Dolphins, Whales and Icebergs

Since our Labrador sojourn was abbreviated, this has given us time to explore Newfoundland at a more casual pace.  Loving the most northerly region, we headed east again on the Viking Trail, skipping L'anse aux Meadows and heading to St. Anthony's.  St. Anthony's is a 'real' place with facilities like a hospital and, okay, a Tim Hortons which was our first stop.  Earlier when at Port au Choix, we had bought a book called 'Our Seniors', in which the eldest people were interviewed about their lives in Port au Choix.  This turned out to be a fascinating tale of pre-confederation times with much poverty, many children who died, deaths by drowning and tuburculosis.  They made clothes out of flower sacks.  During the war, the German U-boats were picking off fishing vessels in the Strait of Belle Isle regularly.  In this book, St. Anthony's figured repeatedly because it had the only doctor (later doctors).   Dr. Grenfell (there is a Grenfell College associated with Memorial University of Newfoundland in Cornerbrook now) established a mission, hospital and orphanage in St. Anthony's and travelled far and wide by dogsled to reach (and save) patients as he could.  Dr. Grenfell is a hero of the area and his mission has been turned into an historic site which we visited briefly.

But first a few pictures of the area and a picturesque point with a lighthouse.

A Canso water bomber and memorial to two firefighters who lost their lives  fighting fires

Coastline at St. Anthony's.  Can you see the iceberg in the distance?  We will visit it soon.

A highlight for us was to take a boat tour.  We wanted to do this in Labrador but circumstances intervened.  In St. Anthony's though, we signed up for a 2-hour boat tour -- and what a highlight!

We begin with dolphins, hundreds of them feeding and playing, checking out the boat -- a stampede of dolphins Richard calls it.

White beaked dolphins

And then two humpback whales were spotted.  Tough to get pictures, but here are a few.

And now we head straight for the icebergs.  We have named the largest one, 'the saddle'.

It takes 2 to 3 years for a this piece of Greenland glacier to reach the St. Anthony's area and 6 - 8 weeks before it disappears.

Unbelievable and overwhelming!  As if the earth is saying 'here I am -- pay attention'.

At this point, the guide starting playing the theme song to the Titanic!

It doesn't look much like a saddle when viewed up close and at a different angle.

Our guide retrieved some pieces for us to suck on.  Perfectly clear clean fresh water.

Next morning we climbed to the top of the point before leaving St. Anthony's.  The weather had made a turn for the worse and we drove most of the way in the driving rain.

  And now back to Gros Morne.


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