyone. During the summer of 2004, from August 2nd through 13th, my family and I were visiting the wonderful province of Newfoundland and Labrador.

While we were driving around and exploring St. John's, I noticed several differences from Ontario. First of all, the landscape is Jack Pine trees scattered on rock along the ocean. All of the houses have colorful wood siding and are squeezed together. There is rarely a straight road! It's all big steep hills in St. John's. Right beside the road, there was a huge harbor with gigantic boats. In our hotel -The Battery, situated on Battery Hill- we had a perfect view of the harbor.

While visiting Newfoundland, we did so much, but next I'm going to tell you about my favorite events.

On Tuesday August 3rd, the real excitement began. We went to Bay Bulls where we went on a tour with O'Brien's Whale and Bird Tour. We hopped on a crowded boat with many anxious tourists such as me. We were accompanied by a friendly tour guide showing us the entire marvelous natural habitat. First we observed many species of birds. The one that interested me the most was the puffin. When I thought of a puffin an image of a penguin appeared in my head. But I was mistaken. A puffin is quite small and stubby but also fast.

Next, came the best part of the boat tour. We saw humpback whales! It was amazing! Do you know why? The whales weren't in captivity. The whales can swim freely how they deserve it. On our return we saw two Minke whales.

On August 5th, my family and I were headed off for Heart's Delight where we were going to spend the rest of our trip in a small house that belonged to a friend of ours.

During our visit we met new friends that were so giving, caring, kind and welcoming. My brother, Stuart, made unforgettable friends with some boys on the street. We still keep in touch with the family over e-mail.

On August 9th, Gerald Smith, a fisherman, agreed to take us on a boat tour. I spotted a bald eagle close up on the rocks. We went to a beautiful small island on the ocean. Gerald took us around the island where we looked at remnants of an old fish hatchery still rotting away and we got to look at Indian and Eskimo settlements. Gerald prepared a delicious shore lunch for us and during that time we again had an opportunity to observed Minke whales feeding close to the shore.

When we went back on the water the coolest thing happened to us. A Minke whale approached our boat. I was almost in tears because I thought it was going to flip our boat, but instead, it swam right underneath!!!!!! Keep in mind that a Minke whale is approximately the size of a school bus and our boat wasn't very large.

The next day, we explored at Cape St. Mary's, the home of over 60,000 Gannets! We were on enormous cliffs and saw spectacular views. It was here on "Bird Rock" that we observed the Gannets nesting. Spectacular!!

One of our last days in the province, we drove a few hours to Trinity. We watched an amazing Trinity Pageant with great actors and actresses. We toured around the small town for each scene. The pageant told us about the past and history of Newfoundland. This was unbelievable.

After visiting Newfoundland, you can see that they are proud of their people, proud of their homeland and proud of their heritage. All the people we met are so delightful and the scenery is fabulous. I know I would return there in a heartbeat. Through all the cod, deep-fried foods, whales, people, exercise, I will never forget the wonderful experience. To all, if you haven't already, get away from the pollution of Ontario and go experience what I have just told you because believe me; you will want to go back!!

A huge thanks to Ken Sooley for making all this spectacular trip possible!

Thank you,
Morgan Elias.