Sunday, July 7, 2013

Endgame - closing the circle

We had gotten up at 4:30 the morning of day five of our circumnavigation of New World Island and North and South Twillingate Islands to escape the northeast winds and get around the northern end of the island.

Due to the early start we arrived at Intricate Harbour, 27 kilometers later, at 11:15.  Dean had identified a cove where we could camp.  We did a recon.  It was perfect.  It was level and protected from the wind.  Dean picked out a spot for his tent.

Then, three of the guys decided they didn't want to spend the best part of the day in camp and opted to continue on to Dildo Run Provincial Park.  As Dean and I had carpooled, we had no choice but to come along.

Warning!  This is more text than spectacular photos.

Three kilometers after leaving Intricate Harbour we turned east and were face and eyes into a 20 knot wind.  Dean and I crossed over to Farmers Island.  Brian, Hazen and Neville carried on following the coast.  At Scrub Island we stopped for 15 minutes trying unsuccessfully to hail the other three on the VHF.

We carried on getting some protection from the wind from Scrub, Cone, Coffin, Transit and an un-named Island.  Rounding the un-named island (which I'll forever call Sight for sore eyes Island), I saw the Curtis Causeway in the distance.  But the wind was in our faces again and it began to rain heavily, so much so, I could only squint to see in the stinging rain.

Brian, Hazen and Neville had arrived at the causeway a few minutes before us and were waiting  I cursed the 15 minute stop.

We arrived to find the tide in retreat and the tidal current against us.  Yes, we had tide tables and a marine chart but failed to refer to the marine chart for direction of flow.

Brian tried to paddle through the current but was swept down stream.  He summonsed us to the other side and Hazen followed but Dean, Neville and I carried our fully loaded boats over slippery, sharp rocks around the bridge abutment, attached a bow line and nursed the kayaks upstream along the side and out of the current.

Mine was the last and waiting to be put back in the water.

Our three kayaks were back in the water inside of the powerful tidal current.  We had paddled already 40 kms and taken 30 minutes to get past the causeway.  We had another 10 kms to go.

Ten kilometers to paddle through a maze of islands in the wind that was still blowing.  The sea state was not an issue due to the limited fetch.

Finally we saw the knobby island that lay just outside of the park and the wind was somewhat behind us.

When our bows touched the sweet sand and the end of our journey it was 6:00 pm.  We had paddled 50 kms (and a good chunk of it into the wind) since getting into our boats in Mortons Harbour at 5:30 am.

The final labour was to carry the loaded kayaks up from the beach to the road where we could unload them.  It was a ragged looking crew.

With the gear loaded in the vehicles we went for a much appreciated shower even though the water coming out of the shower head was barely warm.  Then we drove to Twillingate where Dean bought us all a supper of fish and chips.

In the morning we drove to Gander for breakfast and then hit the road for the 3.5 hour drive home.

The first two days of our trip were in glorious sunshine.  The final three were cold and damp.  I don't set out on these longer trips expecting perfect weather so I live with it.  It is just part of the experience.  A little adversity never hurt anyone.

So, the total circumnavigation was a few meters under 150 kms.  It was a memorable trip.  Thanks to Brian, Dean, Hzen and Neville for sharing the experience.

Here is the track for the final leg:

And, here is the birds eye view of the hole thing:



  1. Great Adventure Tony! Thanks for taking the trouble to post for those of us 'away'...!

  2. oh dear. I can't believe you did that whole trip from Moreton's Harbor in one day, against the wind. Which is kind of ironic since you got up early to avoid the wind. Isn't it odd that we set our sights on the endpoint, rather than the means to getting there? I find this to be the case repeatedly, and have to remind myself that there's no hurry. Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed the account. Brought the place alive to me again.

  3. Thanks Michael and you are very welcome. It was no trouble to sort through the pictures and tell. Something to reminisce about when I'm limited to my rocking chair.

    Tony :-)

  4. Ya Kate, it wasn't my decision but the other guys felt it was worth it. We had a couple of weather days we could have used but instead got home early.

    I see it even on a day paddle. The paddle out is relaxed and at the turnaround its a mad dash back to the cars.

    Thanks again too for your useful posting of your 2012 trip. Always nice to see another perspective on the same area.

    Tony :-)