Sunday, June 29, 2014


All week the entire crew had been building up excitement for the events that were going to partake on Friday and Saturday and they certainly did not disappoint. Friday began with a nice sleep in and then a hurried breakfast before packing for an overnight at the Flower’s Cove Bed and Breakfast (The B&B whose owner served us the traditional meal). We were spending the night there due to an event on Friday that involved the Junior Canadian Rangers (a coed group similar to American boy scouts) and a bunch of local fishermen. Kathleen is filming a documentary about the local fishing communities and the dying breed of fishermen to try to spark people’s interest. While there was a lot of filming, there was also some time for a coastal cleanup in which we accumulated almost 400 pounds of trash (Charlie and I collected the most thank you very much!) in a mere half hour of work, a boat ride with some of the lobster fishermen that has been the highlight of the trip for many people, and to top it all off, a sing along with the fishermen with local music and lots of beer (for the adults) and grilled sausages. It couldn’t have been a better way to top off one of the warmest days that they have had in the last ten years. By the time that we made it back to the B&B there was only enough time to shower before the tiring day ended due to our exhaustion.

A great nights sleep for all of us was followed by another coastal clean up. This time, it was partaking at Flowers Cove, which is the location of the B&B. The clean up occurred right in the center of the town and many townsmen passed by and were impressed with the immense effort the group of local Newfoundlanders and ourselves conducted over the course of the morning. In all, almost 1000 pounds of trash was picked up on the two sites for that day; a very impressive figure considering the timeframe and lack of heavy items i.e. tires and car batteries (items that aided Matt and I’s victorious pick up the day before) What impressed us the most about today was the demographics of the volunteers, ranging from three year olds to an 85 year old woman leading the clean up and ordering the less experienced members such as Matt and myself to get on with it. To celebrate a great morning we again returned to the Bed and Breakfast for some hamburgers and fries as well as prizes for the children that took part. Another gorgeous day meant that when we returned to our ski cabin in Main Brook, it felt more like a sauna then an airy-rustic cabin. Unfortunately, some members were feeling under the weather resulting in a quiet evening in, a great contrast to the hustle and bustle of the last two memorable days.
One of the Lobsters we caught.
Charlie holding a dead Cod used for bait.
A picture of some of the trash bags in Flowers Cove. Just in one beach we accumulated almost 30 bags of trash.


With a sense of jealousy directed towards the group that had seen the icebergs and the islands, the other group’s time had finally come two days later. Our skipper Eddie took the rest of the group out, and the trip started with finding Eider Duck eggs and seeing the effects of predation on the species. Eddie then amped up the adrenaline with a whirlwind of a tour around massive icebergs, and to top it off fishing for muscles in calmer waters. We enjoyed the company of a truly one of a kind person that offered up his home in the afternoon for an immense treat for all of us (USA supporters especially). It began with a surprise lunch of fried Cod and Caper fish with a side of outrageous and interesting stories being shared at the dinner table with his wife Bessie. We were then able to watch the hugely important USA Germany game in Eddie’s man cave. The result meant the U.S. progressed capping off a spectacular day for most of the group minus the Canadian and English sector.


Today began our work with the Main Brook community, and especially the youth in the town. With an early start, we prepared and then presented a 30 minute presentation to a group of students (grades K through 6) at the local school on the bird population in the area. There was also a basic introduction to binocular use and animal spotting through an activity in the gym. Both of us were very involved due to our role as birds in which we ran around with paper maché heads on while the group of twenty students at the assembly scoped us down with their binoculars. The afternoon we were given off as the drizzling weather interrupted our construction job. We were given a much deserved break and the rest of the day we spent exploring the wilderness around the cabin, napping, and preparing for dinner.


Our weeklong project of creating nest shelters for the Eider Ducks began today in the garage of a local handyman and guide extraordinaire named Eddie. He is a Newfoundlander who has worked with these Eider ducks for many years and has a passion for adventure and his varied collection of work and pursuits. The day began with an assembly line of constructing the basic dimensions of the shelters, with the end goal being to complete fifty of these wooden shelters. With a successful morning behind us, Matt joined up with Eddie, Kathleen, and Scott to take a boat out in the afternoon and explore and analyze the ducks habitats in the surrounding islands of hare bay. They got up close with not only the ducks and their nests but also the large number of spectacular icebergs in the Hare Bay.

Eddie and Kathleen out on the water.
An iceberg up close.
Eddie examining an Eider nest. The object that he is lifting is an older version of the nest shelters

A couple of Eider eggs in their nest.

Scott and I approaching an iceberg.


Today we arrived in Main Brook, which is where we will be spending the next three weeks. We are staying in a cross-country ski cabin in the woods, which has just recently been renovated. The original structure was built using strictly hand tools in the 1980s and was used as the base for the school cross-country ski team for a couple of years. However, the building hadn’t been touched since the 80’s until renovations began in late April. The workers had to rush to get the place ready for us and although the majority of the interior is completed, there are several external features still to be updated such as the windows, siding, and roof. In the cabin there is no cell phone coverage, Wi-Fi, or a TV.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Arrived at Hare Bay safely. No wifi or cell phone reception. More updates will follow when we regain internet connection.

Saturday, June 21, 2014


On our last stop before we reach our final destination at Hare Bay, we arrived at the small fishing community of Flowers Cove. We stayed at a quaint-cosy Bed and Breakfast with a generous and humble owner who prepared a home-cooked dinner for us that consisted of some American staples along with some traditional Newfoundland recipes. The owner has a huge role in the community and our group will be working with her to organize a coastal cleanup at multiple sites throughout the town followed by a community cook out. For this event we will be partnering up with several local fishermen and the local Junior Canadian Rangers (similar to American boy scouts) to rid the shore of as much waste as possible and increase the awareness in communities of the amount of trash that covers many of the beaches. The event will take place in about two weeks or so. The temperature has drastically dropped over the past few days as we travel north. For the rest of the trip we will be experiencing temperatures in the mid to upper forties. The highlight of the day was spotting our very first icebergs! Although they were far off the shoreline, we were able to get a sense of their magnitude and beauty.

Photo taken at dinner. Our host Maggie is the women in the middle.

Iceberg out in the Labrador Straights