Day Nine – Port aux Choix, NL to Grand-Falls Windsor, NL

What a day we’ve had – full of adventures, intriguing stops and fun times with our crew!

First stop and full disclosure… John’s evening expedition of Moose Spotting paid dividends this morning as we took a trip down to the Port aux Choix Lighthouse where he saw a small herd of caribou (see photos from Day Eight!).  We took photos at the lighthouse then, believing the caribou had moved on (they had!), the group was so excited to see a bull moose!!

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Then we visited Port au Choix historic site and learned about the nearly 6000 year history of human life in the area.  Truly amazing!

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Moving south through Gros Morne Provincial Park, we made a couple of photo stops to remember the gorgeous island.

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After a lovely lunch in Rocky Harbour, we headed east at Deer Lake and made our way to King’s Point.  The pottery of King’s Point was unique and the shop had so many tempting pieces of art from over 300 artists.

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The Whale Pavilion was a highlight of the day as well where we had the singular opportunity to see a fully restored humpback whale skeleton.

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Our overnight at Mt. Peyton featured Ed Power and Weldon giving us a traditional Newfoundland “Screech-In”.  We were all treated to Ed’s voice and guitar while Weldon cracked a few jokes and played the accordion!

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2 thoughts on “Day Nine – Port aux Choix, NL to Grand-Falls Windsor, NL

  1. Good Morning Peeps!

    Well, that is one huge Moose! It even stops to pose for pictures!

    I was very happy to stop in Rocky Harbour a second time! I think I could rent a cottage in Rocky Harbour for an entire summer!

    Now that you are honourary Newfoundlanders be sure to start speaking like one too.

    As for kissing the Cod. I am more than positive whoever started this tradition was blotto out of his mind. Note that I say his mind because I am sure no woman would want to kiss a cod! Who knows where those lips have been!!!!

    Now, I must let you know that on our trip it just so happened that our Wedding Anniversary day was a Newfoundland Spectacular day too. I had mentioned it to the staff at Franklin Tours and lo and behold our fearless leader surprised my husband and I with a bottle of wine! We will always remember our Anniversary with the Franklin Bus Tour and beautiful Newfoundland!

    Have another great day! I know you will!

    Mary

  2. Hi Folks,

    I just read this article in the Toronto Star.

    Thought you may find it insetting.

    See, even Beluga Whales want to be honourary Newfoundlanders.

    Mary

    ADMIRAL’S BEACH, N.L.—A young beluga whale appears to have taken a liking to a small Newfoundland village, where some residents have made of habit of patting its head and rubbing its belly.

    The 2.4-metre-long whale showed up at the wharf in Admiral’s Beach about four months ago, and experts are now raising concerns about its safety.

    The playful, white whale has been spotted huddling next to a small speedboat, following fishing vessels, tugging on mooring lines with its mouth and appearing in YouTube videos.

    Local resident Sharon McEvoy says the whale has grown since it arrived in March, and she says locals are regularly reaching out to touch the animal.

    Some are calling him Billy.

    “We’re getting a lot of people from a lot of places coming to look at him now,” she said in an interview Friday from the Butland’s convenience store, where she was working the afternoon shift.

    “They get down in the speedboats and the beluga whale comes over and they rubs his belly … and the top of his head. He just lays there and lets them pet him … He’ll come right to you.”

    Scientists say once belugas become accustomed to human interaction, there’s a high risk of serious injury or death for the whale.

    Tim Frasier, a biologist at St. Mary’s University in Halifax, says it’s not unusual for young belugas to explore on their own.

    “Every year or so we get what we call wandering belugas,” the associate professor said. “We don’t necessarily think that they’re lost … (This one) is probably just exploring, the way that teenagers do.”

    Frasier, who studies marine mammal behaviour, said the whale should be left alone for its own safety.

    “It’s the same thing with any wild animal; giving them their space and leaving them alone is always the right thing to do,” he said.

    “There’s a real misconception about whales and especially belugas. They’re cute, we sing songs about them, we see them in aquariums and we get used to seeing people touch them. But none of that is natural. And that’s not what our default behaviour should be with them.”

    Frasier said it’s unfortunate, but encouraging the whale to move on simply won’t work.

    McEvoy said she and other residents are worried the whale could be injured.

    “I don’t want him to get hurt. There’s fishing boats coming in and out of there. The longer he’s staying here, the more likely that he’s not going to leave.”

    Belugas are toothed whales known for their muscular bodies, curious dispositions and distinctive, upturned mouths that make them look like they are smiling. Male belugas can grow as long as 4.5 metres and females to 3.6 metres.

    They are regular visitors to the waters off Newfoundland and Labrador, where their interactions with people sometimes spark controversy.

    Last September, the federal Fisheries Department posted signs in the Grates Cove area after receiving reports that people in the area were trying to lasso and ride a beluga.

    In 2002, a beluga that had become used to people in the Calvert area of eastern Newfoundland was killed when it was hit by a boat propeller.

    And then there’s the sad story of Luna the killer whale, which was found alone in the waters near Gold River, along Vancouver Island’s northern coast. Separated from his pod, he became a fixture at the community dock, where he was regularly petted by locals.

    A plan to have him moved was thwarted by the local aboriginal band, who said the whale embodied the spirit of their dead chief.

    Luna was killed in March 2006 when he was sucked into the propeller of a tugboat.

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