Rocky Harbour

Summer 2022
John Andrews
Mon 24 Aug 2015 10:58
49:35.5N 057:55.1W

Rocky Harbour

Stirling turned up as promised with a pack of frozen moose steak and a jar of preserved moose. He confessed he hadn’t actually killed the animal himself, he wasn’t that good with guns, but he’d got the licence to hunt and then gone with a friend who was handier with a weapon. The steak has already been turned into a rich casserole and frozen for future consumption.

The day was miserable and foggy and Port Saunders was a very small place, so we spent a day catching up with jobs, blogs etc. We also spent a considerable amount of time crouched in the light drizzle outside the public library which was closed, picking up their wi-fi signal and trying to update our electronic charts of Nova Scotia, successfully in the end. There was a surprisingly interesting trail around the foreshore in spite of the fog and best of all we saw a moose, really quite close, running along the shore and then breaking for the dense undergrowth behind us.

The next morning we left the dock at 5.00 a.m. in order to make it to Bonne Bay before dark. There was very little wind so we motored all day in brilliant sunshine along the dramatic coastline, with the Long Range Mountains in the background. The water temperature has shot up and is now measuring a barely believable 21.5 degrees compared to the chilly 8.5 degrees in Battle Harbour. Shorts and t-shirts have come out and we can really no longer claim to be Arctic sailors.

We decided to make a stop last night at Rocky Harbour which lies at the entrance to Bonne Bay. This is in a beautiful location and is bit of a tourist trap. Lots of people came down to the quay to talk to us having spotted us making our way in from out at sea. They came from all over Canada, and there was even a group of Japanese tourists who smiled politely as they took photographs of us.

We had supper in the cockpit – a first this year – and watched a glorious sunset before making our way up to the hotel where we found more live music. It was all Newfoundland songs again (trouble at sea, trouble at home) which we are getting to know quite well now and can sing along in the choruses with the best of them. But suddenly there was something new – the ‘Newfie Stomp’. ‘Stomp! Stomp! Stomp! Stomp! Swing your partner right around!’. By this time we’d all been handed spoons, rattles, ugly sticks etc, and the room was in uproar. Marvellous stuff.

Sadly though, this is almost certainly our last experience of Newfoundland or ‘the rock’ as it is apparently known. There is a weather opportunity to get across to Cape Breton Island before strong south westerly winds kick in again so we set off at 6.00 o’clock this morning and hope to get to Cape Breton Island before dark tomorrow. We wanted to spend more time on this coast of Newfoundland with its dramatic mountains and fjords but really do not want to expose ourselves to another bout of strong head winds. Cape Breton and Nova Scotia sound very interesting, so we are now looking forward to a new experience.