Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Bonavistan Cautions

I was anxious to get out and paddle when I was in the Bonavista area. Both the cape itself, its cliffs, the squat lighthouse and the area called the 'Dungeon' on the Trinity Bay side of the cape made the place interesting and exciting. After a rainy day's drive, I found a room at a B&B near the historic 'Ryan Premises', old merchant stores near the waterfront. My room overlooked the harbour and some icebergs beyond.

As the rain had stopped and the sky seemed to be clearing, I headed out for a harbour walk and a bite to eat. The gentleman running the B&B cautioned me to be back around 9 pm. He'd be "Having a 'lunch' for the B&B guests," he said.

I wandered around, took some pictures of Cabot's boat, the Matthew, and the icebergs in the bay, found a fish and chip spot for dinner and finally headed back to the B&B. The owner was out on the front porch having a cigarette as the sun lowered itself into the bay. It had turned into a glorious evening.

"You planning to go paddling tomorrow?" he asked me having seen my kayak on the car. I was.
"Stay away from the cape, me boy." he cautioned. "Especially the Trinity Bay side. There's currents there. They're very dangerous. We had a lady paddler here last year. She'd come in at night after crossing Trinity Bay. Couldn't see a thing it was so dark. Just heard whales coming up around her. You paddle down into the bay that way." he said, pointing southward into Bonavista Bay. He kept shaking his head as he finished his smoke. "Time for that lunch. You won't go paddling up near the cape, now, will you?" He said one last time as he crushed his cigarette out.

Cattle with an iceberg view

The 'Dungeons'

We went into the kitchen where his other guests had also begun gathering 'round the table. From the stove he heaved a big pot to the sink and poured off the water. Bringing it to the table, I could see it was full to the brim with crab legs. We all sat down and he began to cut open the legs and toss them to us around the table. As fast as we could pick out the meat, he'd have another leg cut and tossed our way. We stuffed ourselves, as his wife served up tea. I wondered about his advice and about that paddler from last year.


clairesgarden said...

'awsome' photographs of the iceberg, it must be a pretty cold area then. did you follow the local advice or go for it?

Silbs said...

I was thinking the same thing, ice bergs in August? I hope you will compile some of these blogs into a little book, complete with pics. Mean while, paddle safe and listen to the man's advise.

Michael said...

You're sight, Silbs, there are no icebergs left in August. These pictures were taken last July, around the middle of the month. By now all but the very largest of the bergs have drifted off and melted.

I took the guy's advice mostly because of the foul weather the rest of the time I was in the Bonavista area. I went hiking instead and lived to paddle another day.