I cast the lines off from Woody Point early in the morning with mist and light rain falling and little wind. Later in the day the weather forecast indicated a strengthening of wind that could mack teh wharf at Woody Point a little uncomfortable.
Motoring, what a great new experience, over towards Neddy Harbour in behind Norris Point was the initial destination but I wanted a little wilderness experience to break up the visits to the communities. Decided to continue up the the East Arm after passing through the Tickle off Norris Point.
There is a small pocket bay at the very end of the East Arm that is reported to be very protected. I went in there to tray and find a place to anchor. The digital charts are way off in this area. Apparently I was tring to anchor part way up a mountain. Set the anchor five times on the shelf in this bay but the incoming brook has shoaled the waters so that in the swinging room after I anchored in two fathoms I found that I would dry out at low tide on one side while the other was in about six fathoms of water. Finally gave up and moved over to Lomond Cove where another sailboat and a motor boat were anchored in from of the beach. This is a Gros Morne National Park campsite and I thought it might be too busy. Not busy at all while I was there with the campsites in the woods the more popular location. Met the folks on Pelarus Jack and we had a good visit in in their covered cockpit sitting out the rain. We were both anchored in 5 to 6 fathoms on a sandy bottom that gave good holding.
The next day dawned sunny so it was time to go for a walk on the trails and scope out the services in the campground. There are indoor and outdoor showers here that are well appreciated. Decided to take a hike over to Stanleyville. This is the site of an old lumber camp and sawmill that predated the site of a similar industry that was once located in Lomond Cove. These two communities were rare in that their existence relied on the forest industry rather than the fishing industry. Both communities were abandoned after the supplies of logs dwindled.
Forgot to bring my camera for the hike and regretted the oversight half way across the trail. I saw one of the largest bull moose I have ever seen lumbering along the trail coming straight towards me. at least 20 points on the immense rack, large dew lap and not a concern in the world. I spoke to him, clapped my hands, shuffled my feet and on he came. When the big boy was about 20 feet away he stepped off the trail a little to let me pass. This is not a tame animal and I treated him with respect while quickly moving by. After I passed he slowly made his way back onto the trail and continued along. I met a group of hikers who had been following the moose for half an hour and a couple of hundred yards watching him eat and meander his way along without fear.
After crossing a couple of ridges along the well trodden trail I came back to sea level and the clearings of Stanleyville. Ample evidence of human activity is still to be found with some domestic plants in the clearings where houses once stood and various pieces of metal showing that industry had been here. More than 100 years have passed since Stanleyville was occupied. The forests have regenerated and some day all that will be left of this old outport will be memories in some archive. The beach is nice and one could anchor off in calm conditions.
The hike back had me a little apprehensive. The bull moose might still be on the trail. I followed his tracks while keeping an eye out along the sides of the trail Sure enough he had gone along the trail and stepped off before coming back a short distance to lay down and digest his meal. he was set perfectly to watch his back trail while catching the scent of anyone who might approach. When he smelled me he lifted his head to check me out but stayed laying down to let me pass.
The next few day were sometimes windy and stormy but the anchor held well. Made a few more trips to shore to walk around and enjoy the scenery during the nice parts of the day. Fishing for mackerel was really good so I had lots of fish to eat.
The weather was starting to change. The mornings were starting to get a little colder with lots of sea smoke.
Time to think about heading home to River Bourgeois. There were northerly winds forecast over the next few days. Nice to be able to sail downwind. Plans have been working out riding the late summer SW winds north and catching the first Northerly winds of fall to get home on.
View the Photo Essay of Bonne Bay