Thursday, July 30, 2015

Bauline East, Newfoundland–part 3

Note – If you are like me I sometimes only read the most recent post when reading blogs.  But I have not had internet access for a while so I am posting 4 blogs this morning. 

I went hiking a couple of times while there, both times on the East Coast trail.  My favorite was to La Manche (a community that was devastated by a storm and then abandoned).

About all that is left of the community is some old foundations --

nl_be_la_manche_east_coast_trailA suspension bridge is part of the east coast bridge on this part of the trail.nl_be_la_manche_ect1nl_be_lamanche_suspension_bridge1

The trail was very nice.  When it got too close to the cliff and was too steep, they built a boardwalk.  nl_be_lamanche_ect_boardwalk I turned around at Doctor’s Cove.  The view here was great. 



I have not been doing well on my diet, but I do try to stay away from fast food.  But one day I had to go,  it was the last day to get a speciality item.  A McLobster --


It was not as good as the lobster rolls I had in Maine, but for fast food it wasn’t bad.  And it was a lot cheaper.

On the boat trip where I took the pictures of the city of St. John’s we also saw Cape Spear, which is the most easterly point in North America.  (there has been dispute over this as Greenland is more eastern, but the signs at the park still say Cape Spear is)

nl_be_capespear_from_waterThe pictures below were taken from Cape Spear, which was Fort Cape Spear during World War II.  One of the batteries is below --nl_be_capespear_gun_nl_be_capespear1

On one of my Molly Bawn boat trips, I mentioned where I was staying and that I had seen them from my RV site the previous day touring around the islands. (On the island, the brown spots in the grass are the puffin burrows).  The picture below was taken from my RV site of the Molly Bawn boat in front of the puffins.


So they made sure to go a similar route, so I could get a shot of my great campsite.


A bit hard to see, but my RV is the one at the top,  closest to the water by the little pavilion. 

From Bauline East (St. John’s area), I headed to Argentia to see more birds.

Bauline East, Newfoundland–Part 2


In addition to Humpback and Minke whales, we saw birds from my boat tours around Witless Bay Ecological Reserve

My Puffin pictures did not come out as well as I had hoped, but I knew I was going to a place in a couple of weeks were I would hopefully get a closer look.  This area is North America’s largest Atlantic Puffin colony. 


Puffins and Murres are not very good fliers.  It was fun watching them try to get away from the boat taking many “steps” before they could fly. nl_be_mb_puffins3_thumb1nl_be_mb_puffins6_thumb1nl_be_mb_puffins7_thumb1



A couple of day there were thousands of Murres -


Below is our guide and all the other passengers for one of the trips.


St. John’s is known for their colorful and close together housing.  The downtown area is very hilly, reminding me of parts of San Francisco.


I did go on one other big boat trip, but because I wanted to see the scenery from a different area. 

The city of St. John’s from the boat--


The Battery in St John’s – a neighborhood on the slopes of Signal Hill where now many artist live.nl_be_stjohn1


Part 3 will finish up my blogs from Bauline East. 

I went hiking a couple of times while there, both times on the East Coast trail.  My favorite was to La Manche (a community that was devastated by a storm and then abandoned).

Bauline East, Newfoundland (south of St. Johns)– part 1

In early July, I was excited about my campground in Bauline East due to how close it is to the Witless Bay Ecological Reserve.  The advertisement I saw said you could see some of the islands in the Reserve and puffins and whales.nl_be_witless_bayacross_from_rv2The picture above was taken with my camera at its full zoom, both digitally and optically.  I know you should not use digital zoom on a camera, but it was the only way that I could see the puffins and their burrows.  Yes, those white dots are puffins.  You could expand the picture and see there orange feet, but there will be plenty of puffin pictures later in this and other blogs!

I ended up taking several boat tours.  The first was on one of the larger boat tours out of Bay Bulls.  It wasn’t really my thing – too crowded and it was geared more toward entertainment rather than searching for whales and birds.  Then I discovered Molly Bawn Tours.  It is a much smaller boat, I believe they will only take up to 12 people.  I enjoyed my first trip so much that I stayed on board for the next trip.  A couple of days later I went back for another tour.  Then again several days later I went back for another.  On the last trip I was the only person signed up for the trip and they don’t go unless they have 2 paying customers so I was prepared to have to wait.  But it had been a slow day for them and they decided to go anyway.  I was so glad they did and we ended up staying out for almost 2.5 hours rather than the 1 – 1.5 hours we were supposed to.  That day we saw a Minke and stayed with him for 5 minutes or so, but then we moved on searching for Humpbacks.  Way off in a distance we saw a huge splash – a whale breaching.  He did that several times but as we got closer he quit.  But he had lead us to a great area as we ended up having 4 – 6 whales around us for a good hour or so!!

The first picture below is a whale slapping his tail.  In a couple of the pictures, we were close enough that you see some green, which is really the white on their flukes when they are underwater. 



In the next 2 pictures there are 2 whales.  In the first you can see the back of one and the green/white flukes underwater of the other.  nl_be_mb_humpbacks98nl_be_mb_humpbacks99

As I have previously mentioned I do get sea sick.  But in all my boat trips these past few weeks, I have taken Less Drowsy Dramimine, made sure that I had eaten a non-greasy breakfast and I chewed gum (don’t know if this really helps, but I read it might so I did!).  I never got sick and actually felt good even though the boat was definitely rocking!  Some examples of bad pictures due to waves and the rocking boat(the second one you can just see the tips of the whales tail) --


One time one of the humpbacks came very close to the boat.  We were really hoping that he would surface, but he never did.  Below is a shot of him underwater probably 15 feet or so from our boat.


We also saw birds on the boat tours.  I will post about these  in part 2 of Bauline East, NL. 

Twillingate, Newfoundland–part 2

Sorry for the delay in posting part 2.  I have been in areas where I didn’t have internet access.

Most days that I have been in Newfoundand, the high temperature has been in the 50’s , with a few in the 60’s and several in the 40’s.  While in Twillingate, we had a heat wave.  We hit 74 one June day! 

While In Twillingate, I went on an iceberg tour offered by the Iceberg Man.  It was great.  Luckily a huge beautiful iceberg had come in the previous night.

We circled the iceberg twice since it was so great.  Even the Iceberg man himself seemed to be impressed by it.  He guessed its height was 120 – 130 feet.  The boat beside it in the picture below is another tour boat. 


We watched a piece fall off and then our boat went through the field of small bergy bits.  We stopped to get an ice chest full of 10,000 year old ice! nl_twil_icebergman_10

nl_twil_icebergman_5We visited one more iceberg, and it was the same iceberg that I had seen from the French Head trail that I posted about in part one.  nl_twil_icebergman_11

I had heard a lot of good things about Fogo Island, so one day when the weather was forcast to be good I took the ferry over to the island for a day trip.  There were a couple of small hikes I wanted to do.  Unfortunately the fog rolled in and I didn’t walk much.  Below are scenes from driving around the island.



Pictures from Herring Neck Cove are below


They do have newer buildings, but I find the older ones more interesting.

Moreton’s Harbour  --


I have been very curious about  their boat ramps (or whatever they call them ). It appears in some places that they just pull the boats up onto the wooden log structures.  nl_twil_toogood_arm2

Read the sign below for a local fishmarket.  Tongues and cheeks, I had never heard of this.  But this appears to be ordinary around here.  I haven’t tried them yet and don’t think I will!  


The buildings and boats below were just a short walk from the RV park I stayed at, Peyton’s Woods RV Park. nl_twil_near_rvpark2 Another view of the same buildings --


The picture above was taken on my last day in Twillingate.  After the difficult hike on the Little Harbour Trail I decided I wanted an easy walk.  So I walked down the street from the RV park and then along some ATV and walking paths that went along the Back Harbour cove and then to a nice pebble beach.





Of course, I found a nice rock to sit on and enjoy the view --


From Twillingate I head for Bauline East, which is 35 – 40 kilometers south of St. John’s. In addition to being able to grocery shop in larger stores,  I am hoping to see whales and do a bit of hiking on the East Coast Trail.