Heading for the South Coast of Newfoundland

Our trip down Placentia Bay was great, and we were treated to warm weather and sunny skies. The winds however were not in our favour so it was largely a motor sail which made for a longer trip to St. Lawrence, just 70 nautical miles south. It took us about 14 hours. We seemed to be headed against a tide and consequently we had a wee bit of slamming and spray.

Hold on tight!
Hold on tight!
Big Blue World!
Big Blue World!

We were surprised with the lack of seabirds in the bay, by far the quietest we’ve seen so far. Its surprising that a bay as large as this one was so devoid of any signs of wildlife.

Practicing taking selfies with the Go Pro
Practicing taking selfies with the Go Pro
Wifi on the bay!
Wifi on the bay!
Small Cat, big ocean
Small Cat, big ocean

We tied up to fishing boats at the dock in St Lawrence before sunset. There is still an active fishery here and the processing plant is busy with processing of sea cucumber. One local told me the crew who work with the sea cucumber are not very fussy about it because ‘they’re right slimey’.

The forecast for the next couple of days were high winds, so we expected to be in St Lawrence for a stay.

Captain Al sailing into St. Lawrence after a long day on the water
Captain Al sailing into St. Lawrence after a long day on the water
Filbert gets whiff of the pine clad hills
Filbert gets whiff of the pine clad hills

The dock was a little difficult to maneuver because the boat we tied to was much higher than Ingomar and stayed pretty far off the wharf. I’ve come to realize that there is definitely a degree of fitness and flexibility required for this lifestyle. I cannot tell you how much jumping, leaping and stretching we’ve done since we started this trip just getting on and off our boat.

Ingomar at the dock in St. Lawrence
Ingomar at the dock in St. Lawrence

The Port Authority is run by volunteers and for $20 a day you get a place to tie up, showers, laundry and wifi. Not bad!

The sticker was posted everywhere along the wharf at St. Lawrence.
The sticker was posted everywhere along the wharf at St. Lawrence.

St. Lawrence is a vibrant place, with a beautiful backdrop of craggy hills. The town was celebrating St Lawrence Day on Saturday with a parade and other festivities and the sense of community spirit was very apparent. Lots of flags and it seemed like everyone turned out.

Al and I planned a hike out to Chambers Cove where the Truxtun and Pollux disaster had taken place. We only got so far and were diverted to a beautiful beach and also saw some beautiful native flowers along the way.

Beauty beach in St. Lawrence
Beauty beach in St. Lawrence
Picture Plant
Picture Plant
They were so round and pretty.
They were so round and pretty.

After 2 days we were getting antsy to move on and decided to try a run for St. Pierre on Sunday morning.

Bored Filbert - No No No Eh
Bored Filbert – No No No Eh

We left the dock around 6 am under foggy conditions and seas 2-3 meters. Thirty minutes out, after slamming and rolling incessantly, we turned around and put the anchor down in a cove outside St Lawrence to see if it would calm a little. We tried again at 10:30 and decided it was a little better, so we headed south west.

Waiting for the fog to clear
Waiting for the fog to clear
Waiting out the fog to start for St. Pierre
Waiting out the fog to start for St. Pierre

The run to St Pierre was 36 nm and we covered it in 7 hours. The fog was close so we didn’t get to see much, including the Lawn Ecological Reserve which I had been anticipating. My sister, Chantelle who is a bird biologist, told me about it. But there were shearwaters around and they flew with us for most of the trip. These little guys are amazing acrobats. The sea state was still significant so there was a lot of motion during the trip. (I have video which I’ll post later).

We tied up at the St. Pierre Yacht Club wharf, next to the trimaran, the Sultanate of Oman. This ship looks like a spaceship but at this point was pretty broken up after she had flipped in a transatlantic race the week before. Thankfully, All her crew were OK.

Mega big trimaran
Mega big trimaran

Immigration came aboard, followed by Customs; the two offices are separate in St. Pierre as they operate under the government of France. After clearing customs, we secured Ingomar, popped a nice Pinot and settled in for the night dreaming of fresh croissants.

Sharing a glass of Meiomi
Sharing a glass of Meiomi

Author: tess

A full-time adventurer, I am sailing our 37-foot Tartan with my husband and kitty, to the Caribbean from Newfoundland while documenting it on our blog, greatbigsail.com

13 thoughts on “Heading for the South Coast of Newfoundland”

  1. Did you buy that nice pinot in France, if so was it cheap? I got it in Newport for $18 US. Kisses and misses to all of u. Loved the “no, no, no eh” reference. You might be using that alot.

    1. He he! I knew you’d get that. Here’s a link to thug cat for anyone who doesn’t know the reference! It’s funny.

      Yeah, so that Pinot was amazing and cost $11 euros or $15.80 CA. I would have filled the boat but Al was more restrained. 😌

  2. After reading your latest post, I’m feeling seasick, words like slamming, rolling, seas 2-3 m high, not the adventure for this 60 yr old sister!!
    On the plus side, French wine, sweets, hikes, calm waters and sleep, my bout of seasickness has subsided.
    Happy sailing dear sister and captain Al, and Filbert.

    1. Hey Ger! It would definitely have caused seasickness for some but thankfully none of us are so inclined. It’s actually fun but I do prefer sailing in calmer seas.
      The plus side is very nice. 🧀🍷⛵️

        1. Straight from wikipedia!

          Sea cucumbers are marine animals of the class Holothuroidea. They are used in fresh or dried form in various cuisines. In some cultural contexts the sea cucumber is thought to have medicinal value.

          The creature and the food product are commonly known as bêche-de-mer (literally “sea-spade”) in French, trepang (or trīpang) in Indonesian, namako in Japanese, and balatan in Tagalog. In Malay, it is known as the gamat.[1]

          Most cultures in East and Southeast Asia regard sea cucumbers as a delicacy. A number of dishes are made with sea cucumber, and in most dishes it has a slippery texture. Common ingredients that go with sea cucumber dishes include winter melon, conpoy, kai-lan, shiitake mushroom, and Chinese cabbage.

          PS: leave your name so I know who you are (in case I do). 🙂

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