Friday, July 29, 2011

Lubec, Maine

Well, we have made it back into the US (technically) but we are still so close to Canada that our phones continue to run on Canadian cell networks.  :-(

We are in Lubec, Maine which is the Eastern most town in the US.  Its a beautiful little area and we are camping right on the coast. 

We had a nice couple of days on the island of Cape Breton which is in Nova Scotia, Canada.  The weather was nice enough for us to do a fantastic day trip to the Louisbourg National Historic Site.  This was an original French settlement that has been rebuilt by Parks Canada to represent life in 1744.  Even though only 1/5 of the town has been reconstructed, it was huge and amazing!

We watched as the costumed staff fired two of the cannons - We could feel it when it went off!  Wow!!

Isn't the size of the building incredible - Great attention to detail!  The reconstruction even contained live animals such as sheep, turkeys & chickens.

Mr. Foley - Matt only has one pair of sunglasses on in this photo

One of the main streets along the Quay.

The gate into the city.
So in a couple of days, Matt and I will be on separate trips.  He will stay with the RV in Maine while I fly to Missouri to visit with my family and await the much anticipate arrival of my newest niece, Madelyn.  She can't quite make up her mind as to when she wants to arrive so I am leaving on Tuesday and will be flying back after spending some time in Missouri.

I will try to keep everyone updated on both of our travels!!

Take care,

Thursday, July 21, 2011

West coast of Newfoundland

We have had a great week of exploring the western coast of Newfoundland.  We stayed for 6 days in Gros Morne National Park and then did a quick trip to the very northern most tip of the island to St. Anthony to view some spectacular icebergs.  We are now in the central area of western Newfoundland in the second largest city in the province, Corner Brook.  You can tell its not a populous island when the largest city has a population just over 100,000 and the second largest's population is just over 20,000.  We will be here two nights before heading a bit further south for 2 nights then its back on the ferry to Nova Scotia and our Newfoundland trip will be all over. 

Here are some photos from our recent excursions:

Here is a map of Newfoundland and all the places we have visited or will visit before out trip ends next Monday.  I think we have covered the island tip to tip.
July 14 - Our boat trip into the fiord of Western Brook Pond in Gros Morne National Park - Absolutely stunning fiord.

The large ice sheets and icebergs floating down iceberg alley in St. Anthony.  Yes, that is a fishing boat in the middle and yes, the ice sheets are huge (over 1 mile long).  These are remants of a 64 sq km ice sheet that broke off Greenland and is now breaking up all along the coast of Newfoundland.

This is a "bergie bit" (Angela's favorite new words).  This is a smaller piece of an iceberg that has fractured off and is now grounded against the shore.  We watched this little guy break up just as we sat on the shore.

And of course Matt has to sample a piece of the bergie bit - Actually pretty good and no salty taste whatsoever.

This floating chunk is known as a Growler.  It is a medium sized chunk that has broken off a larger iceberg.  This was taken from our boat ride out onto the Atlantic Ocean.  This growler was still much much larger than our boat and was estimated to be about 120 feet tall.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Gros Morne National Park, Newfoundland

Just a quick update as we have WIFI here in our campground in Gros Morne National Park.  It's been a wet and chilly week, but hey, whats new about that.  We would actually trade for some of that really warm weather down in the states. 

We are here tonight and then we'll leave the trailer here for a couple of days and drive up to the very northern tip of Newfoundland to Iceberg Alley.  At one point there was a 62 sq km iceberg floating in the north Atlantic ocean just off land.  It has since broken up, but there are lots of icebergs floating past the coast.  We will take a boat ride to see some on Tuesday.

Here is a map of where the icebergs currently are, we will be staying in the town of Saint Anthony for a couple days.  Pretty cool website of Iceberg Finder.

I wanted to post a couple of photos from our time photographing the Puffins on the Bonavista peninsula over the past 2 weeks.

Here Matt enjoys the scenic views of "Bird Island" in Elliston where we spent the majority of our time photographing the Atlantic Puffin.  If you look on the island (where the camera is facing), you can see lots of white dots that are puffins.

Me in Elliston getting ready to get setup to photograph the Puffins.  In the evening we found that the puffins would actually come over to the mainland and get to within about 10 feet of us.  Pretty tame.

My Puffin Chair!!!!

We spent a day at a place called Spillars Cove and waited for the puffins to come ashore.  They never did, but we had great views of the Atlantic Ocean and lots of whales.

This was actually on our trip to Gull Island that I mentioned in my last post.  This was high up on the cliff from which my camera bag took a tumble.

Me and our guide, Paul, on Gull Island.  Pretty fantastic place, but very mucky - Every piece of clothing that we had on had to be washed due to Puffin pooh.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Newfoundland Update

We had a great couple of weeks with the Atlantic Puffins on the Bonavista peninsula of Newfoundland.  We got lots of great photos and really enjoyed watching the little guys.

Over the past couple of days, we did have to backtrack back to St. John's in order to make the trek out to Gull Island for our permit for the Puffins.  We made the drive down to Witless Bay early on Monday morning and actually ended up taking a great scouting boat ride out to the island to see if the sees were calm enough for us to land on the rocky shore.  Thank goodness!! It was so back to shore, pick up the truck from the next town, load about 50 pounds of photo gear into a small zodiak boat and we were off for the island again.  It was a tricky landing with lots of slippery rocks and moving boat, but we managed to get our gear onto the shore and proceed to get it up the steep rocky slope.  Matt had carried all our gear up about 30 feet to the place where we would photograph and we were back down on the rocks and watched in horror as my camera bag proceeded to tumble down the rocky slope and end up down by us again.  A quick check of my camera and lenses in the bag show only a couple of broken lens hoods so far!!  It could have been disasterous!!!!

We photographed for about 4 hours in a very limited area with pretty bad light, but it was an amazing experience with over 60,000 nesting pairs of Puffins all around us.  We watched as the Puffins landed in the cold Atlantic waters to fish for their young in the burrow nests.  Almost every single Puffin was flying by with either Capelin (a small fish) or a small squid in its mouth to feed its young - So Amazing!!!

We are now on the western coast of Newfoundland in Gros Morne National Park.  It was a very rainy yucky 9 hour drive from St. John's this morning. We also have a front jack on the trailer that has stopped working so we are stuck with leaving the trailer on the truck until we can figure out how to fix it (or rather, Matt can figure out how to fix it).