Battle Harbour
  • Daily Expedition Reports
  • 27 Aug 2022

Battle Harbour, 8/27/2022, National Geographic Explorer

  • Aboard the National Geographic Explorer
  • Arctic

During the morning hours, we started spotting rocky islands that appeared in the sea like the giant backs of whales–we had arrived in Battle Harbour. Battle Harbour is a former fishing village that relied heavily on cod fisheries, specifically on salted cod. It used to be occupied throughout the whole year, but after the crash of cod fisheries in 1992, during which around 30,000 people lost their jobs overnight, it functions as a scenic summer fishing station. Some of the fishermen who lost their jobs were taught to renovate buildings. The village was spectacularly restored, and everything we see today is as authentic as possible.

After we landed, we wandered among the cute wooden buildings embedded in the carpet of fresh grass and wildflowers. We escaped the slightly damp air to get a cup of hot coffee, some fishcakes, and cheesecake with wild berries. Then we enjoyed live Labrador and Newfoundland music in the cozy loft that was filled with warm smells and the crackling sound of a fireplace. Then it was time to return to our beloved ship for lunch.

After lunch, we returned to Battle Harbour for sunny afternoon wanderings. We walked around the island on the wonderful grassy hills and cliffs. Unexpectedly, we witnessed a spectacular site of humpback whales feeding in the cove below us. They showed us their magnificent ability to work together. By forcing a pod of fish into the bay and by moving their long pectoral fins, the whales pushed the fish towards the shore, trapping them between the land and their giant mouths. How incredible that we were lucky enough to witness this incredible behavior from such a close distance! What a wonderful day!

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