Fogo in a Day: Iceberg Island

Iceberg on the horizon. Tilting, Fogo Island May 2-14
Iceberg on the horizon. Tilting, Fogo Island May 2-14

With the continuing flotilla of icebergs around the area we decided to do a day trip to Fogo Island (with a back up overnight bag, just in case).

An early rise had us on the road by 7:30 for plenty of time to catch the Captain Earl W. Winsor 9 a.m. crossing from Farewell to Man O’War Cove. While sitting in the car waiting to board we saw a minke whale feeding nearby. This was going to be a good day.

As we were getting out of the car we saw a huge flock of seabirds diving for fish.  Gannets dive hard and deep making great splashes as they go. The whale circled around again and once again, I wished I’d bought a good camera.

Icebergs were visible on both sides of the ferry. As we moved and angles changed, one would disappear behind an island or where you saw two, suddenly there were 3. We counted 15 icebergs during the 45 minute crossing and the day was only beginning.

Trying to plan our day to see the most, we stopped in Little Seldom first and were suitably rewarded. It wasn’t even ten o’clock and we’d seen almost three dozen icebergs.

A quick visit with Joan at Penney’s Vacation Home  and then a chat with Joe Anthony who was working his community garden.

Joe Anthony from Seldom working in his community garden bed. May 31. 2014
Joe Anthony from Seldom working in his community garden bed. May 31. 2014
Kelp is collected from the beaches and used to fertilize Fogo Island gardens.
Kelp is collected from the beaches and used to fertilize Fogo Island gardens.
Joe Anthony's garden is carefully lined off as he amends the soil for planting. The community garden hasn't been plowed the past two years but he doesn't mind. He's "only 75 years old." Thanks for the visit, Joe.
Joe Anthony’s garden is carefully lined off as he amends the soil with kelp for future planting. The community garden hasn’t been plowed the past two years but he doesn’t mind. He’s “only 75 years old.” Thanks for the visit, Joe.

 

Joe told us the garden was supposed to have been plowed but hadn’t. “I don’t mind,it’s just a of extra work but I’m only 75 years old.” His rows were meticulously strung with line and he was turning in buckets of kelp to fertilize for the year.  I asked if I could take his picture and he obliged, teasing that he hoped it wasn’t to make money. Then he assured me he didn’t mind. As he and Leo chatted, across the road two lobster fishermen were pulling their pots.

Lobster fishermen, Little Seldom, Fogo Island May 31, 2014
Lobster fishermen, Little Seldom, Fogo Island May 31, 2014

Scones and coffee take away from Flat Earth Outpost would hold us for a while. The smell of freshly grated orange rind for the next batch of scones and the still almost warm pastries were more signs of this being a great adventure in the making.

Flat Earth Outpost, Shoal Bay, Fogo Island
Flat Earth Outpost, Shoal Bay, Fogo Island
Cranberry Orange Scones and a Flat Earth Coffee will cure what ails you every time!
Cranberry Orange Scones and a Flat Earth Coffee will cure what ails you every time!
On two visits, I still haven't seen Curtis stand still long enough to get a proper picture. Here he's grating orange zest for the next batch of scones. Flat Earth Outpost, Shoal Bay, Fogo Island.
On two visits, I still haven’t seen Curtis stand still long enough to get a proper picture. Here he’s grating orange zest for the next batch of scones. Flat Earth Outpost, Shoal Bay, Fogo Island.

Island Harbour is Leo’s home. A visit with Cyril and as always stories were told. The old grub house is 50 years old. They had to stop keeping food in it when others would steal from it so the food had to be moved indoors. There’s one story of the sheep going missing and then someone sending them a roast of mutton.

Grub store now serves as a wood shed. Build 50 years ago this August. Must be a story behind knowing that. Island Harbour, Fogo Island
Grub store now serves as a wood shed. Build 50 years ago this August. Must be a story behind knowing that. Island Harbour, Fogo Island
The root cellar and other out buildings were on this part of the property when Leo and Cyril were kids and the hill in the background was barren. Island Harbour, Fogo Island
The root cellar and other out buildings were on this part of the property when Leo and Cyril were kids and the hill in the background was barren. Island Harbour, Fogo Island

A large parcel of land, the boys talked about the well, the henhouse and the other buildings that were no longer there. Cyril is (almost) levelling a wood shed and putting in a new floor in preparation for bringing his wood out for the winter. The hills were almost barren when they were kids and are all grown up now.

Buildings are commonly moved and restored as rot takes out the base. Island Harbour, Fogo Island
Buildings are commonly moved and restored as rot takes out the base. Island Harbour, Fogo Island

Driving to Fogo we could see bergs from a few hills facing Joe Batt’s Arm. From the welcome to Fogo sign, two large bergs were visible beside the base of Brimstone Head.

Enlarge for a hint of icebergs at the base of Brimstone Head, Fogo, NL
Enlarge for a hint of icebergs at the base of Brimstone Head, Fogo, NL

As we drove through Fogo we saw lots of action around the former Town Hall. When we stopped we were able to get a tour of Mudder’s Place, an all-day breakfast café that would be opening the next day.

The menu featured cute names like Ugly Sticks, French toast sticks for the children’s menu.

With a nice gift shop (there’s not a lot of shopping on Fogo Island), a lovely dining room and fun menu, this has real potential.

Gift Shop at Mudder's Place, Fogo, NL
Gift Shop at Mudder’s Place, Fogo, NL

We were very impressed with the staff that took time from a flat out need to get ready for an opening and showed us around and let us take pictures. Prints by local artists, Adam Young and Winston Osmond were all around the dining room ready for hanging.

Winston Osmond prints for display and sale at Mudder's Place, Fogo, NL
Winston Osmond prints for display and sale at Mudder’s Place, Fogo, NL
Prints by Adam Young, reading for hanging in the lovely dining room of Mudder's Place, Fogo, NL
Prints by Adam Young, reading for hanging in the lovely dining room of Mudder’s Place, Fogo, NL

We drove to the Fogo Battery and then to Sargeant’s Cove and saw icebergs in both directions. The Old Salt Box House Company has three rental houses in Fogo. Icebergs were visible from all of them. The houses were renovated and restored with a wall of windows facing ocean views in at least 4 Newfoundland communities in Fogo and Twillingate areas.

After some driving around we realized our coffee and scone were delicious at the ten this morning but it was now one o’clock and time for a lunch at Nicole’s Café in Joe Batts Arm.  Nicole’s is long established on Fogo Island and opens seasonally. The atmosphere and service is great.

Nicole's Café, Joe Batts Arm, Fogo Island. Always quilts for sale on the walls at Nicole's.
Nicole’s Café, Joe Batts Arm, Fogo Island. Always quilts for sale on the walls at Nicole’s.
Nicole's Café, Joe Batts Arm, Fogo Island
Nicole’s Café, Joe Batts Arm, Fogo Island

 

Nicole's Café, Joe Batts Arm, Fogo Island Lentil Stew was a vegetarian option and great on a cool day.
Nicole’s Café, Joe Batts Arm, Fogo Island Lentil Stew was a vegetarian option and great on a cool day.
Nicole's Café, Joe Batts Arm, Fogo Island Barbeque chicken flatbread
Nicole’s Café, Joe Batts Arm, Fogo Island Barbeque chicken flatbread

A nice flat bread and a lentil stew with more great coffee got us ready to roll and as we were paying our bill we saw the Ketanja Tour Boat coming into dock.

We went down to check for another trip that day but the Captain only had one charter that day. He’d had about a dozen guests from the Fogo Island Inn out to get up close and personal with icebergs. A good excuse to get out again soon and call ahead!

Tilting is scenic at any time of the year. We stopped at the little park near the beach and saw an iceberg in the distance.

Sandy Beach and iceberg, Tilting, Fogo Island May 31, 2014
Sandy Beach and iceberg, Tilting, Fogo Island May 31, 2014

From the beach we drove through Tilting and to the north side of the harbour. I’m sure there’s a local term for the area that I don’t know. There are a number of big new homes as well as aged and restored houses. Some are summer residences and we picked one we knew and walked to the back yard to take pictures for Leo’s niece whose family summers here.

 

We counted over 30 icebergs from this one vista. All shapes and mostly large and extra-large sizes. Even on a cold, dull day it was beautiful and majestic. We stopped in Oliver’s Cove, where the gardens grow and saw a couple of icebergs there but time was going fast so we didn’t walk out to get a closer view.

Turpin's Trail and Squish Studo with icebergs. Too panoramic for one picture.
Turpin’s Trail and Squish Studo with icebergs. Too panoramic for one picture.
Turpin's Trail with icebergs, Tilting, Fogo Island, May 31, 2014
Turpin’s Trail with icebergs, Tilting, Fogo Island, May 31, 2014

Turpin’s Trail goes from the Lane House in Tilting over a hill. We did the short climb to get a view of the ice from the Shorefast’s Squish Studio area. We could see icebergs I three directions from this point.  A friend counted three times in the past two weeks and got seventy two icebergs each day from this vantage point.

We realized we had raced around enough that we could easily get the 4:00 ferry with a quick visit to the Fogo Island Inn. A drink to warm up and a visit with the staff who have treated us so well on our stays was also a chance to see another dozen icebergs from the foyer and dining room. Because the dining room was so busy with guests, I didn’t take many pictures but it was certainly an excellent time to be staying on Fogo Island.

Our decision to get the boat was great as we were home safe and sound before 6:30 and a dinner at the lovely Bistro on Roe in Gander. Eleven hours on the road, a hundred icebergs and a whale. How good have we got it?

Turpin's Trail icebergs, Tilting, Fogo Island, May 31, 2014
Turpin’s Trail icebergs, Tilting, Fogo Island, May 31, 2014
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