Saturday, August 25, 2012

A day in the Ragged Islands

Chicken tracks in the Ragged Islands

On day four of our trip around Merasheen Island we took a day detour to paddle around some of the Ragged Islands.  Apparently, at low tide, there are 365 islands in the group, one for every day of the year.  However, we only did a sample.

Doug Redmond and Dan Murphy in their book "A Guide to Sea Kayaking in Newfoundland and Labrador" state "Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart has kayaked among the Ragged Islands.  After paddling the Ragged Islands she commented, "it was one of the best kayak trips [she had] done!"

Who am I to disagree with Martha Stewart?

 Leaving Merry Harbour

We left our tents standing at Merry Harbour and paddled our now much lighter kayaks across to the Ragged Islands making the Jarvis Islands our first target.

Islands in the stream

From the water it looked like it could all be one land mass but as in a painting, the darker forms indicated they were closer and separate islands.


Jarvis Islands had a channel between on the map so they looked a interesting first look.  At low tide they happened to be joined.

A drag across

We could have turned around but decided to pull the kayaks over the seaweed covered rocks.

Pink granites

The pink granites in some of the islands added some nice colour.

Moor Island

We turned east to check out more islands, this one is Moor Island, with Jean de Gaunt Island partly shrouded in fog behind it.


We almost exited the archipelago at Jean de Gaunt Island to starboard, Big Dock and George Dock Islands on port side to see the Burin Peninsula on the horizon.

Lunch stop

After circling around Crane Island we paddled into Jean de Gaunt Harbour where we stopped for lunch.  The day that started overcast with a bit of fog got sunny and hot.


Sometimes we are creatures of habit - put on drysuit, go paddling.  I don't remember who said they were taking off their drysuit first but we all did.  There was really no need to wear our drysuits because the water was almost bathtub warm.  I certainly felt a greater freedom with the drysuit in the hatch.

Harbour Islands

Hazen paddling along in the indistinguishable Harbour Islands.  Up close the various islands all looked the same, some too small to appear on the map.

Squeezing through

After paddling past South Tilt Island we started to make our way back towards our camp at Merry Harbour.  Here we are squeezing between two of the Lower Gray Gull Islands.

Fire on the beach

We had our usual fire on the beach with refreshments after supper.  At one point a section of sky cleared to reveal the constellation Cassiopeia.  The recognizable open W shape that city dwellers can only see due to light pollution was populated by a myriad of other stars only visible in the total darkness of the wilderness.

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