If you just go for a paddle than you can stop thinking about wanting to go for a paddle.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

2014: Post 22 – A week in Fortune Bay

From July 12 to July 18 four of us (Tony, Hazen, Neville, and I) did a kayak camping trip that covered just over 150 kilometres of the coastline, coves, and inlets from Pool's Cove to Bay L'Argent in Fortune Bay.

Day One

Hazen picked me up and we drove to the TCH Irving station to meet Neville and Tony, and drove the approximate 2.5 hours to the ferry terminal in Bay L'Argent.  We loaded our kayaks and gear onto the ferry which took us on a four hour journey to Pool's Cove, stopping at Rencontre East along the way.  Once we arrived at Pool's Cove we carried the kayaks and gear a few hundred feet to a nearby slipway, loaded up the kayaks, and paddled just a few kilometres across North Bay where we camped for the night.

Chauffeur Hazen 

Somewhere  on the Burin Highway

The ferry arrived in Bay L'Argent right on time

Neville wanted to make sure the ferry was well secured so there
would not be any mishaps when we carried the kayaks aboard 

Rencontre East

The guys checking out maps against the coastline
as we steamed toward Pool's Cove

Loading up the kayaks in Pool's Cove

Having supper in North Bay

Tony and Neville enjoying their after-supper coffee

Our evening fire, with the lights of Pool's Cove across the bay.

Day Two

We awoke to a beautiful morning.  The day's paddle would take us up to the falls of Bay du Nord River and then into East Bay, where we would camp at Parsons Cove.

Morning in North Bay

Neville getting his breakfast



Tony talking to a salmon fisher
below a falls in Bay du Nord River

A closer look at the falls

We stopped at Bay du Nord proper on
our way back into North Bay

Tony having a look at young salmon at
one of the pens of the fish farms in the area
Here's a short video of the young salmon

We impaled a duck for supper and let it roast while we busied
ourselves setting up camp for the evening

Our tent site in Parsons Cove

Tony relaxing on the beach

The evening fire

There wasn't much beach above the high tide line and the water
actually licked at the underside of our fire before receeding 

Three happy campers

Day Three

Another beautiful morning.  Today we would make our way from Parson's Cove to Doctor's Harbour.  Shortly after taking out in Doctor's Harbour I stepped on a nail on the beach!!  It went through the sole of by boot and pieced the sock of my drysuit, but luckily it did not break the skin of my foot... good thing too because there weren't any doctor's home in the harbour that evening...

Early morning in Parson's Cove

Breakfast time


Chatting with the farm salmon harvesters

We pulled up in Lally Back Cove for lunch

Paddling into Lally Cove

A  typical Newfoundland stage in Lally Cove



Our home for the evening in Doctor's Harbour

Tony and Neville waiting for Happy Hour to start

Hazen was bartender and made us drinks... can't remember what
he called them but they had mint leaves in them, but to me those leaves
looked suspiciously like they came from the nearby bushes...

Neville climbed the nearby hill to see if he
could get reception on his cell phone

There was a bounty of driftwood on the beach...
so we had one mother of a Tony fire that evening

Day Four

The day was foggy, but warm.  We left Doctor's Harbour and paddled about two-thirds of the way up Belle Harbour, then made our way back past Doctor's Harbour and on to Rencontre East.

Tony getting his breakfast on the go

Hazen (looking up Belle Harbour)

The water fall near Doctor's Harbour 

The view looking toward Isle a Glu

Just past Isle a Glu Cove we stopped at this
waterfall to replenish our fresh water supply

Further on there was another waterfall.  This pose looks an awful
lot like one I took of Hazen on the previous day... Hazen would
stop at a lot of waterfalls and beg me to take his picture...

Neville trying out his new padding hat

Looking toward Roncontre Island

We found a great little camping spot on
Roncontre Island and set up the tents.  Then we
paddled over to Roncontre East to have a look around

We treated ourselves to an ice cream and walked around
the community with a very friendly dog acting as our  tour
guide.  I heard a lady call him Leader, which I took to be
his name and not the function he was providing for us...

We decided to have supper at this quaint little
take-out establishment, named Pigeon Inlet
(The young lady told me they had only been
in business for the last three weeks).

Tony had to go back to his kayak to get something
and this young fellow offered to give him a ride over.
It was Tony's very first ride on an ATV quad!

Back at the campsite happy hour started early
since we already had supper out of the way 

And of course there was the evening beach clean-up effort

Day Five

It rained in the early morning on this day, but by the time we crawled out of our tents it had stopped long enough to have our breakfast and pack the kayaks... but the fog remained with us.  The days paddle would take us to Lobster Cove.

Breaking camp

Hazen made a stop at Roncontre East to
properly dispose of our garbage that we had
been carrying around for the last few days

Tony  getting the weather report from the guys on the ferry

We paddled into Roncontre Brook but the tide was
low and we could not get past this little falls


Neville  heading into Stone Cove

We pulled up on the beach of Stone's Cove and had lunch

We decided to take a walk around and check
out the remains of the resettled community

When we got to Grants Cove there was a caribou
climbing the hill...  I waited until he was at the top
before snapping a couple pics

The graveyard in Grant's Cove has really grown over...

We set up camp in a field above the beach in Lobster Cove.  Due
to the weather, Big Yellow went up for the first time on this trip.

It was a dull, foggy day, but it was
nice and bright under Big Yellow

A look down along the beach

The evening fire

Day Six

We had decided the night before that we would stay in Lobster Cove for another night and do a day paddle part way up into Long Harbour.  We went as far as Indian Tea Island and then crossed over, finding a little beach on which to have lunch, and then paddled back down to the campsite in Lobster Cove.

Breakfast time

It didn't take long to get the kayaks ready as
a lot of the gear would be left in our camp

Looking up Long Harbour

One of the falls we seen along the way... I thought
someone said this one was called Pissing Mare Falls

We checked out a cabin owned by a local kayaker

Three kayaking amigo's

The amigos further along the shore

At low tide this made an excellent spot to filter water

This little island did not have a name on our maps, so we
named it Old Wobbly Island.  Someone had put a
replication of Santa Clause on a tree, but I thought
it looked a little like Old Wobbly from a distance

It rained off and on all day, sometimes
it came in sheets on the wind

Hazen, somewhere before we crossed over

We put up Neville's tarp before having our lunch
so we could have some shelter from the rain 

Looking up the other direction from our lunch site

Back at the campsite we mostly hung around
under Big Yellow to stay out of the rain 

Everything was wet and we decided not to sit out
in the rain to have a campfire... so we improvised and
Neville put up a couple glow sticks instead.  We
had a couple drinks and turned into our tents early

Day Seven

The night before we talked about possibly camping in New Harbour or maybe Femme on Friday night and then do the crossing to Bay L'Argent on Sat morning.  We awoke to another damp and foggy day.

Packing up the kayaks in Lobster Cove





Paddling into Femme Harbour

We pulled up on a beach and discussed the possibilities, but
we finally decided to carry on to the cars and call this trip done.
We paddled the couple kilometres to New Harbour and then
crossed over to Bay L'Argent, where the cars were waiting.

While we were unpacking the kayaks and loading up the
cars the sun came out, making the drive home quite pleasant

Final thoughts

This was a spectacular trip.  The scenery is very impressive... the pictures just do not do it justice.  We could have done the trip in a shorter time period but our intent was to stay out for at least seven days and to not do long paddle days like we have done on past trips. Most days we were at our camp sites about mid-afternoon, allowing us to take our time in setting up camp and lounge a little before having supper and, of course, happy hour.

There were a few mishaps along the way - a punctured drysuit, a lost pump, lost sunglasses, a cut finger, and broken tent poles. But things were dealt with along the way - the drysuit was repaired, the sunglasses recovered floating on the water, the cut finger tended to, and the tent poles temporarily repaired. However the pump is still floating around somewhere in Fortune Bay.

We had sunshine for the first half of the trip, and fog for the second half.  Not too much rain, except on day five and more on day six.  We did not have to paddle into too much headwind, and had some very good following seas around a couple headlands that made for some good 'hooah!' moments.  

Fortune Bay is definitely worth putting on the bucket list for any enthusiastic kayak camper...


  1. Yup, that pretty well summarizes it. Excellent trip and after two days I'm ready to run away again!

    Tony :-)

  2. Hi Dean, greetings from Scotland. It's such a small world. We left our kayaks behind, in Toronto in 1974, and spent four months in Pools Cove. An amazing experience, and wonderful folks. Sounds like a grand adventure. Many kayaks later, we're by the North Sea, and enjoying the waters here. :) Duncan.