Thursday, July 12, 2007

Day 2 in Notre Dame Bay: Part 2

The icebergs were incredible. Here is the view from our campsite on the second night. Impressive!

After crossing to Little Bay Islands, here Isabelle enters the harbour of the only village on the island.
Here is one of the older houses near the entrance of the harbour.

No danger of missing this house when you paddle around the harbour!

We continued north to North Harbour. We had to paddle past this iceberg to enter the harbour.
North Harbour is totally protected from the wind and sea. Here is our campsite for Day 2. A great spot. A stream and picnic table were located in the background of this photo.

Day 2 in Notre Dame Bay: Part 1

On Day 2, we paddled from Pilley's Island to Oil Islands and then on to Little Bay Islands, for a total of 24.5 kms.

Here's the cabin we stayed in at Fox Cove on Pilley's Island. Boats are packed and we're ready to head out for Day 2.

As we paddled around the north end of Pilley's Island we entered Long Island Tickle. Long Island is on the right.

I discovered this old wooden trough or slide coming down the side of a cliff on the north side of Pilley's Island. I asked a nearby lobster fisherman what it was and he said it was a slide for loading firewood cut on top of the cliff into a boat.

From the Tickle, we paddled north to Oil Islands, where we stopped for lunch. Harvey Rice and Colin Hiscock had both suggested it was worth a visit. The cobble area had a dozen food pits dug into the rock by Beothuks. The views up and down the bay from this narrow bar were outstanding.

Here's the view to the north with Little Bay Islands on the left and the Baie Verte peninsula in the background.

The crossing from Oil Islands to Little Bay Islands is 5 km. Conditions were ideal for us.

There were 7 icebergs visible across Note Dame Bay on this crossing.

For those of you away from Newfoundland, this is the best year for icebergs since I moved here in 2000. The abundance of icebergs varies a lot from year to year. Northeast winds in spring help bring the icebergs (floating down from Greenland) closer to the Newfoundland coastline. Without those winds, the icebergs follow the Labrador current out around the Grand Banks, never getting close to shore.

I'll post the rest of the photos from Day 2 soon.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Six-day paddling trip in Notre Dame Bay

Last week, Isabelle and I took off for a six-day sea kayak trip in the Triton area of western Notre Dame Bay (see the blue box on the above map). I highly recommend this area for Level 2 paddling trips. The many islands and channels offer protected water in any wind. You can adapt your route depending on the forecast.
On Day 1, we launched in the mid-afternoon at Pilley's Island and paddled under the causeway to Triton Island, and then on up Pilley's Tickle in a moderate to strong headwind. We called it quits at Fox Cove and camped out in a small woodcutter's cabin, which was unlocked (Thanks!). Freshwater was available from a stream just a few steps behind the cabin. It was a short day because of the late put-in (just 10.3 km). Below is Isabelle at the put-in as we packed the boats.

The village of Pilley's Island in the afternoon sun.

Paddling up Pilley's Tickle in the rising wind. The area had several mussel aquaculture operations (the yellow and blue floats in the photos below).
More mussel growing operations and Nogood Island behind Isabelle. The island didn't look so bad to us?! The iceberg in the background posed a risk to the mussel lines.

The next post will feature some of the highlights we encountered on Day 2. This part of Notre Dame Bay has many interesting natural and culture sites worth visiting.

Monday, July 09, 2007

More Icebergs!

Isabelle, Alison Dyer, and I paddled from Alison's cabin in Capelin Cove (Hant's Harbour) to New Melbourne in northeast Trinity Bay. We ran into several bergy bits at New Melbourne, which gave Alison a big smile above.
Here we are passing the lighthouse at the entrance to Hant's Harbour. Below Isabelle and Alison explore the rocky shoreline.

Near New Chelsea, we found this interesting archway.

We stopped for lunch at Alison's favourite picnic beach at New Chelsea. Below is a the view of an old house near the beach.

We paddled on to New Melbourne where we encountered the ice. This was Alison's first ice experience for 2007.

There were more bergs in the distance.

A very pleasant day on the water. And another section of coastline covered for the Kayak Newfoundland & Labrador's Circle the Avalon Club Challenge.

Paddling out of Old Perlican, Trinity Bay

On Saturday, June 23rd, four of us paddled from Old Perlican in northeastern Trinity Bay to New Melbourne. It was a windy day, so things we interesting. There were many icebergs in northern Trinity Bay, so we had lots to look at. Above is Dick Wardle in his Capella. Below is Brian Duffett in his latest cedar-strip creation.

Below is Alex McGruer in his used and abused Explorer.

As we approached the beach at New Melbourne, the wind shifted around to the north and increased rapidly. The seas responded immediately and grew rough. We put ashore at the most sheltered spot we could find. Brian's truck was close by, so a quick car shuttle and we were done.
I decided to stay overnight at friend Alison Dyer's cabin near Hant's Harbour for more paddling on Sunday. The rest headed home to St. John's.