Thursday, July 8, 2010

The islands of Burgeo

Islands in the stream

There are tens of islands of all sizes just outside of Burgeo. On a map, they look like sprayed buckshot fired out of a 12-gauge shotgun.

Ralph, Stan and I were in Burgeo for a second day awaiting the scheduled Tuesday ferry run to Grand Bruit. The previous day we were in active water to the east of Burgeo. On this day we explored some of the islands that lay outside the town.

The next land beyond these islands would be the islands of the Carribean so we made sure not to paddle in an offshore wind!

Venice, Newfoundland?

Burgeo is heavily indented by the sea. It almost gives the impression of being a town built on a series of islands, like Venice, without the gondolas and architecture. Here Ralph and Stan paddle out the "Grand Canal" *lol* on our way out to the islands.

Oily calm seas

This was my first trip to the south coast. I don't know how many days a year the sea is as calm as this but I'd guess not many. No matter, it had settled after yesterday's swell of up to 2 metres and we were in for a sweat day of paddling.

Weathered granites

The area around Burgeo is composed of Silurian granites of varying crystal sizes indicating the granite was implaced at different depths. The greater the depth, the longer the magma took to cool resulting in larger the crystal sizes. Exposed after 100's of millions of years they're weathered to a tan colour by the pounding of the sea.

Between a rock and a hard place

Ralph and Stan paddling between Baggs Island and Rencontre Island.

Coming ashore

From the islands the beach at Sandbanks Provincial Park was clear to see and so we went there for a break. A sandy beach is preferable to a boulder strewn beach but it also has disadvantages - the fine sand gets into everything. I'd be finding sand the rest of the trip.

Sand into the horizon

Burgeo boasts the best sandy beaches in Newfoundland and on this evidence, who could argue. Too bad they are so far away from the populated areas. If they were closer they'd be packed with people rather than not another soul besides us.

We made out way back to Burgeo where we made final checks of our gear and supplies in preparation for our ferry trip to Grand Bruit the following day. Then the real paddling would begin.

It would be a week later and we'd be paddling along this beach again on our way to completing our south coast adventure.

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