Twilingate, Land of the Icebergs

I read a lot as a kid and enjoyed many a movie on Saturdays.   One of my favorites was the story of the Titanic and I loved the original B&W movie.   The Titanic was a big, new and oh so shiny new boat that is put down by an iceberg.    How can that be?   The very idea both terrifies me and fascinates me.  So how could we pass up a visit to the Land of Icebergs?

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The drive to the Land of the Icebergs was a drive through rain and fog but we did see several icebergs along the coast.   Most of them were a bit far out so we decided to take a short hike to Nanny’s Hole to see if we could get closer to the icebergs.  It was a hike along a cliff, down a lot of stairs and then through a Frisbee golf course.  I cannot imagine playing here!   One good gust and your Frisbee is out in the ocean and giving the whales some fun.   We did see a couple of icebergs in the distance and we wondered if they would still be there tomorrow when we take an iceberg boat tour.

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After our hike, we stopped at the Crow’s Nest Café, a cute little place with only 4 tables and we had some yummy chili.  Since the weather was so awful we took the rest of the day off and enjoyed it from the comfort of our B&B room at the Wild Cove Retreat Bed and Breakfast.

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Twilingate is a colorful little town of about 2200 people located between the north and south Twilingate islands and is known as the “Iceberg Capital of the World.”   We arrived in town to see a parade walking by on the road.   Once they passed by we headed towards our destination, Iceberg Boat Tours. The tour takes you out into the ocean where the icebergs drift by in the spring.   We were hoping to actually see them up close, and as it had been raining we thought they would all be gone or very small.

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Cecil the Iceberg Man was our guide on the boat and was so very delightful.   He was the first one to start the boat tours for icebergs and even designed the boat just for this purpose.  He has seen many icebergs  over the years.  While there is no guarantee that you will see one, spring is the best time for viewing and this is one of the best areas to watch as they float by.   Many times what you see is only 2% of the iceberg, the majority of it being under water.   It can be very dangerous for the boats to get too close so I was curious to how close we would be.

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Cecil gathered all of us towards the boat where he showed us a piece of an iceberg and gave a bit of history. After his talk, it was time to get on the boat and being boaters, we jumped right on and climbed up to the bridge for the best views.   We had a clear day with a mild breeze and calm seas with occasional sunshine poking through.  It was perfect!  We motored about 4 miles out towards an iceberg and the iceberg was huge!   We did pass another boat heading out to the berg as well as a few other smaller icebergs.

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As well approached the iceberg further out, it did not look like it was very big, but the closer we got, the bigger it was.   Distance was very deceiving!  We circled the iceberg twice noticing all the shelves, nooks and crannies and places where the birds were hanging.   You could even see a small opening where water was rushing through.   All the colors from blue to aquamarine were beautiful!   The iceberg was about 500 ft high and 140 ft. wide and was bigger than I imagined it would be.   When you see it from a distance it does not look that big!

As we left the iceberg to head back to port, we turned around to see that the berg was rocking backwards!  We watched as it rocked back and forth to steady itself and Cecil said a big piece might have fallen off. I did get a picture of it and you can clearly see the backside had slid off.  I shudder to think we might have been too close if that had happened while we were behind it so I was glad we were a safe distance away.

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Moose sightings: 0

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