Twillingate, Newfoundland

Sep 20, 2017 - National Geographic Explorer


We awoke to the sight of magnificant cliffs which marked the entrance to Twillingate. On approaching the harbor we passed areas with colourful names such as Devil’s Head, Hell’s Mouth Cove, Wild Cove, Moor’s Cove, and Paradise. This region was fished by the French in the 17th and 18th century but was not permanently settled until 1780 when people from the southwest of England moved into the area. Incidently, the name Twillingate was derived from the name of a coastal area in Brest, France.

Our first land based stop was at a fishing heritage museum called Prime Berth. This incredible place contained a rich collection of local fishing artifacts. The owner of the museum provided a great demonstation of how cod is traditionally split and prepared for drying. Another main attraction here was the display of a sei whale skeleton that washed up dead close to the community several years ago.

Next on our tour was a visit to the community museum which provided another rich source of antiques and local tales. This was followed by a trip to Long Point Lighthouse which has been protecting mariners since its construction in 1876. The rugged coastal scenery here was incredible!

Last but not least, our expedition group had the pleasure of touring the Auk Winery, a local business which specializes in making wine from locally sources wild berries. We all had a great time sampling the many varieties of wines produced here.

Our expedition rejoined the vessel in the afternoon and enjoyed a delicious buffet as the ship began its voyage back towards St. John’s. As we reflected on the morning’s adventures a call came from the bridge notifying us of two humpback whales feeding close to the vessel. We had incredible views; more icing on the cake for this magnificent day.

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About the Author

Jonathan Joy

Naturalist

Jonathan (known as Jon) grew up in rural Scotland and developed a passion for natural history as a young boy. His hobbies included dissecting owl pellets, bird-watching, and collecting insects. He went on to complete a B.Sc. in ecological science at Edinburgh University, graduating with honors in fish and wildlife management. 

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