Saturday, July 14, 2018

Newfoundland journey 2018 — Phase 4

I'm on a two-month journey in Newfoundland. My goal here is to post some highlights, both in words and pictures, and to try to include some tips if you're planning to make the trek to the Rock.
 You can click on any picture in the blog to blow it up. Most of the pictures are available as large format prints at very reasonable cost. Contact me.

Today is July 14th, three weeks and a day into my voyage. Pretty smooth so far, although not without challenges. For example, I've had a head cold for the past 4 days or so, annoying but a boon to the Kleenex industry. More disturbing is a tooth that Dr. Ron said, "it's gotta go... don't know how long this fix will last..." (the 1-6, Ron) which is hurting me. Hope it hangs in there until I get back.

Last time I talked about 3 incidents... forgot one! I stepped on my iPhone. Suffice it to say, thanks to Bell I now have a new iPhone 6 and a 2-year extension to my contract commitment.

Speaking of eating (we were, weren't we?), I've been doing so with some abandon, and yet, due to my activity level, I don't think I've gained any weight. I don't have a scale but my pants still fit! I've had lobster 3 times since arriving, two in Newfoundland which were purchased from a lobster pound at wholesale prices. They'll cook it and crack it for you but you still need the proper tools to eat it easily.

$9 per pound. Amin is holding $40 worth... 

Fresh produce is non-existent here. Ditto meat, but you can buy decent steaks at the FreshMart except they're frozen. Getting perishables here is a challenge, I suspect. When I dropped Amin off at the Gander International Airport (which make Buttonville seem big!), I found a Co-op with fresh stuff and stocked up.

The Capelin are Rollin'

If you're a stranger to Newfoundland, that sentence is meaningless but to a Newfie... you could Google it but briefly, there are untold millions of little fish called Capelin that 'roll' up on the beaches every year to spawn. They're followed by whales, seagulls, bigger fisn and Newfies who gorge on them. People eat them a variety of ways (salted, cooked fresh, dried...) but it's not my taste.

sometimes there are big crowds and big parties when the capelin are rolling 

Capelin being dried
Newfies (by the way, they don't find that term derogatory, although you can use it in a negative sense. I'm not doing that here.) hang around beaches where the capelin rumoured to be rolling. You can see the waters turn black with endless schools of them — they're black on top and silver on the sides.

Eventually they roll right up on the beach. 

People use dip nets when they're within reach, 

cast nets when they're just off shore 

or just their hands when they're right up on the beach 

Everyone gets in on the action. 

More exciting are the seagulls. They flock in by the hundreds to gorge themselves. They attack any bird that has managed to catch a fish.

Fishin' with the boss

John Gillett called and invited us out for another boat ride. He didn't tell us we'd be fishing or we'd have brought gloves with us! The three of us rode out to his 'spot' on the shoal just outside the Twillingate harbour. Because he had us on board, his quota of 5 fish was suddenly 15! No problem filling it.

It's not exactly like fishing in the lake. First of all, there's no rod and reel, there's a wooden frame around which a couple of hundred feet of 100lb test line is wound, which terminates in a heavy shiny fish-shaped weight and an unbaited hook called a "jigger". You drop it down to the bottom then lift up a couple of meters and jig it up and down. If you're in the right spot (that's the trick!) a cod will hit it, then you bring it up, hand over hand without releasing the tension or you'll lose the fish. The cod weight anywhere from 5 lbs (a little one) to 50 lbs (a BIG one). That's what I meant about the gloves!

Here's John, showing us how, with a 15 pounder. HE'S got gloves... 

Our turn. Didn't take long to catch our limit, here on John's spot!

Here's Amin with one 

and me. Good thing I brought the wide angle lens. No way we could capture a picture with the 70-200mm Amin brought! 

John took this shot of the two of us. 

When we got back in, John started cleaning the fish and gave us the filets from one. Three meals worth!

Straight out of the camera (the iPhone!). Ain't window lighting grand? That's our filets. 

This was my lunch yesterday. Fresh-caught pan-fried cod. Mmmmmmm. And I'm not even a fish eater!

While we were out there, another boat came by. John and the other fisherman carried on a conversation for about 5 minutes and I have to say I did not understand even one word! Theyspeakwaytoofastwhenthey'retalkinginNewfoundese!

I took this photo of the other boat, then I decided to make an oil painting of it. Not photoshop. Oil paint and brushes and canvas...

See why I stick to photography? 

On the way back in we saw the waves crashing on the rocks at the harbour entrance. I wish I could have stayed out there and shot more...


Painted in Topaz. Waves look amazing when you shoot them from the other side (the sea side!) 

Saturday we drove to Wing's Point and Victoria Harbour.


We ended up at Back Harbour again at sunset (the place with the sailboat last week)



Next day we drove down to Bridgeport and Moretown's Harbour. On the way we passed by Virgin Arm, Dildo Run and the Trump Islands. I love place names in Newfoundland! I'll show you those pictures next time!

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