Sunday, 21 July 2013

Whales galore in St.Anthony



by Keith and Heather Nicol     
      The next day Sunday, July 14 we headed for St. Anthony were we had booked with the Northland Discovery Boat Tour (http://www.discovernorthland.com/) .  Since we had a 1:00 pm sailing, we decided to see the Grenfell Interpretation Centre (www.grenfell-properties.com) which is close to the boat tour wharf.  The Grenfell Interpretation Centre tells the amazing story of Dr. Grenfell and his selfless devotion to the health care and general wellbeing of the people of southern Labrador and the Northern Peninsula. We recommend seeing this well done display.
Be sure to see the Grenfell Interpretation Centre
The White Beaked dolphins were fast in the water
The sunny weather and exceptionally warm temperatures (28 C) meant that it was hard to figure out what to
wear for the boat tour. Although we were tempted to wear shorts, we knew that it would be cooler on board the boat. Northland Discovery's Gaffer III was full to capacity for the 1:00 pm sailing and we soon were out of the harbour keeping our eyes out for whales. Paul Alcock, the owner of the Gaffer III had told us earlier that the icebergs that had been around had drifted abit too far out of range, but that the whales were there in abundance. “We have had a 100% success rate with whales over the past 2 weeks” he told us over the loud speaker. It wasn’t too long before we heard “Thar she blows” and the first humpbacks had been spotted. It was a mother and her calf and they were busy feeding as we approached. Then all of a sudden we were surrounded by white beaked dolphins who must have come over to check us out. They were all around the boat and are very hard to take photos of since they are so fast. Then just as quickly as they arrived they were gone and we were back to searching for whales. We spotted another humpback and it was seemed to be mainly content to loaf along the surface feeding on caplin. And then just when it was time to return, the humpback decided to dive and everyone gave up a cheer as the whale’s back arched and its large tail showed momentarily before it disappeared beneath the waves.
We saw several humpbacks from the tour boat
   Back on shore we headed to the Grenfell house and after a tour of Grenfell’s home, we did the short hike to Tea House Hill where there are several lookout platforms giving great views of St. Anthony. At the top of the trail there is also a burial site for Dr. Grenfell, his wife and several other hospital staff. Then it was out to Fishing Point where we saw more whales, this time from shore. They put on quite a show lifting their large pectoral fins and splashing them into the water. It was then time to head to Triple Rose Cottage and Bed/Breakfast (www.triplerose.com) where we had planned  to spend the night. We had never stayed at this spot but fully recommend it since the 2 bedroom cottage was very large, clean and very nicely appointed. And it is conveniently located at the junction of highway 430 and 431.  
The Triple Rose has a great deck for relaxing on
 

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