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Archive for the ‘Hike’ Category

As everyone in Atlantic Canada knows, this has been an unusual fall. It was fairly innocuous and pleasant until Post-tropical Storm Noel hit in November, immediately followed by a mix of rain and snow (I wish it had been a bit less post and a bit more tropical). Then winter hit a “little” early, with frequent flurries and temperatures that rarely made it above -5 C. Then we got this week’s weather. Things started warming up until today it broke plus 10 in places, a fair amount of rain fell, then it cleared up this afternoon and was amazingly sunny, with brisk (to a Newfoundlander) winds and temperatures staying above zero.

The nice thing for me was that the storm gave half decent waves along the Atlantic coast, so I rushed to Peggy’s Cove after work. Except for the wind blowing sea spray directly onto my lens when shooting straight at the waves, it was perfect. I finished around 4:40 pm, then drove back to town. Things had become strangely calm, with very little traffic, almost nothing open (except video stores and movie theatres, of course). The sense of calmness and serenity was wonderful.

I went home, downloaded some of the images from the Cove, and present them as one view of an Atlantic Canadian Christmas. Happy and peaceful holidays, and may your New Year’s resolutions be little ones.

Looking Out the Entrance

Looking Out the Entrance
The Gulls were really active, since the waves had stirred up the ocean.

In the Cove

In the Cove
Bad waves almost never make it into the Cove. Today there were 4-5 metre waves outside the cove and pounding on the entrance.

Crash

Crash
Tip: Don’t shoot directly into the wind, unless you like spray on your lens…I wanted this shot so much I tried it anyway.

Broken rock

Boroken rock
The large flat rock near the centre was broken off the ledge in the foreground. I estimate that it weighs on the order of 120 metric tonnes.

Boom

Boom

Smash

Smash
Best Viewed Large. Note the chunk gouged out of the rock in the foreground. This comes from Noel in November. There was a lot of damage in the Cove.

Sunset

Sunset
Along the Coast

Along the Coast
The entrance to the Cove is just beyond the little red shack. This coast is full of rock ledges and often has a lot of wave activity.

 The Evening Light

The Evening Light
I know it is cliche, but the light was very nice.

Again, have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, and Happy Quanza, Hannukah, and Chinese New Year (coming soon). Given the recent weather, I’m just as happy with a warm and dry Christmas.

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This is another section of the East Coast Trail. It is a nice short family jaunt, with a pleasant place to picnic, and on this day to watch whales. The Humpbacks had trapped a school of capelin against the coast, and were feeding within 50 metres of the shore.

DAY$ 006

DAY$ 007

DAY$ 055

DAY$ 082


DAY$ 090

DAY$ 111


Perching
I think she is waving at the audience on the shore. It was one of the best whale watching experiences I have had. They hung around going after capelin for close to an hour, then they moved a bit out and started to dance and play tag.

DAY$ 141

DAY$ 149

DAY$ 163

DAY$ 171

DAY$ 166_edited-1

DAY$ 002_edited-1

Graveyard
Gate to small cemetary south of Tors Cove.

Tors Cove

And finally back to the beginning.

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This is one of the East Coast Trail day hikes. It isn’t that hard, and gives you a different view of the oft-traveled route along the Blackhead road from St. John’s to Cape spear. This day was sunny with a light breeze and some interesting boating activity, including a Marine Institute life saving drill (which I unfortunately didn’t photograph). The actual hike includes a couple of moderate climbs, a crossing of a barachois, blueberries, wreckage from at least one ship, a few whales, peace, quiet, and puts you one hill away from Cape Spear.

Fort Amherst Lighthouse

To start the trail, you go along the South Side Road until you see this view of the Fort Amherst Lighthouse. This means you’ve gone too far and you have to backtrack a few hundred metres until you see the sign of the hiker on the hill. It’s a nice view,  though!
Looking South

A look south from Fort Amherst. There’s almost always a little white water on the ledges here.

St. John's Harbour Approaches

You start the hike with a little 500 foot climb. Then you turn around. From this view you would never tell that there is a city slightly to the left that has been settled for almost half a millennium. On the first headland you can see the North Head trail, then Cuckold’s Head, the Quidi Vidi, then…
Signal Hill from South Side Hills

The only way you get this view of Cabot Tower is to climb the South Side Hills, or become airborne somehow.

Trail to Freshwater Bay then Blackhead
Cabot Tower unsuccessfully hiding behind rock cairn. To the left is Fort Pepperell and the Fisheries and Oceans facility in the White Hills.
Freshwater Bay

Freshwater Bay and the barachois. A year or two before a storm had cut the barachois on the south side (left), but natural wave activity had restored it to half of its original thickness.

North Head and Harbour Entrance
You can see Cabot Tower on the hill, and Fort Amherst Lighthouse on the rocks near the middle of the image. Pop Quiz: What is the name of the headland that Fort Amherst is on?
To Blackhead

Peggy’s Leg

Looking North

Signal Hill distant
If you look closely, you also see Fort Amherst.

To Blackhead

To Blackhead
Tuckamore. It is only another kilometer to the road in Blackhead.

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