What an amazing weekend for iceberg sightings. The cold winter weather is slowly going into hiding for another year and the sun is beginning to show its face to Newfoundland once again. For anyone who has lived in Newfoundland during the spring season, you are all to familiar with what comes about during the changing of the seasons. Icebergs. And lots of them. In an epic journey, these icebergs travel thousands of kilometres, sometimes at a snail’s pace, to the beautiful coast of Newfoundland and Labrador. In an exotic display, these colossal pieces of Greenland glaciers seem to appear out of nowhere, striking joy and awe into the faces of all those who stand in their beauty. Now, much of the east coast of Newfoundland has had their share of icebergs this season. The Twillingate and Fogo Island area are riddled with ice flows, and the Northern peninsula has enjoyed their share of sightings. The Avalon Peninsula on the other hand hasn’t had the same luck…but all changed over the weekend.
We all knew the bergs were coming but it was a matter of when and where. On a Saturday excursion along Marine Drive, tiny white silhouettes spotted the horizon. With a blue sky, steady hand, and a zoom lens on my side, I was able to pick out the familiar shape of a Greenland iceberg. As you can see here, the fishing vessel on the horizon had a much better vantage point than I.
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The next obvious stop in my search was Signal Hill. Reaching the crest of the hill, iceberg enthusiasts were few and far between. With a harsh North Atlantic wind that bit uncovered fingers and robbed lips of their dexterity, most onlookers chose to huddle closely with their car heater. Looking east over the Signal Hill walking trail, there were definite signs of icebergs on route. In plain view, there was a massive iceberg lingering its way to shore with pack ice lining the entire horizon. The few who dared face the cold winds could catch a glimpse of this magnificent display of mother nature.
The following day, Sunday March 25th, one could feel the commotion in the air. I knew, as did the rest of St. John’s, that the pack ice had made its way inland toward Signal Hill. Not only did the ice find its way to shore, it made its presence known in a boisterous manner. Passing Signal Hill, the iceberg lumbered in front of The Narrows, blocking all access in or out of the harbour. What a better way to let people know you’re in town! Walking along the road towards Fort Amherst, I glanced up the cliffs toward Signal Hill and could see droves of people lined up in awe.
I knew that just around the corner was a colossal iceberg. Turning the corner toward the lighthouse and looking towards Blackhead,a giant piece of glacial ice lay dormant for all to see.
This iceberg was simply amazing! Not only does the camera not do it justice, but the sheer number of people standing in awe made this an experience to remember.
Looking back, I figure this area of water between Fort Amherst and Cape Spear must be somewhat of a rest area for icebergs during their travels. Sixteen years ago, a large iceberg nestled in the same waters and created a stir in the city just as it did this weekend. Thanks to a photo from Brian Carey, this iceberg can now be shared and enjoyed for years to come.
The early icebergs are a sign of good news for Iceberg Quest. With an early season already filled with great icebergs, we are counting the days before we can get on the water to visit these bergs up close and personal. Tentatively, we are hoping to embark on our first tour in mid May. If the weather continues along its current path, we are expecting great sightings of icebergs and whales come tour season. The icebergs this weekend being just a taste of what is to come, we are looking forward to sharing our 2012 experiences with visitors from across the globe.
By: Iceberg Quest
- Thursday, March 29, 2012
- 6 comments