Saturday, August 08, 2015

Northwest Coast of Nfld.

We had a lovely time in Gros Morne National Park.  The day we sailed in the mountains were covered in clouds, almost as it should be, and the peaks played peek a boo with them.  There were some gorgeous cliffs down the south side of the bay as we sailed 10 nm into Lomond Cove.  We anchored successfully in the cove, but we were a bit apprehensive about the holding so we put down our kellet(an extra weight attached to our anchor chain) and we felt fairly secure then. The next day was bright and sunny and we set off on a hike.  I was going to ask for a map, but a fellow had described the path to us and Barry figured we didn't need one. I should have known better, in our long hiking history a map is always a good thing.  We walked about an hour before finding the correct trail!! I had hurt my ankle walking on the rocky beach in Arichat and it came back to bite me.  By the time we finished the 4 hour hike I was limping, not good when your only method of transportation is on foot. It was a lovely walk through the forest and we turned around at the suspension bridge over a salmon fishing stream. 
        The dock at Rocky Harbour, we tied up on the opposite side to the black and red boat. 

We made a brief stop the next day at Rocky Harbour at the entrance to Bonne Bay to buy groceries and do our laundry.  We were going to stay the night but could not find a good spot to stay so headed off up to Port Aux Choix about 80nm away. We figured with good wind and the amount of daylight we have now we might have been able to do the distance in a day sail but we would have been pushing it so an overnight sail was a good option. 
As we left port the fog rolled in and we sailed on through the night with the radar going and a light SW wind pushing us up the coast.  It wasn't raining but the fog was so heavy our clothes and everything else on the boat was dripping wet.  
Port Aux Choix was a great stop for us.  There was room at the public wharf to tie up and the people were great. We visited the National historic Site exhibit, there has been continuous human habitation here for 6,000 years with 4 distinct aboriginal groups residing on this spot over the eons.  There are archeological finds all over the peninsula and one fellow was asked to move his house when he found ruins as he was enlarging his basement.  We met a local character named Raymond who regaled us with his life story.  He started fishing with his father when he was 10 years old, and lost his 50 foot boat to the bank when they put the moratorium on the cod fishery. He was kind enough to give us a ride out to the museum because my ankle was not up to the 5km round trip. The landscape was very different here. It is very flat and barren looking compared with further south.  The underlying rock is limestone and there are over 300 plants  found in this region which are found nowhere else in Nfld. 
At the moment we are headed to Flower Cove and the wind has come around onto our nose, from the NNE at 10-15 knots. It is another beautiful sunny day and as we are sailing along we can faintly see the coast of Quebec as we approach the Strait of Belle Isle.  That is another name from my school days, I can remember having to write it on maps. Who would have thought we would ever be sailing on it??

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
Rocky Harbour 49* 35'.5 N X 57* 55'.2 W  Gros Morne National Park
All services available here. Laundry just up the road from the wharf. 
We tied up to the outside of the wharf in calm conditions but left once the wind came up, we wer bashing against the dock. 
If there was room on the inside of the wharf it would be good protection
The dock on the south side of the harbour is reported to have a vicious undertow. 
Port Aux Choix 50* 43' N X 57*21' W 
Tied up at public wharf. Lots of dock space in harbour. Good protection. Major fishing port.
Free Showers and cheap laundry available at Coast Gaurd dock. 
All services within easy walking distance. 
The Haven, St John Harbour on St. John Island 50*48'.7 N X 57*14'.3 W 
Anchored in 8m of water with execellent holding on sandy bottom. 
Great protection from all directions, no swell even though wind was blowing in from the ocean. 
No services, limited shore access. Few dwellings that fishermen use. 
Our Navionics electronic charts were out in this area. It said we anchored in 0.9m of water. Take Care