Monday, May 16, 2011

In the foorsteps of John Guy

It began in fog

Sunday began in fog. We dropped the boats on the beach in Colliers and Clyde, Dean and Hazen took two of the cars down to Cupids where we were headed for the day. It was cool in the early morning fog so I found a comfortable spot to sit and guard our craft as I awaited their return. There was a fair bit of traffic on the road, our boats attracting only a passing glance as people drove by.

On our way

The boys returned from the car shuttle and we left Colliers headed north towards Cupids. The cliffs along here were bleak and barren but as the day progressed it got more interesting as the weather also brightened up.

Exploring a small cove

After stopping in Marysvale for lunch we continued up the coast stopping to explore interesting little coves, this one with a small waterfall.

Taking turns

Our first arch for the day. Its narrow and due to the low water, timing was everything.

Red beds

Continuing along the shoreline there's a channel between some rocks and the cliffs. Paddling through all of a sudden this magical cove opens up with greenish waters and striking massive cliffs of red and greenish-grey sedimentary rocks. Dean and Clyde paddle by some huge blocks that have tumbled into the cove.


We didn't paddle into Brigus today but crossed straight across the mouth of the harbour. A lighthouse dominates the north point, one Captain Bob Bartlett would have sailed past numerous times. Captain Bartlett commanded the Roosevelt, Robert E. Perry's ship on his way to the North Pole. Bartlett himself came to within 100 miles of the pole before being sent back by Perry.


We stopped for a brief break at the location of the former community of Greenland. A possible future campsite but the landing is very rocky.

Under the arch

Just outside of Cupids we had our second arch for the day, this one was much larger. Even in low water with a bit of a swell running almost directly into it, it was very accessible. Paddling in through the arch there's a large room open to the sky. Paddle back through the arch or continue to paddle right around the the east shoulder of the arch.

Paddling into Cupids

As we arrived at our destination of Cupids I thought about looking at the scene through the eyes of John Guy who sailed into this cove almost 401 years ago. Cupids is the site of the first English settlement in Canada. It was established in 1610 by the London and Bristol Company, John Guy being its first Governor. The investors in the company eventually lost interest in the colony but it survived and some of its citizens created other settlements in Conception Bay. Learn more here.

A total of 22 kms on what proved to be a very entertaining and enjoyable paddle with lots to see and highly recommended to the rest of the Newfoundland community.


  1. Nice trip - interesting history and geology.

  2. Thanks ... I've paddled parts of it separately but not all together and the first time at the arch. I hoped to do the Cupids part last year during the 400th anniversary of the founding but it didn't come to pass.

    Toy :-)