A few years ago a photograph in the news captured my attention. It was of a massive iceberg that had run aground in Ferryland, a small fishing village in Newfoundland, Canada. I quickly learned that the east coast of Newfoundland is known as “Iceberg Alley”. Each spring, hundreds of Icebergs float down from Greenland before finding their final melting place along Iceberg Alley. This past June, I got a chance to photograph Iceberg Alley in Newfoundland.
Our first stop was at St. John’s, Newfoundland. We decided to stay in the quant fishing village of Quidi Vidi for a couple of nights before heading north along Iceberg Alley. The little harbor of Quidi Vidi is very picturesque with its colorful boats and fishing stages built on stilts.
While in St. John’s we started checking the Iceberg Finder map. We saw there was a large pinnacle iceberg reported in Grates Cove, a couple hours drive out along the Avalon Peninsula. The next day was sunny and warm, so we drove out to check it out. We spotted our first decent-sized iceberg in Ochre Pit Cove. It looked like a battleship, and a local explained that we were looking at the underside of the iceberg as it had just flipped. Pretty cool, but we decided to continue to Grates Cove to see if the pinnacle ‘berg was still there.
As we approached Grates Cove, we could see most of the cove but no Iceberg. I was getting a bit concerned as we crested the last hill into town and BAM there was the giant pinnacle iceberg sitting right off-shore. The center of the Iceberg must have recently collapsed, as it was now a rare arched iceberg! It was pretty crazy to see it from different angles as we drove through the tiny town. Can you imagine waking up one morning and seeing this thing in your backyard?
On our last morning in St. John’s, we went up to Signal Hill where there are panoramic views of the city, Fort Amherst, and the ocean. Then we drove around the harbor to get a view of The Battery, a neighborhood of colorful houses built into the side of the hill. Finally, we stopped at Cape Spear, the easternmost point on the continent on our way out of town.
While staying in Trinity, we signed up for a boat tour out of Bonavista. We got up close and personal with another massive shelf iceberg and even got to touch and taste a piece of iceberg!
On the way back to Trinity, we stopped at Elliston Puffin Viewing Site where I got to see and photograph Puffins for the first time! An unexpected side benefit of visiting Iceberg Alley.
After Trinity, we headed even further north along Iceberg Alley to the town of Twillingate. It is on an island, with many harbors and coves to visit. There was a large pinnacle iceberg that had been aground there for a few weeks and was nearing the end of its life. We got a chance to send out the drone to get a better look at it. I also loved seeing the little villages around Back Harbor and hiking out to view another iceberg that had drifted in from the Fogo Islands.
Gros Morne National Park
The final stop on our trip was Gros Morne National Park on the western side of Newfoundland. We did another boat tour of Western Brook Pond, an impressive inland fjord. Then it was time to fly home and start planning the next trip!
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