All who wander are looking for icebergs: Laps around the Loop

Apparently some people can drive the “Gambo Loop” in three hours but I can’t imagine how or why. There is so much to see and on three attempts to see it all, I still feel relieved to know it’s going to be a two night adventure later in July.

Attempt Number One to find icebergs was on May 2. We did a number of outport communities to check out the ice situation and it was quite a situation. Carmanville was our first stop.

Black Eagle, Carmanville, NL May 2, 2015
Black Eagle, Carmanville, NL May 2, 2015
Soaring Eagle, Carmanville, NL May 2, 2015
Soaring Eagle, Carmanville, NL May 2, 2015

Both of the Starkes boats, the Black Eagle and the Soaring Eagle were still tied up a dock. Crew members were busy on deck but it wasn’t a lack of preparation that had them delayed but an abundance of pack ice. While boats can often navigate through or around the ice, it can often wipe out the fisherman’s gear resulting in a substantial loss. Better safe than sorry with this much ice around.

In Musgrave Harbour we stopped at the Spindrift Inn and saw the lovely sitting area for their summer guests. A bit chilly this time of year and for sure, nothing is planted in their fenced garden.

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Here too, fishermen were delayed in setting pots but in addition to larger crab boats, small lobster boats were also unable to set hundreds of lobster pots. There were lots of men around the wharf but mostly looking at the ice and talking as everything was ready for fishing.

Taking Chances, Musgrave Harbour, NL
Taking Chances, Musgrave Harbour, NL
Lobster fishermen can't put out pots until pack ice moves off.
Lobster fishermen can’t put out pots until pack ice moves off.

I was looking for the location of the newest house in the Old Salt Box House Co. fleet. With it’s signature massive window facing the ocean there was no mistaking it, even with renovations finishing up. I left a few nose prints on their new windows and off we went again. I think I picked my house to try.

Almost finished. Old Salt Box House in Musgrave Harbour.
Almost finished. Old Salt Box House in Musgrave Harbour.

Along the Straight Shore we could see dozen of icebergs but only on the horizon. With small ice packed right to the shore it was hard to make them out on the horizon with lots of white on white effect but they were there. Musgrave Harbour, Lumsden, Greenspond and Cape Freels were all iced in with big icebergs out of my shooting range. But I knew they were there. I was happy.

Straight Shore, May 2, 2015 Icebergs on the horizon.
Straight Shore, May 2, 2015 Icebergs on the horizon.
Greenspond May 2, 2015
Greenspond May 2, 2015
icebergs on the horizon. The view in front of the Old Salt Box House Greenspond, May 2, 2015
here are icebersg in the middle of this picture on the horizon if you enlarge it. view in front of the Old Salt Box House Greenspond, May 2, 2015

After work on May 26, I took a friend on an iceberg hunt. She’d been here from Quebec for a number of months but had only seen one iceberg. It may seem like I was being kind but it was an opportunity to try the loop one more time.

We  had skipped Ladle Cove and Aspen Cove on Trip One (which still took 8 hours). There were bergs at a distance but a dull sky made them impossible to photograph. We did meet a couple of the local youngsters though.

 

moose

Musgrave Harbour was wide open with icebergs at a distance but once we hit the Straight Shore my co-pilot was all smiles. We took a detour on a rough shore road but it was worth any new squeaks in the car. Shhh. Don’t tell Leo.

Straight Shore, May 26, 2015
Straight Shore, May 26, 2015
Straight Shore, May 26, 2015
Straight Shore, May 26, 2015
Straight Shore, May 26, 2015
Queen’s Head, Lumsden, May 26, 2015
Lumsden, May 26, 2015
Lumsden, May 26, 2015

 

Lumsden, May 26, 2015
Lumsden, May 26, 2015

Because we only got on the road at 4 p.m. we had to push on for Gander and skip Newtown for the second time and Greenspond. This rushed trip still took us 5 hours and I arrive at home just after 9 p.m. to find we had company. Luckily, Jerome and Bernice were kind enough to bring Leo a birthday cake since I’d left him with leftovers to microwave on his supper break. Oops.

My new Facebook group, Newfoundland Iceberg Reports, has had lots of great contributions from all over the Island. Wayne and Heather Bryant do photography on their own adventures around Newfoundland and had been posting great pictures along the Loop this week. When we saw their shots from Greenspond, we had today’s destination determined.

This time, we drove to Gambo and took the Loop going west, rather than the previous easterly route. There was an iceberg visible as early as Hare Bay but heading down the Greenspond Road there were bergs looming kilometers ahead.

Greenspond is an island, joined by a causeway. No trouble to see icebergs today. No way to get to Greenspond without seeing them, actually.

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Greenspond Causeway, May 31, 2015
Greenspond Causeway, May 31, 2015

 

Greenspond Causeway, May 31, 2015
Greenspond Causeway, May 31, 2015

Check out the difference between this view on May 2 and today on May 31.

Greenspond May 2, 2015
Greenspond May 2, 2015
Greenspond, May 31, 2015
Greenspond, May 31, 2015
Greenspond, May 31, 2015
Greenspond, May 31, 2015

We stopped to say hello to a friends parents. On our first trip, I’d posted some pictures and Jennifer was all excited to show me her parent’s summer home in the shots. I stopped just to say hello but that turned into a lovely visit and I was only half joking when I told them I’d bring an over night bag next time.

From there we took a run over to see the Greenspond Salt Box House. After out first lap around the Loop, I’d contacted the Salt Box House company to rent either of the Loop homes for two nights. Neither was available for the two nights I wanted but each was available one night so we’ll spend a night here and in Musgrave Harbour in July.

While admiring the work going on at the house, the neighbour came out to offer information. We again had a great visit and spend much more time in Greenspond than planned. Mr. Button also gave us a tour if his miniature village and agreed that I could post pictures of it but perferred not to be posted himself. I look forward to visiting him again  and hear stories of when he worked in Gander in the 1950s while we stay in the house that was his wife’s family home.

Miniature village with icebergs in the background. Greenspond, NL May 31, 2015
Miniature village with icebergs in the background. Greenspond, NL May 31, 2015
Miniature village with icebergs in the background. Greenspond, NL May 31, 2015
Miniature village with icebergs in the background. Greenspond, NL May 31, 2015

 

Miniature village with icebergs in the background. Greenspond, NL May 31, 2015
Miniature village with icebergs in the background. Greenspond, NL May 31, 2015

On our way out of town, I was still watching for Newfie Nomads, Heather and Wayne. I thought I saw them on the causeway and their vehicle confirmed the sighting so for the third time we had a great visit in Greenspond.

20150531_140859

 

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We had a great visit, having met last year in Fogo and now Facebook friends and on the iceberg reports page. Although they had planned to be on Fogo Island by now, the icebergs in this area are keeping them around with their drone and camera at the ready. I’ll be watching for new posts on their Newfie Nomads web site. Have safe travels folks. Great to see you again.

Barbour Living Heritage Village is an amazing historic attraction in Newtown. Former merchant homes and other heritage buildings are restored and maintained along the Tickle. This is one of  the properties featured in the NL tourism Iceberg Alley advertizement. A great family stop as there are numerous buildings including one built with a model of a boat inside so you can go below deck and all around.

Newtown had been neglected on the previous two trips and I had insider information on an upgrade to the Olde Shoppe Restaurant . Turned out to be an excellent tip.

Old Shoppe Restaurant, Newtown, NL May 31, 2015
Old Shoppe Restaurant, Newtown, NL May 31, 2015

 

Fresh mussels in a white wine broth, Old Shoppe Restaurant, Newtown, NL May 31, 2015
Fresh mussels in a white wine broth, Old Shoppe Restaurant, Newtown, NL May 31, 2015

 

Crab Cakes with a lime sauce, Old Shoppe Restaurant, Newtown, NL May 31, 2015
Crab Cakes with a lime sauce, Old Shoppe Restaurant, Newtown, NL May 31, 2015
Fish and chips, of course, Old Shoppe Restaurant, Newtown, NL May 31, 2015
Fish and chips, of course, Old Shoppe Restaurant, Newtown, NL May 31, 2015

 

Nice big chunks of cod in the cod au gratin with a spinach and beet salad, Old Shoppe Restaurant, Newtown, NL May 31, 2015
Nice big chunks of cod in the cod au gratin with a spinach and beet salad, Old Shoppe Restaurant, Newtown, NL May 31, 2015
We didn't manage to have dessert but I seriously considered asking for them take out! Old Shoppe Restaurant, Newtown, NL May 31, 2015
We didn’t manage to have dessert but I seriously considered asking for them take out! Old Shoppe Restaurant, Newtown, NL May 31, 2015

The dining room is beautiful. The former gift shop is now the dining room and the gift shop too has had a great facelift.

The Chef Damian Gibbons is from Lumsden and was personable and rightly proud of his menu featuring crab, cod, mussels and shrimp, as well as pasta and other options. This was really delicious food and the service was great.

This is one of the best around and a great addition to the area. This will be one of our destinations on the Loop.

Carol Alce, we won’t be cooking the night we’re in Greenspond! We’ll stop here instead.

Bellies and camera memory full, we headed home and managed to do this tour in about eight hours. It’s going to be so much easier wandering it over two days and nights in those beautiful Salt Box houses in July.

And tomorrow is June already!

 

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