Originally Posted by SarahBeth
My husband and I plan to cross from Nova Scotia to Newfoundland this summer (August), and to visit some of the "Out villages" that can only be reached by boat. Usually in situations like this, I take along small gifts for kids - these can be anything from pencils to frisbees to books. Does anyone have any ideas for what might be the best gifts to take?
I'm also always interested in people's experiences with a place that is new to me - so any Newfoundland tips are most welcome!
--Sarah Beth on S.V. Winnedumah
A couple of things struck me in your post: crossing in August and “out villages” that can only be reached by boat.
So with that in mind there are only 3 “out ports” meeting your description within reasonable range for an August departure. They are on the South coast: Grey River, Francious and Mccullam (I think?, not visited.). Francious is pronounced “Franc Way” - I have been corrected. There is also Grant Bruit (Grand Brit) but that was shut down some years ago. There is also Ramea Island in the same vicinity.
When I was there a daily ferry
ran a return trip from Francious to Grey River to Burgeo. There was also a ferry
making one or two daily trips to Ramea.
are accurate but may have an unknown datum, your GPS
can be off by up to 1/2 mile. I have experienced this in Grey River and Francious, and presume it is true for Ramea. There are various off lying dangers (“sunkers”) East of Ramea.
Fog can be extremely heavy, zero visibility, radar
is a NECESSITY. If you run up a fjord you often run out of the fog once inland a mile or two. Heat, while not essential, is desirable. I got stuck in Burgeo for a few days of constant drizzle in July. DAMN cold.
Grey River lies in a fjord very worth exploring. Francious is in its own pocket, not a true fjord, and can experience stiff winds even though it appears sheltered. Can be hard to find dockage, anchorage is deep and foul. I picked up some old sails
or something on my anchor
and drug, nearly coming to grief. Hare Bay fjord (one of 3 Hare Bays in Newfoundland) lies just East of Francious and is well wort a day or two visit. In fjords try to anchor
out 100’ or more, the flies/mosquitos have limited range.
It would be an absolute crime to do this trip and not make St. Pierre/Miquelon. A truly French experience. The only suitable harbor is St Pierre, and it’s a good one, just don't wander out of channels, rock garden! Miquelon Harbor is very tiny, no maneuvering room or dockage, entrance was foul with aquaculture gear
. You can do a day tourist tour of Miquelson via zodiac
, worth it, lunch included. In St Pierre take the ferry to the old town abandoned in the 1960’s. You may have to ask, I don’t recall
it being well advertised, or if so only in French. Make sure you visit the old school
house museum. Wonderful, one class room is untouched.
My suggested route
Enter the Bras d’Or at St Peters. Call ahead to confirm lock opening schedule.
Transit the lakes, can be done in a long day or spend a month.
Exit at Great Bras d’Or, DO NOT run out on a neap current
with a NE wind
Make for St Pierre, 120-140 miles, overnight.
Check back into Canada at Grand Banks
, Port au Basque does not have Customs
Then do the South coast.
You can leave from Burgeo and run straight to Halifax
with good wind
- rare. Or make for North Sydney
. Or reverse through the Bra d’Or Lakes.
If doing the latter a nice diversion is to sail from St Peters to Canso, on the West side of the straights, and there is an inside passage
that runs through the forest. Narrow but I’ve done it with 5’4” and not touched. Neat to see seals
in a forest setting.
P.S. If you want to visit REMOTE
villages try the Quebec
Cote Nord. There are about 8 villages on a ferry line that makes one return trip a week.