Jim Spier’s World Junior Blog- Monday

by Joy Kamani

2010 World Junior Championships, Moncton, Canada

Moncton and New Brunswick

This is my first time to this part of the world, a place about which I am not really familiar.

Moncton is located in the Canadian province of New Brunswick, one of the Maritime provinces. From Wikipedia:

The Maritime provinces, also called the Maritimes or the Canadian Maritimes, is a region of Eastern Canada consisting of three provinces: New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island. On the Atlantic coast, the Maritimes are a subregion of Atlantic Canada. The population of the Maritime provinces was 1,826,896 in 2008.[1],

The Maritimes front the Atlantic Ocean and its various sub-basins such as the Gulf of Maine and Gulf of St. Lawrence systems. The region is located northeast of New England, southeast of Quebec's Gaspé Peninsula, and southwest of the island of Newfoundland.

Moncton is 275 northeast of Bangor, Maine, 535 northeast of Boston and 735 miles northeast of New York City.

It sits on the 47th parallel (about lattitude 47), the same lattitude as Seattle, WA. From a story in the Seattle Times recently:

The cool thing about Latitude 47 is that it encircles the Earth like a sweatband at about eyebrow level (if the globe were a head), tying Seattle and Spokane to Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia and every other spot on Earth the same distance from the equator and poles.

Think of latitude as a bagel that's been sliced horizontally into bagel chips. Each thin disc is called a minute; a stack of 60 bagel chips adds up to one degree. In latitude, one minute equals one mile, north to south. Each degree is a swath 60 miles thick.

Places are parallel. But not predictable.

Imagine you could hover in one spot over the 47th Parallel while the rotating Earth sweeps beneath you.

Start levitating at sunrise on the International Dateline, just south of the Aleutian Islands in the blueness of the Bering Sea. You'll watch Pacific waves for awhile, then the Kuril Islands; then Russia's Sikhote-Alin Mountains (where a 70-ton meteorite fell in 1947); Manchuria; Mongolia; Kazakhstan; the Caspian Depression; the Ukraine; Moldova; Romania; Budapest, Hungary; Salzburg, Austria; Bern, Switzerland; the Loire Valley in France.

The Atlantic Ocean will drift below you. Next comes Newfoundland, New Brunswick, the Canadian provinces of Quebec and Ontario, Lake Superior, Minnesota, North Dakota, Montana, a sliver of Idaho, and finally, Washington State, the last place on Earth before Latitude 47 slips back to the sea.

Moncton is on Atlantic Daylight Time (ADT), meaning that it's an hour later in that city than in New York. It must be on western edge of the ADT as the days seem longer than normal. The sun rose this morning at 5:47am and will set at 9:04pm today. There is still residual light until 9:45pm or so. That is compared to New York, with a sunrise at 5:40am and a sunset of 8:24pm.

The weather is quite pleasant. Aside from uncharacteristically hot days in the mid to high 80's last week, the normal temperature for this time of year is in the high 70's.

Getting There

I flew from Raleigh-Durham to Toronto and then over. RDU to Toronto is about 1 ½ hours and from Toronto to Moncton is about the same. The Moncton airport is magnificent, meaning it is very small and easy to navigate — off the plane, right into luggage claim and out. The town is 3-4 miles away.

Moncton is a town of about 70,000 (and, with the surrounding areas, about double that). It is clean, has not much traffic and the people are friendly and accomdating.


My wife joined me last week and we toured the area. On our first day we went to Hopewell Rocks, part of the Bay of Fundy. The rocks themselves have been carved by the tides, the highest tides in the world.

Time and tide have carved from the cliffs and coves distinctive sandstone formations topped with trees. During periods of low tide, you can walk 2 km of beach and explore several coves filled with these flowerpot rocks.

The Bay of Fundy:

The Bay of Fundy is known for its high tidal range. During the 12.4 hour tidal period, 115 billion tonnes of water flow in and out of the bay.[6]

Dinner, of course, was seafood, arguably the best we have ever had.

Another day we traveled to Prince Edward Island, the smallest Canadian province. It is a wonderfully quaint and clean place. It's about a two hour drive from Moncton, made very easy by the lack of traffic. Potatoes, seafood and tourism are the main industries. It was well worth the trip.

After 5 wonderful days seeing the sights with my wife, she flew back home and I prepared for the World Junior Championships. This will be my 12th consecutive one, having missed only the inaugural one in Athens in 1986.

Yesterday my good friends Paul Limmer and Joy Kamani arrived. Joy will be takings lots of photos with her new camera (and lens), and Paul will be doing video interviews of the American team members and others. I'm now at the stadium sitting next to friend Mike Kennedy, covering for Dyestat (as are Steve Underwood — "Stevie U" — and John Nepolitan).

The stadium is starting to fill in preparation for the opening ceremonies. The press section is right next to the VIP and VVIP section. We noticed a bomb-sniffing dog a while ago, along with policemen checking for contraband. It's a different world these days.

There will be one event tonight, the women's 3000 meter final. The US has Jordan Hasay and Emily Sisson. We'll report on that later.

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