Monday, August 5, 2019
Driving 35 minutes to Twillingate from Dildo Provincial Park, we drove through town and out the the northwest point. Everywhere we go, the coast of Newfoundland (pronounced NewfoundLAND) is dramatic and beautiful. They call it The Rock, and you can see why. With beautiful, clear, blue-green water washing the shore and mountains or cliffs meeting the sea, it is so beautiful.
Driving back into town, we went to the Wooden Boat Builder Museum. Chris greeted us and sent us upstairs for a talk on how wooden boats are made. A young and enthusiastic man had just started giving his talk on how it was done. His grandfather was a boat builder, and now he builds them at this museum. The whole second floor is a workshop where they were building a punt, a smaller, wooden rowboat that can be used in harbors and coves. It will only weigh about 200 pounds when finished.
It is quite a process, taking them two months to build one. they have electric tools, but still there is so much fitting and shaping to be done by hand. He said his grandfather could probably have built this boat with hand tools in a month because he did it full time all his life. There was a new language of parts for us to learn. How they fit all the complex curves was interesting. They use fir trees, getting pieces that look like knees where the roots join the tree trunk. These take a lot of stress growing in windy Newfoundland, so the grains are very tight and strong. They use these to cut the ribs, which he called a different name. He showed how they use wood different patterns to help define the width and shape of different boats. Then when they put it in the water, it will leak, so they fill it with water for a day until the wood swells to close all the seams. It was all very cool. On the way out, Chris suggested places for lunch, a seafood market and Sansome’s for dinner.
After lunch at Annie’s, we drove out the other arm of town to the tip, where a trail goes all the way around the peninsula. You would have to be young and in very good shape to make your way all the way around, but I’m sure many do. We walked out to the end, finding great vistas. I am always amazed by the abundance of lakes everywhere. On the way back in, a girl was busy picking berries of some sort. She was too far away to tell what she was picking, but there must have been plenty.
We went to a grocery store to get a few things, filled up the truck, then went to the seafood market. There were live wells with running water keeping lobsters of all sizes fresh. We wanted fish for dinner, so we went into the next room, picking up three cod fillets for $5.40 Canadian. The nice woman at the desk helped us sort out our change, saying she used to work at a bank, so she was good at it. She said we could come in and pick out a lobster and they would cook it for us, crack the shells and have it ready at any time. $11/lb Canadian 😊
Back at camp, I drove up to the shower house, where the WIFI is strongest, to see if I could post. I couldn’t even get on yesterday, but today I could upload pictures to my amazement. It was about 3:00 in the afternoon, so I guess there weren’t many trying to get on. Several people came up, asking if I was able to get anything done, as they couldn’t get on. I knew I was hogging the network, and tried to be quick with my work.
A couple had just arrived and came to check out the showers. “Five showers”, she exclaimed to her husband. “Can you believe it? And you can adjust the hot water! Curtains, they have shower curtains!” I couldn’t help but laugh out loud. It was a very nice shower house with lots of room.
As they walked away, she read my license tag and came back. “Are you from Virginia?” They had just moved to Edenton, North Carolina, where my brother-in-law was raised, so we got to talking. It turns out she grew up in Richmond, Virginia, an hour from where we live. They said Edenton is a great place to live, but it gets very hot in the summer, so they loaded their Mercedes conversion camper and came to Labrador for 5 weeks. We exchanged stories of where we were going and where we had been. Then they headed back to their campsite, and I tried to finish up my work as quickly as I could.
Martha fixed the cod fillets in foil over a fire, having learned some techniques from the cooking show we have been watching. It was great!