National Geographic Explorer arrived in Cap-aux-Meules harbor in the early morning. Some of our guests chose to go on a highlights bus tour that took them through a charming landscape with unique panoramic views. They visited a traditional smokehouse where three generations of the same family have maintained the practice of smoking fish. Afterward, they visited the Dune du Nord where they took a walk to appreciate the natural beauty of the red sandstone that dominates the landscape. A second group of guests opted to visit an orchard where the owner grows apples in bottles, and taste three of the four varieties of cider produced there. They later visited Le Site d’Autrefois, a model fishing village to learn about the history of fishing in the islands. Both groups met again at an old convent for lunch before returning to the ship. A third group of guests chose to go for a hike in the north of the islands. Everybody enjoyed the views of the lighthouse and the red sandstone that makes this landscape so unique. In the meantime, the underwater team went for a dive in the harbor. It was a challenging dive with very limited visibility but soon they encountered several young lobsters and crabs and captured exciting footage to share back on board. In the evening, we met in the lounge to share fresh, locally sourced oysters and had a fantastic time at recap with the expedition staff.
National Geographic Explorer
We spent another fine day in Twillingate, a community of 2,000 folks on a five-mile-long island on the east coast of Newfoundland. The guests split up into different walking groups led by the natural history staff. Several adventurous folks hiked up the hill outside of town to observe an overlook over the whole community strung out along the bay. Other groups went on nature and photo walks on the outskirts of town. We walked across the metamorphic rocks on this extension of the Appalachian Mountains, admiring the colorful layers and quartz veins. There were many brightly colored buildings, wood crab traps, and quaint fishing boats along the harbour. Sprinkled throughout the town were several churches and cemeteries of different sizes and shapes. Most surprisingly, we observed wild and domesticated flowers everywhere. After our walks, many of us converged on a brewery to sample the various types of beer made there. There were several gift shops and art galleries in this artistic community, including a digital arts festival happening this weekend. Perhaps the most unique artworks were the large, knitted characters displayed on several buildings, which provided much humor for the guests. During the afternoon, we relaxed and packed our bags for the departure tomorrow. We admired the beautiful coastline as National Geographic Explorer cruised southeast along the rocky coast. Then, we spotted whales! We spent an hour in the sunlight watching humpback whales surface with spouts. They swam along the surface and then dove back down to feed in this rich ocean along an upwelling zone. During the evening, we had the captain’s farewell cocktail party and dinner. It was a relaxing way to finish this amazing journey around the Canadian Atlantic provinces.