Expedition Journal

Newfoundland Circumnavigation

Oct. 2–Oct. 12, 2019

© Dennis Minty

One of the supper choices was handline caught Fogo Island cod, from our first Taste of Place menu. And if that was not enough to round out the day, how about a kitchen party in the Nautilus? “Whatta yat?” chimed Tony. “Well, b’y, today it was a great slew of things!”

Map

Newfoundland circumnavigation 2019 trip log map
  • Day 1: St. John’s
  • Day 2: Bonavista and Trinity
  • Day 3: Conche
  • Day 4: St. Anthony and L’Anse aux Meadows
  • Day 5: Red Bay, Labrador
  • Day 6: Woody Point and The Tablelands
  • Day 7: Little Garia Bay
  • Day 8: Facheaux Bay
  • Day 9: François
  • Day 10: Saint-Pierre
  • Day 11: St. John’s

Day 1 – Wednesday, October 2

St. John’s

Coordinates: 47°56'N 52°69'W

Weather: Pleasant fall day

In the City of Legends

Our adventure began in the old city of St. John’s and indeed its history was all around us. Cabot Tower, on the highest point of land, overlooks one of the finest small natural harbours in the world. The Basilica of St. John the Baptist, built in 1855, shares the skyline with the cultural centre, The Rooms, opened in 2006. Walking along Duckworth and Water Streets it was not hard to imagine that people walked these same streets in the 1500s.

Some of us had arrived a few days in advance to spend time exploring St. John’s and nearby areas, while others had flown in only the day before. By early afternoon almost everyone assembled at the Delta Hotel for transfer by bus to the waterfront where the Ocean Endeavour waited.

St Johns 1

© Dennis Minty

With close to 170 passengers and thirty-four staff, all was in motion for the start of our eleven-day circumnavigation. We took time to settle into our cabins, chat with the ship’s crew who so warmly greeted us, and do a preliminary walkabout to get better acquainted with the various venues aboard the Ocean Endeavour.

The ship’s prime gathering point is the Nautilus Lounge and it is here where we all came together for a welcome aboard by the Adventure Canada staff, led by Expedition Leader Daniel Freeze, and Cruise Director Ellie Clin, backed by the many years of experience of the team assisting them: Assistant Expedition Leader Dave Freeze, Assistant Cruise Director Laura Baer, and several others, including long-time member of the Adventure Canada team, MJ Bradley-Swan.

St Johns 2

© Dennis Minty

A Zodiac briefing was in order, and a ship orientation. And, of course, the standard lifeboat drill. A lot of information, but all vital to the start of our voyage. And how about a trip to the mud room to make sure our Adventure Canada blue jackets and rubber boots were a good fit? The daily briefing and staff introductions led to the first meal in what would become our second home aboard, the Polaris Restaurant, where food prepared by Chef Ben gave us the opportunity to mingle and get to know each other better.

Tomorrow’s wake-up call was set for 6:00 a.m. Ah, but this is adventure travel and, on the next day at least, we needed to be in those Zodiacs with daylight about to break!

Day 2 – Thursday, October 3

Bonavista and Trinity

Coordinates: 48°36'N 53°33'W

Weather: Sunny, and a bit breezy

Newfoundland’s Past

As he will every day, Dan woke us with his gentle “Good Morning, Good Morning” and a few words before Tony Oxford chimed in with a witty musical take on what we had been up to so far, and what lay ahead.

Trinity newfoundland

© Dennis Minty

We were a colour-coded, food-labelled lot, for the purpose of orderly disembarkation. Our first Zodiac ride ended in a dry landing, at picturesque Trinity. It was off straight away by bus to Bonavista, landing site of Giovanni Caboto (or John Cabot) in 1497. O Buona Vista! Oh, Happy Sight!

Judging by the gusting wind, Caboto would have been thrilled to see land after crossing the North Atlantic aboard his Matthew. The town’s full-scale replica set us back to being seafarers of the fifteenth century. We were not so sure we could have handled it, especially given the neck-stretching height of the crow’s nest.

Cape Bonavista

© Dennis Minty

Bonavista’s landmark lighthouse proved a cozy respite. Its narrow staircase brought us to the lights themselves, an intriguing, hand-operated technology from two centuries before. A third stop was the oddly named family home, the Mockbeggar Plantation. And nearby, the oldest wooden building in Newfoundland, once central to the town’s fishing operations.

Taste of place

© Victoria Polsoni

This morning local food producers were on hand to offer samples of their cod cakes, muffins, and kombucha, all part of Adventure Canada’s “Taste of Place” focus on local food culture.

A dozen or so of us had opted for a tour and pizza-making at the Bonavista Social Club in nearby Upper Amherst Cove, a remarkable restaurant opened by local resident and chef Katie Hayes and husband Shane. Most ingredients they grow themselves, an inspiring undertaking in a climate with such a limited growing season.

Trinity newfoundland

© Dennis Minty

In the afternoon it was back to Trinity. A photographic expedition for some, a short hiking opportunity for others. Or a leisurely escape to a quiet spot by the water. Outport Newfoundland at its most scenic.

When the last Zodiac left Trinity at 4:30 p.m., it already felt like a very full day. Not quite so. Tony Oxford was at the mic with an intro to Newfoundland in words and music, followed by a welcome toast from the ship’s Captain Donael Soto and the others in charge of the smooth running of the Ocean Endeavour.

One of the supper choices was handline caught Fogo Island cod, from our first Taste of Place menu. And if that was not enough to round out the day, how about a kitchen party in the Nautilus? “Whatta yat?” chimed Tony. “Well, b’y, today it was a great slew of things!”

Day 3 – Friday, October 4

Conche

Coordinates: 50°87'N 55°91'W

Weather: Bright, calm waters

The French Shore has Tales to Tell

For some, a little Gravol came in handy overnight. Yet the most intrepid were awake and on deck before dawn, rescuing stranded Leach’s storm-petrels under the guidance of our bird expert, Jared Clarke.

Conche newfoundland

© Dennis Minty

It was a long run to Conche, so a chance for some onboard programming. First up: the Taste of Place team of Bill Swan and the culinary twosome of Lori McCarthy and Alex Blagdon. No one is more passionate about the traditional food culture of Newfoundland and Labrador than these young women—hunter-gathers in the modern mode.

Dennis Minty had lots of inspiring words for the many photographers aboard, while Latonia Hartery’s focus was the succession of cultures to have inhabited this province, the first dating from 9,000 years ago.

Travellers conche newfoundland

© Victoria Polsoni

By 2:30 p.m. the exodus to the community of Conche (part of what was once called “The French Shore”) had begun. Hikers were first off, and soon away to the hills. (Word eventually seeped back that they spied whales, a bald eagle, and an amazing landscape formation called “the glass hole".) Off for a less arduous trek went the “community walkers”, to visit Austin stationed at the site of a 1942 plane crash. In the church they found Mary Foley, with her bouncing head of red hair, gift for story-telling, and infectious Irish lilt. Not to forget a side trip to the home of the parish priest, where his kitchen and dining room tables offered up tea, coffee, and an array homemade goodies.

Conche Tapestry

© Dennis Minty

The prime attraction of Conche is the French Shore Tapestry, winding through the Interpretation Centre for 227 feet, every inch embroidered by local women under the lead of Joan Simmons. It depicts the history of the Island and in particular the history of Conche. And what an extraordinary piece of art it proved to be.

By 6:00 p.m. everyone had gathered in the community hall. Entertainment by local musicians and singers preceded supper, until it was time for our fun-loving Mary to initiate supper: “For the love of Jesus, would you say Grace, Father". Supper was freshly caught cod and vegetables—the preparation of almost 200 suppers is no easy task for the women of a such a small community. But, not to worry. We came away believing it was, as Joan liked to say, “The best cod ever.”

Travellers dancing

© Victoria Polsoni

And what did the evening need but a dance—or “scuff”. So the tables were cleared and the folks of Conche showed us a great time! Thanks to all the residents who generously allowed us into their lives and experience Newfoundland outport life firsthand. May they never change.

Day 4 – Saturday, October 5

St. Anthony and L’Anse aux Meadows

Coordinates: 51°36'N 55°55'W

Weather: Stiff wind off the Strait of Belle Isle, 4˚C

The Norse Visit, Grenfell Stays

How about yoga and a visit to a UNESCO World Heritage Site by nine o’clock in the morning? Only a handful opted for yoga, but by the end of the day everyone had walked the same landscape as the Norse a thousand years before at world renowned L’Anse aux Meadows, the only authenticated Norse settlement in the New World, the Vinland of the Sagas.

L Anse aux Meadows

© Dennis Minty

We followed the footsteps of archaeologist Anne Stine and her husband Helge Ingstad, the man who in the early 1960s discovered the site. Anne’s confirmation of Norse artifacts put this tip of the Great Northern Peninsula permanently on the world tourist map.

At the end of an interpretative walk we reached the reconstructed sod huts and their trio of costumed Vikings. Ah, welcome warmth around their fires! On hide-covered platforms we soaked in stories of Norse life and what it took to overwinter here. To think that on this site Gudrid gave birth to the first European child born in the New World! Snorri had to have been a tough young lad.

St Anthony newfoundland

© Dennis Minty

Our other destination for the day was St. Anthony, home to a man renowned for his humanitarian efforts: Wilfred Grenfell. An interpretation centre tells the story of the young doctor who came to the many remote villages of this coast in the late 1800s and how he succeeded in bringing an end to their lack of medical and educational services. An even greater sense of his life in St. Anthony was evident from a visit to the house in which the Grenfells lived, a character-filled dwelling bearing a charm that captured every visitor.

Everyone was back aboard ship by 5:00 p.m., and just in time for those interested in Kevin Major’s presentation on the long and colourful past of Newfoundland and Labrador. There was a very special Taste of Place option on the supper menu: Quidi Vidi Beer-Steamed Mussels, Seared Seal Loin, and Alex & Lori’s Nan Knight’s gingerbread. Wow! Lori and her team and the kitchen staff pulled all the stops to bring it to our tables. Bon appétit! Who’s for seconds?

Taste of place 2

© Victoria Polsoni

The evening found us taking in a combination of a League of Adventurers expedition event and the Adventurers & Explorers Theme Night. There were contests and prizes and all-around good fun. Vikings Gwen and Sven showed up, as did Amelia Earhart. Winners both, as was a dog who did an imaginative job of bribing the judges and a female botanist just returning from Kew Gardens.

One can never know who you’ll meet on Newfoundland Circumnavigation!

Day 5 – Sunday, October 6

Red Bay, Labrador

Coordinates: 51°71'N 56°43'W

Weather: Bright sun, calm…turning to wind, rain and sea splash

Basquing in History and Weather

Overnight we crossed the Strait of Belle Isle. Parks Canada folks joined us for breakfast and gave a presentation on what we were about to experience onshore. Red Bay (population less than 200) was home to a sixteenth century Basque whaling station and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

By 9:00 a.m. half of us were on the excavated site of Saddle Island, with more in the town’s interpretation centre and whale exhibit, and others still off to hike Tracey Hill. In the afternoon we did it all again, in reverse. At the local restaurant, the staff had organized a Taste of Place pop-up event.

Red bay labrador

© Dennis Minty

On Saddle Island Latonia and two Parks Canada interpreters returned us to a time when right and bowhead whales were captured and hauled to shore, where hundreds of men and boys rendered the whale fat to oil, filled barrels with it, and loaded them in galleons for the return to the markets of Europe. Tryworks stations, a sunken galleon in the harbour, a graveyard with the men that didn’t survive—it all added up to a fascinating tale, augmented by questions at every stop. Beautiful weather completed the morning.

Red bay labrador restaurant

© Victoria Polsoni

Not so in the afternoon. The skies darkened and, as tends to be common in Newfoundland, the wind picked up and we changed to another season. Not so bad for those taking in the displays in town, but rather more of a challenge for those in the great outdoors, including Zodiac drivers like Randy Edmunds who was steady at it all afternoon. The ride back to the ship definitely tested the seaworthiness of our gear. And, for plenty of us, our faces, too. Invigorating to be sure!

Red bay labrador

© Dennis Minty

Paul Dean brought us down to dry earth with his talk on the geology of Newfoundland in the Nautilus, before we took to wing with Jared and his “Birds on the Rock.”

Tonight it was Tony O. and Gerry Strong in their musician mode, thoroughly dried off from their other lives as Zodiac drivers. What a multi-talented, weather-beaten lot!

Day 6 – Monday, October 7

Woody Point and The Tablelands

Coordinates: 49°47'N 57°91'W

Weather: Overcast, changing to strong wind and rain

Getting Wet on the Mantle of the Earth

Wake-up call at 8:00 a.m. First disembarkation just after 9:00 a.m. and the day had hardly begun!

Despite the forecast there was a fearless lot ready to take on the five-plus hours of the Trout River hike. With a little less need to be fearless, but still game for anything Mother Nature might hand them, came the Long Tablelands hikers. Even the Medium and Short Tablelands hikers would learn to smile past the wind and rain.

Geologist Paul had prepared us well for those huge, barren, tan-orange mounds that had been thrown past the earth’s crust millions of years ago. It is one of the very few places on earth where the mantle shows itself so readily. Our Parks Canada guides were exceptional as they gathered us at the foot of the geological wonder.

Trout River Pond

© Dennis Minty

We would not have such an easy jaunt as it first appeared. The wind stiffened and the rain had its way, though we took it all doggedly in stride, some strides more weather-lashed than others. By the time we re-boarded the buses at the Tablelands and headed to the Discovery Centre, we were much anticipating a dry place to sit and launch into our boxed lunches.

The Centre had a great deal to offer those with a thirst for more info about why this Gros Morne National Park, (yet another UNESCO World Heritage Site, making it three in three consecutive days) is so important in the study of earth sciences. For those with a thirst for cappuccino and local crafts Woody Point satisfied that, too. We're all about diverse experiences on this trip!

Travellers at Tablelands

© Victoria Polsoni

Aboard ship later in the afternoon, Jeff Anderson had plenty of interesting things to say about moose, as they relate to hunting in the province’s National Parks. Then it was Anita Stewart’s turn at the microphone to engage us with her wealth of knowledge and experience about the Canadian culinary scene.

On the Taste of Place menu tonight was indeed the aforementioned moose, together with local shrimp and Alex Blagdon’s own recipe for parsnip cake. We were pumped. The verdict: super good.

The evening ended on a hilarious note. Newfoundland Bluffers Paul, Kevin, Tony O., and Alex B. (under the moderator skills of Dennis and the tin whistle timekeeping of Gerry) had us in stitches for an hour and a half.

Day 7 – Tuesday, October 8

Little Garia Bay

Coordinates: 47°67'N 58°54'W

Weather: Overcast, 10°C, calm

Ashore in Newfoundland’s Uninhabited South Coast

A trio of morning presentations offered plenty of choice. Marine biologist Steve Sheppard, whose tour operation in St. Anthony gives him a wealth of contact with the whales of Newfoundland, was on the go from 9:00 a.m. The mild-mannered man of the outdoors, naturalist Tony Power, shared his intimate knowledge on recovering endangered species. Finally, there was Tony O.’s well-informed take on the 1992 Cod Moratorium.

Zodiac ride Little Garia Bay

© Dennis Minty

Little Garia Bay, where we had anchored, is uninhabited, except for a few wharves and summer cabins. We were off then after lunch for a short Zodiac ride and wet landing ashore. The shoreline is remarkable—a poetic rockscape of sea-smoothened granite, punctuated with giant, orange-hued rock slabs and boulders. Not always easy to navigate on foot, but so very worth the effort.

Resource staff were positioned at various points. Paul, of course, took a steady stream of questions about the geological features. Dennis gathered those camera buffs eager for more hints. Forager Alex was ashore among the marshy inland plants and the shoreline kelps. Gerry’s tin whistle intermittently filled the air, all the way to Ellie, positioned at the far boundary.

Little Garia Bay

© Dennis Minty

The marshy elevations attracted a meandering line of blue jackets, many eager to reach Tony O. stationed at the very top. Thirty or more of us managed the feat, for an unparalleled view of the bay and beyond. We whole-heartedly embraced the freedom to move about at our own pace, to find rest and contemplation in a private spot. Solitude added brilliantly to the scene.

On the way back to ship, the Zodiac drivers (getting a well-deserved break from the winds of the past couple of days) were happy enough to take leisurely side trips to a fine waterfall and granite sea stack on the far shore.

Hiking Little Garia Bay

© Dennis Minty

Over supper there was time to chat about our individual experiences. By this point in the trip strangers had recast themselves into new friends.

At 7:00 p.m. came the charity auction, with proceeds going to a pair of worthy initiatives undertaken by staff members. The private musical Zodiac ride with Tony O. and Gerry proved an especially popular item. By evening’s end auctioneer Alex Preston, who had exchanged his Zodiac driver gear for a shirt and tie, had rung in a total in excess of $3,000.

Day 8 – Wednesday, October 9

Facheaux Bay

Coordinates: 47°66'N 56°31'W

Weather: Clear and bright, calm seas

The Thrill of the Unknown

Expedition travel is never without its alternate plans. Sometime Plan B morphs into Plan C, D, or E. Such was our day in Facheux Bay.

Just after 9:00 a.m. half of us were on the water about partway up an uninhabited south coast fjord that Adventure Canada had never ventured to before. The cruise took us into Allan’s Bay, past steep cliffs of sedimentary rock hundreds of millions of years old, for the most part covered with mixed boreal forest. The stop proved to be perfectly timed for the fall colours, mostly yellows, with occasional patches of the bright red berries of the mountain ash (or rowan, or, in Newfoundland, “dogberry”).

Facheaux Bay Newfoundland

© Dennis Minty

Several sections had recently experienced landslides, with its vegetation stripped away completely. There were few birds, most nesting birds having already headed south. But some folks did spot a young seal popping up an inquisitive head. Weathered lobster pots on a small beach were an indication that a few fishermen had been around in the past.

Back aboard (while the other half replaced us in the Zodiacs) John Houston screened his new docudrama L’nuk 101: Finding Common Ground. By early afternoon, most everyone were back in Zodiacs. Several opted for a wet landing and a hike up one of the lower elevations. There were a few kayakers about, while the rest of us cruised deeper in the bay. The backdrop now was granite, in places stretching vertically over 200 metres, with many of the inhospitable ledges home to stunted plant life.

Facheux Bay 2

© Dennis Minty

Facheux Bay has an aquaculture operation. Though we saw no humans, we pulled alongside several pens holding thousands of Atlantic salmon to hear Tony’s commentary detailing fish farming in the province, its benefits and pitfalls. The hour and a half cruise passed all to quickly, as the cloudless afternoon brought the calmest, warmest, brightest weather of the whole trip so far.

At 5:00 p.m. the Nautilus showcased a series of “Lightning Presentations”—seven-to-eight-minute talks, ranging from cloud formations by kayak specialist Ashley Hamilton, to winter life in St. Anthony with Steve.

Local braised lamb rigatoni was the Taste of Place main course tonight. Wicked. And how about that cod chowder?

By 9:00 p.m. a Newfoundland craft beer pop-up lured a crowd to the Aurora Lounge, while the Nautilus was thick with poets—writers of limericks mostly, providing a stream of laughter with their observations of the trip so far. A few selections from Tony and Gerry rounded out our relaxing day in Facheux Bay.

Day 9 – Thursday, October 10

François

Coordinates: 47°57'N 56°74'W

Weather: Bright and sunny, no wind

Snuggled Beneath the Cliffs

The beautiful weather, as we cruised into Chaleur Bay, drew a steady stream of folks to the decks. Ashley was set up to talk about clouds, Jared about birds. Paul Dean and Steve Morison (Happy Birthday, Steve!) were on to the geology, while Steve Sheppard had his eyes peeled for wildlife. If yesterday was wonderfully pleasant temperature-wise, today looked even more promising.

Francois Newfoundland

© Dennis Minty

Meanwhile, in the Nautilus, Dennis offered his approach to photo editing. Scientist-in-Residence Gabrielle Bastien, together with Bill Swan, were in the Aurora Lounge focusing on food forums, and Inuit art expert John Houston was set up next to the “Floating Gallery” near reception. At mid-morning those particularly interested in Newfoundland and The Great Wars gathered in the Nautilus to hear Kevin Major.

François is always one of the most popular stops on Newfoundland Circumnavigation. Nestled beneath a semicircle of steep cliffs, with a waterfall cascading over rocks through the centre of town before emptying into a splendid small harbour, the community of sixty-eight residents has few scenic rivals on the island. What a place to be eating the elaborate BBQ lunch on deck!

Francois Newfoundland

© Dennis Minty

First off of the ship were hikers bound for the top of the Friar, a challenging ascent, and a more challenging decent. But absolutely worth the view. A second hiking option took others to a pond above the town, and maybe on to the lookout, with side trips to a waterfall and Cook’s Hole. As for the remainder of us, the walkways through town (ATVs are the only vehicles) were charming in themselves. Local residents turned into impromptu guides, more than willing to give the insider’s perspective on François. There was a general store and even the lure of a shed “bar”, its grassy surroundings offering the perfect spot for a cold one in the t-shirt weather.

Francois Newfoundland

© Dennis Minty

The last Zodiac at 5:45 p.m. returned the final few reluctantly to the ship. No time for a recap this evening. Just a quick supper and a reload of the Zodiacs, so many of us can head back to town. There was a dance on the go, featuring Darren—best one-man band on the coast for sure. How about that fan favourite Cocksie Walksie Dixie Bird? Hadn’t heard it before? That didn’t seem to stop anyone from rockin’ the community hall, energized by the table spread with local goodies.

It was past 11:30 p.m. by the time the last Zodiac eased itself over the calm moonlit waters to a brightly lit Ocean Endeavour, a fitting image to end a delightful day.

Day 10 – Friday, October 11

Saint-Pierre

Coordinates: 46°79'N 56°16'W

Weather: Bright and sunny, again! A bit cooler, with a little wind

Stepping Ashore in France

Here we were in the only French territory in North America, a remnant of the French-English wars of centuries past, home to about 6,000 citizens of France.

A bus tour of Saint-Pierre was the option most of us chose. Local guides gave a running commentary on its various points of interest—multi-coloured homes, government buildings, schools, sports facilities, cemetery, etc. with a few stops for photos along the way. We sensed a strong Basque influence and indeed an annual festival celebrating the connection takes place each summer. And it is said that Al Capone left his hat here during the years of Prohibition, when Saint-Pierre grew wealthy on the endless supply of alcohol shipped through to the illicit speakeasies of the U.S.

Saint Pierre 2

© Dennis Minty

The tour ended with a celebration of our own. Taste of Place displayed a selection of local appetizers on toasts, paired with beer made in nearby Miquelon. A charming, costumed group of folk dancers were the entertainment, with several sprightly pieces. Cameras to the fore! There was time to walk about town and walk away with some French wine perhaps, or cheese, local crafts, or a tasty pastry. Au revoir and back aboard by 1:30 p.m.

We had matters to attend to. This was our last full day aboard the Ocean Endeavour and the first order of business was the disembarkation briefing and lots of packing. Most of us were bringing back more than we had with us on arrival. One lucky person had to make room for that huge bag of coffee beans won at the auction.

Saint Pierre 3

© Dennis Minty

In the Nautilus at 5:30 p.m. we extended a huge thank you to the crew, as long lines of them paraded into the lounge, still smiling as they had been doing each and every day of the trip. What a tireless group of men and women, leaving their families and homes in the Philippines, Honduras, the Ukraine, and several other places, to spend long months at sea.

The Captain had his farewell, as did a representative group of staff. This trip had brought a flourish of remarkable experiences to us all, even life-changing ones for some. It would not be forgotten.

Saint Pierre 1

© Victoria Polsoni

Saying goodbye has its potential for melancholy, but that quickly gave way to a final supper and chatter in the Polaris and a chocolate feast for the eye and taste buds in the Nautilus. Then, out with the guitars and tin whistle, with a guest appearance by our lively EMT guy turned songster, Jim Narraway. The trip was not about to end on anything but the biggest kitchen party of the trip!

Day 11 – Saturday, October 12

St. John’s

Coordinates: 47°56'N 52°70'W

Weather: Sunny and warm

Circumnavigation Complete!

We passed through The Narrows of St. John’s at approximately 8:00 a.m. A few of us caught sight of the pilot and his smart, well-timed step from his boat to the sea-level open door of the Ocean Endeavour. He helped guide the ship into the dock, a position closer to downtown St. John’s than the one we had used ten days before.

St Johns Newfoundland

© Dennis Minty

Our tagged luggage stood outside the cabin doors, with time for one last trip to breakfast. Cheery rounds of fond farewells gave way to a Nautilus lounge filled with chatter—time to recall special moments of our voyage with new-now-turned-old friends.

In due time Canadian customs cleared us for disembarkation. The handful with early flights made their way down the gangway and were whisked to the airport. Soon those with later flights appeared onshore, to claim their portion of the luggage from the long lines, before boarding buses shuttling them to YYT. Within the hour the pair of buses returned, ready for the lucky few staying on longer in the city.

St Johns newfoundland

© Dennis Minty

The trip had passed so quickly, but we left the Ocean Endeavour enriched by the people and places of this island, this delightful rock in the North Atlantic.

“Long may your big jib draw!” they say in Newfoundland. Indeed so. May we sail on, holding memories of our circumnavigation with us for years and years to come!

About the Author

Kevin Major

Kevin Major

Author and Historian

Kevin is an author from Newfoundland. After graduating from Memorial University in 1972, he worked as a teacher before turning to writing full-time in 1989. While he also writes for an adult readership, he is also known as an author of children’s literature, work for which he has been widely awarded and praised. He received the Vicky Metcalf Award for an outstanding body of work in 1992.

Kevin was conceived a Newfoundlander, but born a Canadian in the year that Newfoundland joined Confederation; he’s been trying to deal with that paradox ever since.