Canadian Maritimes - Summer 2015 travel blog

harbor

downtown

jelly bean row

St. John's light house

St. John's light house

Cape Spear

downtown

fin whale

humpback whale

fishing beach

fishing beach

fishing beach

capelin


The sun is still shining, so we set aside any thoughts of museums and enjoyed the outdoors. We took a boat ride around the St. John's harbor that also went out to sea toward Cape Spear to look for whales. At times these boats also encounter icebergs, but none have floated by since we have been here. Whales are hard to track. They are huge, but the ocean is much huger. For a while we chased a fin whale, but the captain could tell that he did not welcome our company and he stopped chasing him. Then we came upon a friendlier humpback whose signature move is the tail flip as it dives to the bottom. The tail is fun to see, but once it dives, it can stay down for 45 minutes. We spent a long time scanning the horizon to no avail. The St. John's harbor is well disguised behind some cliff faces. Even on a sunny day it was hard to see it until we were almost inside. Cape Spear has an average of 3,000 hours of fog annually, and in the days before radar, fishing boats would hover within sight of its light, waiting to enter the harbor while their fish went bad in their holds. Desperate they would try to grope their way in; over five hundred wrecks are documented right outside St. John's harbor.

Then we drove north up the coast, looking for interesting and scenic nooks and crannies. At one overlook we peered down on a beach crowded with people standing in the surf with nets. We drove down to find out what was going on. A small fish, the capelin which reminds us of smelt, was swimming in huge schools right up to the beach. People were catching them in nets to take home to salt and dry in the sun. More importantly, the capelin attract cod which are normally caught far out to sea. We talked to a local man who had caught ten cod in less than an hour last night. The capelin run can also attract whales, but we didn't spot any on this beach.

In the evening the fog rolled in as we met to find out about tomorrow's drive and our next campground. It's named Paradise RV park, but may not be a paradise for us - no internet, very little electricity, no sewers. It is probably typical of what lies ahead the next two weeks as we move into the boonies of Newfoundland. It might be a while before we will be able to share our next adventures unless that local library comes through for us.

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