Exploring Northern Newfoundland
If you’ve been following along with our story, you might have read that we used to live in Newfoundland. Northern Newfoundland that is. Neither Chris or myself were born there nor have any family in the area. We ended up there after school when I was offered a position to work at a very remote mine site.
We ended up finding a home in a place called La Scie where we lived for three short or long years depending on the season. Without looking at a map, the way I usually describe the geographical location of La Scie to people is that it’s the most northern town to the right of the tallest jutting out point of land. Most of them nod and agree but you might be safer just searching “La Scie, Newfoundland” on Google Maps.
The best part of living in Newfoundland was the stark beauty…in the very condensed spring, summer and fall months. I may exaggerate but winter always felt like 8-10 months of the year. In the spring, which typically started in May, the snow and ice would begin to melt. After the town had thawed, the icebergs would start to drift by the coastline. Some of them would crowd into the harbors for some great photo opportunities before making like Frosty the Snowman on a hot and sunny day.
La Scie was known to be part of Iceberg Alley, a name given to several towns along the coast of Newfoundland that are famous for icebergs every year. Other towns famous for icebergs are Seal Cove, Fleur De Lys, Brent’s Cove, Harbour Round, Tilt Cove and Twillingate area.
Hunting For Icebergs
Yes, hunting for icebergs is a thing. Every year Newfoundland is home to thousands of tourists who want to experience seeing an iceberg in person. There are even boat tours where you can purchase an up-close experience. A couple of things you might not have known about Icebergs:
- Icebergs are bigger than they look. The largest recorded iceberg was found in 1987 and measured 6,350 Square Kilometers.
- They originate in West Greenland where they are broken off a main glacier mass and melt as they travel their way down to the northern coast of Newfoundland.
- 90% of an iceberg is underwater, so you only view the very tip above the water. The largest parts are not visible as ice is more dense than water and therefore sinks.
- An iceberg takes many years to travel to Newfoundland. They can move anywhere from 0.7-3.6 Km/hour
- Icebergs are not salty, they are made out of fresh water and snow.
- They make for great ice cubes as their internal temperature is between -15C and -20C.
- Icebergs make extremely loud noises when they crack, similar to a bomb or explosion going off.
- Large icebergs can be stable or unstable depending on their degree of melt, so be sure to exert caution around them, and don’t let your sense of adventure override your better judgement. Historically in most Man vs. Mother Nature scenarios, Mother Nature always wins.
Whip Those Cameras Out
Every day on my way home from work, I would anxiously wait until my drive down the La Scie hill and to see if there were any icebergs. If there were, I would drive up to the lookout point and take some pictures.
If you spot any icebergs or are out iceberg hunting be sure to bring along your camera to take lots of pictures! Don’t worry – the icebergs aren’t shy and won’t judge you for being too “camera-happy.”
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