The Port au Port Peninsula is situated on the West coast of the island of Newfoundland. The Mi’kmaq, an indigenous people, were the first to hunt and fish there followed by the Basque, and later, the French (many communities on the peninsula retain their French language and culture). Later the wars between the British and the French would see the “French shore” controlled by the British when the French relinquished it in 1904. However, the Mi’kmaq people continue to consider the island of Newfoundland as part of their territory and a treaty was never negotiated. It is an area rich in history and rugged beauty. These photos were taken in 2011 – 2013 during drives around “the loop” on route 460.
I am including a video here by Newfound Drone Productions. I hope you will enjoy it.
Shoal Point is a strip of land jutting out into Port au Port Bay, not far from the small community of Boswarlos in Newfoundland. Except for the few fishing huts there is no evidence of habitation. I took these photographs in the fall of 2010. Shoal Point is mainly bog but fishers continue to use the area to ply their trade and many local residents enjoy riding a quad to visit the point. If you’re lucky, you may catch sight of a moose out on the bog. At one time an oil rig stood at the outermost point of land. I confess to feeling great relief that oil companies never exploited the area, even though oil was found there. The oil rig that once stood on the point was an exploratory venture only. shoal Point is a great place to watch sea birds and water fowl as well as pods of porpoise and sometimes pothead whales.
I hope you will enjoy these photos of the area and gain a sense of how this land has been used and enjoyed for millennia. I have included a short video at the end of my post of the kissing rocks off the shore of the Port au Port Peninsula.
It has been a long time since we visited Gros Morne. I don’t know if I have words to describe what a moving experience it was. There is something about being in the mountains with the sea in the distance that is so uplifting and inspiring. I have long wished to share this beautiful place. Unfortunately I have few photos of this magical place, and those are not a very good quality. The landscape is so ancient within the Long Range Mountains and badlands earning it the designation of UNESCO world heritage site. I remember what pride I felt when it was assigned this classification. I am so very grateful to my friend, Selah Robb, who gave me permission to share her photographs here. Although no photographs can take in the full grandeur that is Gros Morne, these images will give a taste of what this park offers. I hope you enjoy them.
I am including a video from YouTube to help give a sense of this place:
This photograph was posted to Facebook by Terry Grimes. I am not sure if he is the photographer or not but it is such a stunning photo I wanted to share it with you. It was taken at Cape Spear, Newfoundland, Canada (the most easterly point in Canada).
Back to the island! Port aux Basques is situated on the southwestern coast of the island of Newfoundland and is the main point of entry when traveling by vehicle. It is a beautiful port city with a small population of approximately four thousand people. As you drive North from the ferry onto the Trans-Canada highway you will reach a section called the “wreckhouse”, near Codroy Valley. Truckers are well-advised to check with Transport Canada for wind advisories before docking at Port aux Basques as the winds in the wreckhouse can be incredibly strong and have, on occasion, flung fully loaded trucks off the road and into the ditch! I hope you will enjoy my photos of the Long Range Mountains and the sunset near Port aux Basques.
It was a beautiful day, that day nineteen years ago. I lived in Stephenville, NL at the time. My car had some minor issue that needed attention and I had taken it down to my father-in-law to be repaired. I remember chatting with my mother-in-law and had gone into the living room to fetch something for her. The television was on and I was shocked at what I seen. (I think everyone remembers that horrific film footage of the planes crashing into the twin towers. It is an image that is forever seared into my memories). I remember calling out to her and we both stood and watched the news, deep in shock at what we were witnessing. Like many days that go down in history 9/11 will be remembered forever. People from around the globe worked at one or the other of the twin towers. After Pop had finished working on my care I went home and remained glued to the television for weeks as the horrors of the day was reported: the horrific stories out of NYC and also Pennsylvania.
I also remember the planes that had to land at our small, but international, airport. Newfoundland received planes from many places, all of them redirected from original flight plans that had been scheduled to land at American airports. It was a time of great stress and anxiety, especially initially as nobody knew where the pilots were from or why they had committed such atrocious deeds.
Stephenville, Gander, St. John’s. Goose Bay, among others had been home to many Americans during the Second World War when air force bases were built in these communities. Needless to say, many links were created during those times. Many Americans bought summer homes in the province and visited annually. My father worked for many years at the base in Stephenville and made many American friends there. Many would visit and join us for Sunday dinners. .
Besides our American friends, there were many Canadians who also died on that terrible day. So, yes, this is a heavy day. Here is a rundown of planes landed in airports across Newfoundland and Labrador:
There is a second reason this date is forever burnished into my brain. On this day in 2012 my nephew died from cancer, after a heroic battle. His brother had died suddenly in March of that same year from a brain aneurysm. So, today I honor my brave nephew as well as all those who perished on this day in 2001. May all souls Rest in Peace.
Bell Island is situated off the Avalon Peninsula on Newfoundland’s east coast. It holds special significance for me as it was this island where my paternal grandfather’s family first settled when they emigrated from Ireland. My grandfather worked in the mines there before eventually moving his family to Harbour Grace where my father was born. I have never been to Bell Island.. These photos were taken by my daughter, Anastacia, who visited Bell Island a few years ago. I am grateful to her for giving me permission to share her photographs. I hope you enjoy these rugged images of sea, surf, and coastline.
My sister shared this beautiful photo (not mine) taken by Gerald Lamb. I think it is so serene and beautiful I wanted to share it with all of you. Light houses for millennia kept sailors safe from rocky shores during the darkness of night and in foggy weather. At this time when so many of us are ‘lost in the dark’ so to speak I am reminded of the light shone by the Creator, if we have eyes to see. Be safe my friends and be well.
I am always somewhat conflicted about this day. It is Memorial Day in Newfoundland & Labrador today as well. It is the day that commemorates Beaumont-Hamel and the deaths of so many during the battle that saw the Newfoundland Regiment all but wiped out during the First World War. Both my grandfathers fought in that war, one in the navy and the other in the army. So, yes, I am conflicted. On one hand there is so much to celebrate about this country we call Canada. On the other, it is a somber day as I reflect n the loss of life that terrible day in 1916. Some years ago I learned of my Miꞌkmaq heritage. My great-grandmother was a Mi’kmaq woman. Yet another reason to be somewhat somber as indigenous peoples across this land continue to fight for such things as potable, clean water, for autonomy, and respect. There is lots to consider as our country marks its 153rd birthday. It is a strange year as Covid-19 continues to wreak havoc and social gatherings are still limited. There will be no parades this year, nor any big celebrations. So I sit here reflecting and looking at photos taken over the years. Here are a few photos I have chosen to commemorate the day:
These photos were taken in communities near Stephenville, Newfoundland, on the island’s West coast. Rugged beauty is everywhere with trails to hike or bonfires to enjoy on each and every beach, if you choose. Or, if you are fortunate, local fishers will take you out fishing on the bay. The sturdy and the brave may even enjoy a dip in the ocean….
I hope you enjoyed this little tour. All communities included in this post are dotted along the bay and near Stephenville, NL, Canada.