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30 June 2011

Cross Canada and Back Part 12

Iceberg Watching in Saint Anthony, Newfoundland and Labrador



The morning of the 8th of June looked not too bad weather-wise. We decided to take a boat trip, and go fulfill our quest to find some Icebergs. 



View Iceberg watching in Saint Anthony, Newfoundland and Labrador in a larger map


We went out with Northland Discovery Boat Tours in Saint Anthony at the tip of the Island of Newfoundland. We felt comfortable knowing that the captain of the boat, Lewis Alcock has over 40 years experience at the helm. Lewis' son Paul was our guide. He is a biology graduate and noted conservationist and has over 17 years of guiding experience. Paul explained and made us aware of all the things in and around the water as we cruised along.





Saint Anthony, Island of Newfoundland in Newfoundland and Labrador


We headed out of the harbour through a mystic fog. We saw some porpoises playing around as we left. Then all of a sudden, a mink whale, and one more.... just swimming around the outer harbour. What a wonderful surprise for all of us. About 53 cameras were rattling away with pictures, we were all very excited.


Icebergs

We motored on, and soon, far in the distance we saw an Iceberg.... What a sight, it is just one of those natural phenomenons that one should experience if possible. I personally have been longing for this for years.
We are ready to go Iceberg watching

Silvia, Jörg and Liz


Only 1/9 th of the Iceberg is above water level, this is due to the density of the Iceberg. An Iceberg or pure ice is 920 Kg/m³ per cubic meter and the density of seawater is 1025 Kg/m³. Therefore the Iceberg is floating, just showing one ninth above the water..
Iceberg ahead says Jörg


In August of 2010 a Iceberg broke off a glacier off the coast of Greenland. Its size was 251 square kilometers. That's a big chunk of ice. The largest ever recorded berg was in the Anarctica in 1956 and its size was 31,000 square kilometers. That is larger than the country of Belgium.
Wow

Massive


The tallest Iceberg ever recorded was in 1958 at a height of 168 meters or the height of a 55 story building. Most Icebergs are between 1-75 meters high, and can weigh around 200,000 tones.
Must have shot 250 pictures

This bright blue part in the Iceberg is from when the glacier cracked
 and then melting water filled the crack and froze again.


We really enjoyed our Iceberg Cruise. The bergs we saw were about 30-40 meters high. Just wonderful all the different shapes and colours in the ice. The blue lines in the icebergs are cracks in the glacier that filled in with melting water and then froze again.


They are just so immense but yet beautiful. This iceberg is grounded in 100 feet of water.
Jörg and Silvia

Wonderful sight that you will only see in a small fishing village


We found out that pristine, calm waters in Newfoundland can be quite rough, but we all enjoyed this boat tour. More pictures on our Picasa web album, or just click image below.


Iceberg Cruise in St.Anthony, NL


Cheers, Anders and Liz

Here are some shortcuts to all the blogs from our Cross Canada Trip. Just hover over the number to see where it will take you

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60,   61,  62,  63,  64,  65.


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27 June 2011

Cross Canada and Back, Part 11

Gros Morne National Park, Port au Choix to Saint Anthony



Over breakfast on the 7th of June 2011 we discussed the plans for the next week. Our quest was to find some icebergs..... We have been told that there are no icebergs in Twillingate as of yet, but there are some up in Saint Anthony. With our new found tool "The Ice Berg Finder" we set direction north on Hwy.430, the Viking Trail.



View Gros Morne, Port au Choix to Sanint Anthony in a larger map



It is a wonderful drive, however no speed records will be set on this trip. There are natural speed bumps in Newfoundland (not the only province) called pot holes, some I'm sure could eat a small car. This is especially true on the northern tip. Some of the other roads are pretty good though.


The Viking Trail - The road up to Saint Anthony and L'Anse aux Meadows

Moose on the road - Drive carefully

Another hazard on the roads are moose, there are around 150,000 of them stomping around in the bush in Newfoundland. As you can understand it is easy to get into an accident. There are over 700 accidents a year on Newfoundland with moose. Most of these take place from May to October. 


There is one

One more
Take your time, drive carefully and be alert, especially early morning and at dusk.


The Arches Provincial Park

Our first stop was The Arches Provincial Park. It is a small little park on the ocean with cave like arches in the rocks. This is supposedly ancient limestone carved by eons of pounding surf and tidal action have created these Arches. 


Liz and Silvia by the Arches Provincial Park, NL. Canada

Inside the arches, it loos just like it was taken out of Star Wars.


You can walk under the Arches or on top of them just be careful, the ocean is unpredictable and gives no warnings.  The Arches Provincial Park includes a parking lot, a boardwalk, and a picnic area.


Liz taking in the sights

Silvia and Jörg coming down the boardwalk surrounded by ghost like trees.

Rocks :)
According to Wikipidia, "the rock formation is composed of Ordovician aged dolomitic conglomerates of the Daniels Harbour Member of the Cow Head Group which has been eroded by sea wave action (what ever that means). These porous conglomerates can be oil-bearing, and areas near The Arches Provincial Park have seen some oil exploration activity."


Sub Alpine Landscape


We continue our drive through this incredible landscape. The further north we get, the landscape changes, and the sub alpine tundra is becoming more and more dominant.


Port au Choix - Port au Choix National Historic Site of Canada

Port au Choix and Port au Choix National Historic Site of Canada are really neat places to visit. For over 5500 years, this small peninsula on Newfoundland's west coast has been the crossroads of various native North American and European cultures. 


The story about the Maritime Archaic Indians


Back then


The area's rich marine resources, and to a lesser extent the forests, wild game and abundant berries, have drawn these people to the shores and lands of Port au Choix. 


Fascinating history


The interpretative center is really good with a short movie and tons of history information. Very interesting.


The people who occupied this site connected the areas southwards to Maine, northwards to Greenland, as far west as the Canadian Arctic, and eastward all the way to Europe.


How they lived


Many remains of these cultures have been preserved at Port au Choix.  This is thanks to the limestone bedrock of the area. The soils are alkaline rather than acidic and thanks to this alkalinity many artifacts has been preserved, even some of those made of bone and ivory.


The town of Port au Choix
Light house at the end of the road


Over the past century various archaeologists have excavated several sites in the Port au Choix area. Through their work, there is now a better understanding of the many different people who called this site their home.


Some of these people were: 

  • Maritime Archaic Indians (5500-3200 B.P.), 
  • Groswater Paleoeskimo (2800-1900B.P.), 
  • Dorset Paleoeskimo (1900-1300 B.P.), 
  • Recent Indians; Cowhead, Beaches and Little Passage (2000-800 B.P.), 
  • Viking (1000 A.D.), 
  • Basque (1500-1700 A.D.), 
  • French (1600-1904), 
  • English (1700 - A.D.)

Saint Anthony


After a great lunch in Port au Choix we continued our travels north. The landscape changes about every 30 km, it is wonderful to see such beauty; a true balance and harmony in nature.
Jörg, Silvia and Anders talking tech talk while waiting for lunch



Silvia and Liz exploring

The drive over the northern tip of the island of Newfoundland is a bit rough to say the least. Most of the time we drove around 50-60 km/hr

Snow capped mountains

Newfoundland at it's best.... just keep it coming.

We arrived at our campground Triple Falls RV Park, just before Saint Anthony. Another great campground right on a river with wonderful owners. Make sure to pick up some "Bake Apple" (cloud berry) jam made by a local lady (I bought all they had). It is so good. As a kid growing up in northern Sweden, I remember my mom making this jam.... we called the berries "Hjortron". Mom then made home made waffles, then added the jam and whipping cream. Yum!

We booked in for two nights. Next on the agenda was Iceberg watching and L'Anse aux Meadows but we will cover that in our next blog.

For more pictures from this part of the trip, click the picture below.
Cheers,

Anders and Liz

Here are some shortcuts to all the blogs from our Cross Canada Trip. Just hover over the number to see where it will take you

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23 June 2011

Cross Canada and Back Part 10

Baddeck Nova Scotia to Newfoundland and Labrador



The date was the 4th of June 2011, we were camped at the Cabot Trail KOA campsite, waiting for our friends Silvia and Jörg to arrive from Switzerland.


Fog over St. Anns Harbour

Fog over St. Anns Harbour


Silvia and Jörg's flight into Halifax had to return to Frankfurt (after almost reaching Halifax) with some mechanical problems, pretty scary. However they did arrive safe and sound eventually.


Town of Baddeck


During our wait we decided to go back to  the town of Baddeck, it is a very picturesque little town. We walked the streets, enjoyed lunch and a coffee. Life is good!


Liz at the Highwheeler Cafe

Anders enjoying another seafood chowder at the Highwheeler Cafe


With full bellies we headed back to our campground, and were really looking forward to seeing our friends. They soon arrived with their rental motor-home, tiered but happy to be here.


Silvia and Jörg arriving

A bit jet lagged but looking good as usual.

Camping right beside us


The morning of the 5th of June we headed for the Newfoundland and Labrador ferry in North Sydney. It is about a 5 hour ferry ride across if you go to Port aux Basque. About three times that long if you choose to sail to Argentia close to St.John's.



View Baddeck Nova Scotia to Newfoundland & Labrador in a larger map


We boarded the ferry in North Sidney and arrived in Channel-Port aux Basques about 7pm. The sea was a bit rolling, but not to bad.
We are boarding.... wow this baby is big.

Trucks in masses

Tight fit, about 8 inches on each side


Arriving on the Island of Newfoundland is not what we had pictured. It has a wonderful landscape that changes from lush green forests, to fjords, to sub alpine tundra.... it pretty well has it all.
Silvia and Jörg driving off the ferry

The Rock, we found it

Interesting landscape


We drove 30 some km north from the ferry terminal and set up camp at Grand Codroy RV Camping


Cheers

End of the day


Very friendly staff and well laid out campground. We stayed here for one night.


Beautiful landscape

Beautiful landscape
Just wonderful


On the morning of the 6th of June, we sang "Happy Birthday" to Liz. She was duly impressed with my howling, luckily, Silvia and Jörg actually sang.
Fog rolling in over the hills

A ski hill

Arriving at Gros Morne National Park, A UNESCO World Heritage Site


After breakfast we headed towards Gros Morne National Park, about a 3 hrs drive. We set up camp at Gros Morne - Point Norris KOA campground. Great campground and friendly people.


Gros Morne National Park in the background

Getting all the info on the park and the Viking Trail
After we had the camp set up, we went for a hike. We decided on a short 5 km hike along the ocean.  It was great after sitting in the vehicles all that time.
Wonderful hike along the ocean

Anders

Nature at it's best


This hike goes along a protected area along the ocean over brooks and ponds and all kinds of fauna.
Broken lobster trap

Liz, Anders, Silvia and Jörg

Bunny Fu Fu


Next blog will be about out trip from Gros Morne up towards St Anthony on the Northern tip of the Island of Newfoundland.


For more pictures of the above blog, click the image below.


From Baddeck NS to Newfoundland


Cheers, Anders and Liz

Here are some shortcuts to all the blogs from our Cross Canada Trip. Just hover over the number to see where it will take you

 1,    2,    3,     4,    5,    6,    7,    8,    9,   10

11,   12,  13,  14,  15,  16,  17,  18,  19,  20

21,   22,  23,  24,  25,  26,  27,  28,  29,  29b

30,   31,  32,  33,  34,  35,  36,  37,  38,  39,

40,   41,  42,  43,  44,  45,  46,  47,  48,  49,

50,   51,  52,  53,  54,  55,  56,  57,  58,  59,

60,   61,  62,  63,  64,  65.


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