Song of the Iceberg – St. John’s Newfoundland (and Bay de Verde, Dildo and points in between – Day Four)

My first trip to St. John’s was in late September, beautiful and still quite warm. One of the local shopkeepers told me that June would be a great time to come for my next visit. She told me that June was generally the confluence of iceberg, whale watching and puffin seasons.  While I’d love to see puffins and whales, I was intrigued with the thought of seeing icebergs. Now it’s never guaranteed when and if icebergs will make their way down to St. John’s, I did my research. Often they would stall farther up, or if the weather was warmer, they could end up considerably smaller than when they started by the time they got that far down.

I’d seen pictures of massive icebergs getting grounded near the mouth of the harbour, or travelling past Cape Spear and then I’d heard of years where you’d be lucky to see any bergy bits or growlers from the shore. We thought about taking one of the boat tours, but I chickened out, the day we’d planned to do it the wind was quite impressive and I pictured myself curled up on the bottom of the boat quite green.  Instead we armed ourselves with the internet, namely icebergfinder.com which tracks active bergs  (in season) via spotters and satellite and planned a road trip up the Bay de Verde peninsula to see if we couldn’t spot a berg or two.

We’d plotted a few potential stops along the way that had reports of a berg, but even that is not necessarily guaranteed as there may not be a good (or easily accessible) viewing spot, or the berg may have collapsed, melted or moved on by the time you get there.

Still, we figured at the worst we’d get to see a lot more of the beautiful Avalon than we would staying put in the city (which was no hardship) and icebergs or not, we’d enjoy the drive.

Now, where I’m from, I’m used to signs warning of wildlife on the roads, but generally it’s deer. Down in Oregon we’ve seen warning signs for elk. This was our first moose warning.

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Our first potential iceberg location was in a town called Harbour Grace. As it turned out, the berg was no longer there when we arrived, but we stumbled across some neat local history in the harbour. A statue of Amelia Earhart celebrating her amazing accomplishment of being the first female to fly solo across the Atlantic, on a flight that originated from, you guessed it, Harbour Grace.

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We drove on, stopping here and there but had no luck. We finally spotted our first small iceberg, I couldn’t tell you where, but it was exciting to finally spot one and encouraged us to keep travelling up to Bay de Verde where spotters had located some a wee bit larger.

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And on the way back, we planned to stop in Dildo (yes we’re immature enough to have a giggle at that name) to have our dinner at the Dildo Dory.

Sure enough, there were a couple of bergs in the bay (yays!) and we found a place to park and walked down to the harbour to get a closer look.

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They were still a ways from shore, thank goodness for zoom lenses! Far away or not though, they were a thrilling sight!

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We continued down the other side of the peninsula passing through more charming towns with even more charming names, especially the triple hearts of Heart’s Content, Heart’s Desire and Heart’s Delight. And then, you know. Dildo.

Sadly the Dildo Dorry Grill was closed for renovations or something, so we snapped a few photos of the beautiful sights and moved along.

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We were hungry and needed to find another option for dinner. Someone from Tom’s work had suggested eating at a Ches’s Famous Fish & Chips, so we Googled the closest and headed there. It was a smallish location, only a few tables, but we were lucky to get a seat. We ordered and were asked if we wanted dressing and gravy (and we both said yes please) and wow what generous portions and most delish! Highly recommend for anyone heading to NFLD.

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Another fabulous day in this fabulous Province.

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