Saturday, August 15, 2015

Down the Northern Pennisula.

Our buddy Lar, notice the crosses painted on the doors, when I asked he said it was tradition. 

We stopped in Crouse Harbour in order to see the French shore tapestry in Conche and got more than we bargained for.  The people in Crouse and Conche were the friendliest we have met yet.  There were a couple of old fellows who greeted us when we came ashore, they gave us directions.  The interpretive centre and the 217 ft. tapestry about life on the French shore were on of the best museums we have encountered. 
When I walked up to the building I could not imagine how they would get a 217 ft. tapestry in the building but they very creatively have wound it around one room.  An artist dreamed up the concept researched and created it and with grants from the government employed lots of women to sew it.  There was over 20,000 hours put in to making it.  The tapestry depicts the history of the French shore of Nfld. from the beginning until the present.  There are 4 languages on the tapestry, French, English, a Scandanavian language and Gaelic. There are panels on the top and bottom and the main theme in the middle, a person could spend hours noticing all the details. 
We got a ride back to the boat after Barry mentioned my sore ankle to some people we were chatting to.  I saw a Dr. in St. Anthony and he said I had damaged my ligaments and I am supposed to rest my foot for a week.  I am trying very hard not to walk around but it is difficult when that is your only mode of transport and there is so much to see.  Oh well I guess I had better suck it up and stay put if I don't want to walk around in pain. 
   The stage (or dock) at Crouse, they used to dry and salt the fish here, back in the day

Once back in Crouse we ran into the old fellows again and one of them invited us in for a cup of tea.  He realized that we had not been back to the boat since we had left in the morning and we ended up with a lovely feed of potatoes and fresh cod!! We got to hear wonderful stories about the old days.  Lar is 84, the road and electricity did not come to the area until the 1960's.  He remembers going out with dog teams, if someone was really sick that was the only way to get them to help.  He said there were 18 men on snowshoes in front of the sled to break the trail and the leader would only be able to walk 25 feet, sinking into the snow up to their thighs before the next man in line would take the lead. The snowshoes they used were a lot smaller than the ones we have now. They were very self sufficient, they had gardens, picked berries, and the goats, sheep and cows ran wild, there were only 3 horses in the area. There was a plane that crashed in the area in 1942, it was being ferried back to England.  He was in school and the teacher would not allow the kids to go to the windows to watch the fellow who parachuted out or the plane which crash landed, but the other two aboard lived.  The other fellow, Kenny, mentioned the same thing, the teacher would not let them watch, that obviously made a big impression on them, planes were a very rare sight!  Kenny, who is 85, has hardly ever left the community. He has been to St. Anthony once when his father died, and it is only an hour and a half away by car or boat. When Kenny got talking fast he was really hard to understand. 
We sailed and motored down the coast in foggy conditions with very light winds.  There was an old whaling  station in Forche harbour that Barry wanted to see. He says it was a mess, it closed in the 1970's. It was a fiord with steep sides and waterfalls running down from the cliffs. The anchorage was dicey so we motored 10 nm further down the coast of Orange Bay. 
The community of Deep Harbour was resettled in 2003. The town was gettin too small to warrant ta teacher, nurse and the weekly boat that came in with supplies, it was noticeable that a number of houses are still in use.  There were two 50 foot fishing boats in the harbour when we arrived and about 7 or 8 skiffs. Summer holidays could be spent here and a house kept available for the fisherman when he was out on the boat. We wondered how far away the families went when they resettled?? We know of one community on the south coast they are trying to resettle and they are offering each family $250,000. 
We are headed to La Scie just east of Cape St. John.  After that we will be in Notre Dame Bay which has a lot of lovely spots  and good harbours to poke around in. The Northern Pennisula will be behind us and the East Coast beckons. 

We are using " The Cruising Guide of Nfld." published by Members of the Cruising Club of America and so far it has been very helpful.
Ports or Anchorages
Fourche Harbour    50*31' N X 56*19' W
Anchored in 13m. of water just off the old whaling station, only a lunch stop.
Very exposed to winds off the ocean
Fiord like spot with high hills and waterfalls running into the bay form the top.
No services. 

Great Harbour Deep    50*22' N X 56*30' W
Anchored in 8m. of water in Sault Cove just north of town. 
Very good holding, good coverage from all winds except SE. 
Winds funnel in this area so take care where you decide to anchor.
No services, town abandoned in 2003, beautiful spot.