Day 15 |
Aug 13, 2008

Battle Harbor, Labrador, Canada

By Juan Carlos Restrepo, Geologist and General Naturalist

Co-ordinates: 52°16' 25²N, 55 °35' 08²W

This morning we woke up to find ourselves with an overcast sky with foggy and drizzly conditions. Regardless, many of our guests decided to brave the elements and go ashore in Battle Harbor — a quaint little cod fishing village that was abandoned and later on reconstructed, and is now open in the summer time for tourism.

Some went on a 2-hour hike along the small island, and some decided to go on a guided tour of the historic town. Each building was a collection of fascinating artifacts from the cod fishing industry. The wood on many of the buildings dates back to the 1700s, and was pickled by the salt and cod oil to prevent rot from setting in. At the end of both activities, the walk and the guided tour, we came together to enjoy a delicious snow crab feast and listen to music interpreted by a local artist.

We then returned to the ship for lunch while we sailed south towards our afternoon’s destination: L`Anse aux Meadow.

L`Anse Aux Meadow, Newfoundland, Canada
Co-ordinates: 51°36' 07²N, 55 °31' 41²W

The wet and foggy conditions that we experienced in the morning became worse by the time we arrived in L`Anse aux Meadow. It was raining and the Zodiac ride ashore was done entirely by GPS. Visibility was very poor.

Once ashore, we were met at the pier by a Newfoundlander Viking (quite a character). The coaches that would take us to see the Viking ruins were ready, so off we went to our first stop: the museum and archaeological site. This is the place where the first Europeans landed in North America. Here we saw the remains and reconstructions of an ancient Viking settlement, including an iron forge and several houses. We were later taken to another Viking village close by where we examined a magnificent Viking ship that had sailed from Greenland to L`Anse aux Meadow, tried our axe throwing skills and enjoyed the reenactment of life in a Viking village. Then we came back to the ship for another gourmet meal.