Friday, October 4, 2013

Bonne Bay - Gros Morne National Park - Part 1

I have wanted to visit Gros Morne for more years than I care to remember. The Gros Morne National Park contains some of the more interesting geological features to be found in Canada along with memorable hiking opportunities ashore.

To get started to Bonne Bay I waited for the the weather reports to indicate that a good window would appear. Getting in the anchors and motoring out of Goose Bay was the start of the next passage. After getting in the anchor I motored up the Goose Bay Arm to ensure that I had not missed a better anchorage. While very scenic there was not another anchorage I would have preferred although there were others that would be serviceable.

The weather called for calm conditions with a promise of SW winds later in the day. Well, the calm certainly existed and with glass calm waters we headed out of the Bay of Islands and north. A sloppy swell was left over from the more recent winds. Once into the Bay proper sails were set that made Easy Go steadier and gave a little boost motor sailing.

Sailing up the coast the winds failed to appear. Motor sailing the 25 NM or so was no great hardship and being close in to the shore in fog free conditions was an opportunity that is rarely available.

Incredible geology combined with towering waterfalls make this a trip not to be missed. The approach to Bonne Bay cannot be missed. The sailing directions give precise directions to line up Gros Morne Peak with Rocky Harbour. We were too close in to shore to make this connection but did manage to make Bonne Bay before dark and appreciate the majesty of Gros Morne.

We doused sails just before dark in calm waters and motored on towards Woody Point, a small community that promised a wharf. Arriving in the dark and passing the lighthouse indicated on the charts I was unable to find a wharf to tie up to. The fish plant wharf was completely full and appeared to be much smaller than the charts indicated. Many of the wharves indicated on the chart were gone. A small floating dock with a sign indicating that it was for the water taxi was all that was available so I drifted in and tied up. In a few minutes three of the local teenagers came down to the wharf to say that the water taxi would be in and it might be better for me to tie up in the ferry slip that was now abandoned and offered a better dock. Thanks boys! Slipped the lines and went to the indicated wharf where the boys caught the lines and helped me secure. A gentleman came down and also gave assistance. He went away for a few minutes an came back with a print out of the tide tables so that I could adjust lines for the tides. Such is Newfoundland! Nice people.

The next day I went looking for Internet Access. The local Legion offers WIFI and is one of the nicest places I have ever visited. I was able to get online and make the necessary communications to home, have a few beers and become informed on local info.

The Writers at Woody Point Festival was in full swing. Able to take in a few of the events and mingle with people in town and long the docks was really a pleasant time. Looking for a good festival in Newfoundland? This has to be one of the best. There is great music, readings by the authors and a sharing within the community between visitors, Come From Aways and local residents. More information on the Writers at Woody Point Festival

Provisioning and a meals ashore were no problem. A small well supplied grocery store is clsoe by on the water front with fresh produce, canned goods and frozen meats. It is also the local beer, wine and spirits outlet. After eating my own cooking for quite a while I had a craving for some hot fried chicken. Found a little restaurant that made good fried chicken and fries served up in a home like atmosphere. One is not a stranger long where ever you tie up the boat.

A stay of a few days. Met some other cruisers and it was time to move on to some other places in Bonne Bay.

View the photo essay of Bonne Bay

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