Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Western Brook Pond (Fjord Tour), Newfoundland 8/15-16/2016

On our first night in the area we went to a music show at an Irish pub and listened to the Anchors Aweigh band.  They are so much more than a band and more of an experience.  They taught us about Newfoundland culture through their music, jokes and stories and played for an incredible 3 hours.  Newfoundland music is folk music.  It is uplifting, fun and usually tells a story.  A few of the songs we heard that night, I found links to and we hope you take a quiet moment to enjoy, as we so enjoyed this evening.  
Jack Was Every Inch a Sailor
Saltwater Cowboy
Grey Foggy Day  This song is about when the Cod Industry was shut down in 1992 with only 3 days warning due to the over fishing of the Cod.  Of note, Newfoundland employment struggles.
Aunt Martha's Sheep
Saltwater Joys  If you listen to none of the others, listen to this one (or at least we loved it).

We sure enjoyed the Nefie songs, and we will continue to enjoy them during our last 2 weeks here. I am sure I have mentioned before that not only is the Newfie music uplifting; but, the locals are really friendly too.

The pond!  The pond is not what most Americans would consider a pond as it is almost 9 square miles in size and is oligotrophic. The 'pond' was carved by glaciers like 10,000-25,000 years ago. The surrounding rocks are over 2,000 feet high (a bit hard to realize in the pictures).

Our hike to the boat launching was almost 2 miles.  It wound its way through bogs, in and out of wooded areas, by a stream and finally to the pond.  Our boat tour was 2 hours.  Along the bog we were amazed to learn that the bog moss is not only 8,000 years old it is also estimated to be 13 feet thick! Bog water is cold, acidic and basically void of oxygen.  It contains almost no nutrients. Because of this, most of the vegetation in the bog ends up being essentially pickled.  The idea that the moss was 13 feet thick, to us, seemed incredible.

The boat tour was great.  While the photography lighting was not always ideal for pictures, they often get fog and rain on this tour so we felt really fortunate to have done this on such a beautiful day.  We hope you enjoy in the sharing of our beautiful day!   The boat tour was more incredible than the pictures show for sure.

Newfoundland Trivia: Nicknames-In some Newfoundland Communities, there were often a limited number of family names.  First names were given after Saints, Queens, Kings or Biblical characters.  This often resulted in some communities with multiple people having the same first and last name.  To resolve, people were given various nicknames.  One community might have John on the Hill, John the Blacksmith or Little John.  For women there might have been John's Sarah or Midwife Sarah.  Down by the Southern shore, a woman might have her name followed by her husband's name such as Mary- John or Mary-Paul.

The Forming of a Fjord
The Bog along our Hike to the Boat
The Moss that is said to be 13 feet thick!
Landscape where we began our Hike to the Fjord
Western Brook Pond, Fjord
Western Brook Pond, Fjord
Western Brook Pond, Fjord
Western Brook Pond, Fjord
Western Brook Pond, Fjord
Western Brook Pond, Fjord

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