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Planning for Newfoundland

Voyage planning is a fascinating process. Generally it involves charts, dividers, pencils, calculators, calendars, pilot books and cruising guides, along with vast amounts of caffinated beverages. As part of the process, ideas and imaginings become real, places I’ve heard about become familiar to me through their details. I found that particularly true while working on the voyage plan for this upcoming summer’s voyage around Newfoundland.

I’ve long been fascinated by Canada’s easternmost province, and was thrilled to finally visit in the summer of 2009 when Picton Castle sailed into Burgeo on Newfoundland’s south coast. Coming from Iles de la Madeleine and heading back towards Lunenburg to wrap up the voyage, we had intended to visit a number of ports on the south coast, then jump over to St. Pierre before sailing home to Nova Scotia. Hurricane Bill had other ideas.

With modern weather forecasting, we knew several days in advance that something big was brewing weather-wise and made the decision to head directly for Burgeo and a dock at the old fish plant that looked promising as a secure spot to tie up the ship. Upon arrival we found that the old fish plant was exactly what we were looking for, a solid wharf with adequate depth and a spot available for us, at the end of long protected bay. We arrived with enough time to make all the necessary preparations to the ship, weathered the hurricane well, then waited an extra day or two to allow the seas to lay down before getting underway again. We owe a big thanks to the people of Burgeo who were so welcoming and we hope to get back there this summer.

This brief experience definitely left us wanting more of Newfoundland. This voyage is one we’ve been talking about making for a number of years now, just waiting for the right time. This summer is it. And we’re getting excited about exploring one of the most beautiful, scenic, rugged bits of rock in the world.

alognside at the old fish plant in Burgeo

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