Day 3 |
Aug 17, 2008

Ramea Islands, Newfoundland, Canada

By Claudia Holgate, Environmental Lecturer

Temperature: 16C 60.8F

Pressure 998hPa

Wind: 63.4km/h North westerly wind

Co-ordinates 47° 31’ 19’’N,  57° 23’ 14’’W

Early this morning we reached Ramea islands, our destination for the day. Our stop for the day was the town of Ramea, which is a quaint little fishing village off the Southern coast of Newfoundland. However, as our Captain remarked yesterday, “We don’t know why it is called Newfoundland, as it is surprising they found it at all with all the fog”. Well, today was another foggy day, with a brisk wind and moderate swell. Shortly after going to anchor the rain started and we were in for a foggy and soggy day. Our guests, all brave adventurers however, braved the swell and rain to get into the Zodiacs for the 1.5km Zodiac ride to the jetty and welcome from the towns’ guides.

We were split into groups and headed off to one of two vantage points. The one point is Man O’ War hill, where, after climbing 164 wooden steps, one gets to see a beautiful vista of all the surrounding Islets. It was a pity that visibility was not as good as it could have been, although by the time we had reached the top, much of the fog had lifted, giving us a lovely view. The second vantage point didn’t require climbing 164 steps, only a bit of an incline, providing us with a great view of part of the island, the ship and the new wind-diesel pilot project. This was particularly interesting as Ramea was chosen as Canada’s first site for a wind power project in 2004, even though the population of Ramea has halved to just over 600 since the cod fishing moratorium in 1992. It is estimated that this project alone, with its 6 65kW wind turbines saves 750 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions annually. Once we had all had a look at the breathtaking view, we headed off to the town’s little museum, which was filled with artefacts loaned or donated by members of the community. It is a great little museum with each piece carefully labelled, bringing back memories of some of the older guests, who remarked how they remember their mothers using many of the instruments on display. Once we had warmed up a little in the museum, we took a short walk to the community hall where a treat was in store for us. A long table was straining with all the local food that had been prepared, from cupcakes to cooked moose, together with some tea and coffee, which we could enjoy to the sounds of Newfoundlandian music played by three of the local musicians. When it was time to go, we headed back to the ship in our little trusty Zodiacs to another superb lunch.

The afternoon, being at sea, meant that we had two lectures to keep us busy. The first was Camille Seaman’s brilliant lecture “Photography 101”, to assist guests in getting the most out of their photos, even if they have a point-and-shoot camera. The second lecture at 5pm was by our resident geologist, Juan Carlos Restrepo who provided a basic look at rock types, the internal structure of the Earth and plate tectonics – everything one needs to appreciate the rocks around us.

In between all the lectures, we make sure that all the guests have the opportunity to have tea or drinks to the music of our wonderful musician, Daryl.

Overall, today was another successful day exploring little islands and towns that cannot be reached any other way.