Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Over the top

We lucked out with another great day to visit L'Anse aux Meadows, the site where the Vikings had a settlement over 1,000 years ago. Oh, we learned they should be called Norse, Vikings were only the ones that pillaged and plundered . Along with the informative displays and movie there is a re- creation of a Norse settlement.  The sod structures were fascinating, I had read about them but never seen one, they were supposed to be fairly warm, but they were very dark inside. 

We also went down to the other site that is in the area mainly to view the Viking ship the Snorri, that reenacted Lief Ericson trip here from Greenland. 
The ship was built in Maine, using know Norse building techniques, put on a container ship and sent to 
Greenland.  Then 7 American sailors and I from Newfoundland sailed her for 97 days in the 90's following the route that the Norse took.  They used woollen sails. It was wide open, with no cover available, they must have froze but there was a place they could have built a fire on it.  
We had had a very bad sleep due to a rolly anchorage so we moved a couple of miles to a spot where Jacques Cartier sat out a gale from May 29 to June 6, 1534. The island that protected the spot was named in his honour. We rounded the top of Nfld. the next morning and were greeted by the sight of more icebergs.  This time we were under sail and did a 360 around a good sized berg. I wish there had been another boat there so we could have had pictures with Cat's-Paw IV doing her thing.  It was nice to have it to ourselves though.

We spent two nights in St. Anthony's.  The second because it poured and was very cold and miserable. The boat was dripping wet inside with the humidity, we had the furnace on but that just made the cold hull weep more. Barry finally got wet and cold enough, our gear is old enough now to have lost most of it's ability to repel water, that he went off and bought himself some fisherman's rain gear, yeah. Today dawned bright, warm and sunny and we made tracks down the coast with a gusty west wind.  

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
Quirpon Harbour  51*31'.6 N X 55*27'.1 W
Anchored in 8m. very good holding 
Excellent flat achorage with almost 360 protection. 
Jacques Cartier waited out a gale here so it was good enough for us. 
No info. on services. 
St. Anthony Harbour  51*22' N X 55*35' W
Anchored in 8m. just NW of the Grenfell docks, very good holding
Great 360 protection, no swell
Dinghy access at Grenfell docks, the whale watching outfit there was very friendly and welcoming
All services available except no showers, Laundromat at Irving Gas Station, $3.00/load. 
Crouse Harbour  50*54'.3 N X 55*53'.3 W
Anchored in 7m. fair holding, had to anchor twice, put kellet down, no dock. 
Good protection from prevaling SW winds but wind may funnel through high sided cliffs. Open from SE. 
No services, walk 1.5 km to see French shore tapestry, a must see, small store in Conche. 
Fisherman moor boats, watch for mooring floats.