Friday, 22 August 2008

On ponds and music

I began my exploration of Gros Morne park and area with what I thought would be a gentle stroll to the start of the lane with a cup of coffee. I had barely got past the cars when I spotted a tall ship going past through the trees. I rushed back inside and hurriedly collected my camera and other gear to pedal down to downtown Norris Point to be able to properly witness the ship.

She proved to be a three-master, with square sails on the foremast and fore and aft sails on the other masts. Precisely what this makes her in nautical terms, I don't know. She was the Caledonia and is said to be a regular (weekly) sight in these parts. The Caledonia appears to be of fairly modern construction judging by the location and shape of the wheelhouse. I also have this strange idea that she was in Halifax the last time I was there.

After admiring the tall ship (admittedly not under sail), I visited the Marine Station where I had the chance to see a two toned lobster, as in one side was a regular colour for lobsters and the other was a very bright orange. Very weird. I will illustrate this with an image when I get home.

I returned to the house and borrowed Mark's Jetta to go see Rocky Harbour. Before I got to the hospital, I met Alice and we went together to Rocky Harbour for lunch at Java Jack's. In the afternoon, we went on a boat tour of Western Brook Pond. This glacially carved valley is very stunning as well as being extremely evocative of mystery and adventure. The geology was admittedly fairly familiar to me, at least in theory. (You don't grow up the son of a glacial geologist without picking up some notions of geology.) However, the execution of this valley was incredible with many different types of cliff: smooth rocks, craggy rocks, cracked rocks, tree covered cliffs, and boulder fields. Absolutely stunning. (Pappy, you have to do this tour the next time you are here. You should also go see the Tablelands as well.)

That evening, Mark arrived with Alice's friend Jason who had just flown in from England. We then went to a pub in Rock Harbour for a night of maritime music with the Navigators. The experience would have been better had the sound system been better set up and not as loud. All the same, it is not just a myth that the Newfoundlanders, young and old, love their music, as young and old were dancing to the music.

Today, Jason and I moseyed around Norris Point, taking in the sights and generally being very relaxed in the fabulous weather. When Jason was going through security at Gatwick Airport, the agent had looked at his boarding card and inquired where was Deer Lake? Today, Jason was commenting that if people in the U.K. could see how nice it was in Norris Point, then his charter flight wouldn't have been mostly empty and would be a daily rather than weekly service. I pointed out that such good weather is relatively rare.

Tonight, we are going to make a bonfire on a nearby beach and cook fish over it. Hmm, do we have marshmallows?

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