Monday, July 13, 2015

On a wild goose chase, the after lunch part

After paddling 21 kms to get to the south end of Bell Island I stopped for lunch.  I only ate half before deciding I'd continue my circumnavigation to Dominion Pier where I'd finish it and cross back to St Philips.

The water was clear to the bottom but not deep so I had the view of the tall cliff and occasionally the seafloor changed from sandy bottom to more interesting life.

Chimney Rock stands out from the island like a sore thumb.

The sandstones and siltstones of Bell Island are Ordovician in age (484 - 443 million years ago) and mostly lie flat dipping gently away from this view to the west.  Except here in this small cove.  Here a fault runs diagonally from center bottom to upper left.  On the right side of the fault the beds were bent down against the footwall.  The warping of the beds in the hangingwall is caused by drag folding when the beds were not quite solidified.

As I got closer to completing the loop I reached the remnants of Scotia Pier and the cliffs turned from brownish grey to a reddish stain caused by a film of hematite coating the grains of sand.

Bell Island was at one time the location for one of the largest iron ore mines on the planet.  That all ended in 1966 when the mines, located underground, were forced out of business by development of cheaper surface mines.

A short distance away was Dominion Pier, the second transshipment terminal for the iron ore.  The pilings still stand after almost 50 years.  I was fully around Bell Island at Dominion Pier and stopped to finish my lunch before making the 5 km crossing back to St Philips.  Before I got back in the kayak I had a look around and spotted ...

... this rock with its recording of ancient life.  The raised surfaces are worm castings that have been preserved for hundreds of millions of years.  It makes me feel small to think more than 400 million years ago worms dug through these sediments.

Back to the present.  Once in my boat again I pointed the bow to the ...

... distant shore from whence I came 5 and a half hours ago.

This was my second solo circumnavigation of Bell Island.  Its a liberating feeling especially on the west side of the island for if anything goes wrong there one is left to one's own devices as there is no one looking out over that water.

I was disappointed there was no iceberg but I was contented taking the kayak out of the water.

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