Today we visited Nain, a Moravian mission established in 1771. Nain is the northernmost permanent settlement in the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador. This settlement is only accessible by air or sea. Currently, Nain has around 1,200 inhabitants, and 93% are Inuit.
The locals welcomed us warmly, and we were able to explore the community and visit their stores and cultural center. At the cultural center, we enjoyed a performance by the local choir.
Some avid birders among our guests had the chance to join forces with Karen and myself as we all headed off to explore the surrounding forests and the small wetland. We found plenty of warblers, sparrows, ravens, and–the most desired birds of all–the Canada jay and the Siberian chickadee! What a success! Finally…trees and lots of birds!
On our way back to the ship, children played by the pier. Some locals were getting ready to go fishing, including one man who was taking his young daughters and four other young children with him. As we were loading our own Zodiacs nearby, we engaged in conversation with the little kids. The scene was made even more picturesque as the children were taking with them their dog, Max (he looked like a border collie), and a very young kitten named Molly.
During the afternoon, we enjoyed a talk given by our archeologist, Dan. As it ended, questions were interrupted by… dolphins! All of us went to the outer decks to enjoy them, and after the dolphins came…humpback whales and a myriad of birds! Kittiwakes, skuas, gulls, sooty shearwaters, great shearwaters, razorbills, and fulmars! It was a feeding frenzy. And just when we thought that was over…killer whales! We saw the whales by a beautiful iceberg, and we followed one male and a group of four or five females.
What a magnificent day exploring Nain and the Labrador Coast. Culture, landscapes, birds, wildlife, icebergs! Everything one could wish for!