An update from BC

Hello all, long time no see! How are you?

I have been well, it’s been almost six months since I left Newfoundland to find a new home on the west coast of Canada, and I think it’s time for an update.

In my last post Marije and I were all set to go on a very long journey, driving to BC in our little yellow car, with all our belongings following in a big moving container, not far behind.

The road trip was great, we had good driving weather for most of the way, which was a benefit of moving in summer. It took us eleven days to reach the other side of the country, and as expected the highlight of the trip were the two days driving through the magnificent Rockies:

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Mt. Athabasca – Jasper NP, Alberta

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Icefields Parkway scenery – Banff NP, Alberta

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Moraine Lake – Banff NP, Alberta

Not long after arriving in Nanaimo, we found a great new place to call home, but it would be another month before we were able to move in. In that month of ‘limbo’ I explored my new surroundings, which on paper had seemed so similar to Newfoundland, but in real life were completely different.

Four months later, which is now, I’m still not used to BC as a home and I find myself frequently longing for my old life on the east coast. I suspect that my constant work on my East Coast Trail Guide has something to do with those feelings, as I am still working on it every day, completely immersed in the photos and stories of my time in Newfoundland.

The work is progressing at a steady pace, much like a hike on the East Coast Trail itself. The path is long though, much longer than I anticipated, and while I would have loved to finish it before Christmas, I may not see the end of this project until well after the new year has come.

I am currently writing and re-writing, adding illustrations, changing illustrations, browsing through so many good photos, and making sure the map is as accurate as possible; it’s a lot of work but it’s also a lot of fun.

Sometimes, when I’m fully consumed by the work, I almost forget where I am as I catch myself planning to revisit the trail for a minute to take just one more picture.

Oh well, it’s a labour of love, it’s going to take more time but I’m sure I’ll be very happy with the result when it’s done.

Further down the road, when I have more news, I will post another update.

Until then, take care!

Posted in East Coast Trail | 4 Comments

Newfoundland, you will be missed!

Marije and I are leaving tomorrow. Over these last few weeks and days we’ve been increasingly busy packing boxes and getting everything organized, and tomorrow everything will be coming together. The internet will be disconnected, the power will go out, we’ll shut the door and that will be the start of our long journey to the other side of Canada.

I just wanted to say my goodbyes here, as this is the last post I’ll write from Newfoundland. Living here has been a privilege, I absolutely LOVE this place! I love the outdoors, I love the wildlife, I love the peace and quiet, I love the people, I even love the bad weather… Writing this blog has been a pleasure because so many of you chose to comment on my pictures and stories, that has really kept me going through the years.

Many of you have already taken the time to say your goodbyes in one of my ‘Leaving Newfoundland‘ related posts over this last month, and I truly appreciate it! Thank you all so much for being you, for reading this blog these past few years, for letting me know you enjoyed the blog and that it inspired you to go hike the trails, or to go see the Capelin roll on the beach. All of you are amazing and I want to thank you for that!

Newfoundland, thank you, you will be missed!

Sander was here

Sander was here

Posted in Day to day life | 18 Comments

A fantastic last day on the water

These last few weeks and particularly this last week, Marije and I have been so busy with the move, that today we decided to take a well-deserved break from everything, to spend a day on the water with our friends on the Molly Bawn. This was our very last outing on the water and it had everything you could ever want from a whale watching trip in Newfoundland, it was unbelievable!

We saw puffins, we saw eagles, we saw whales, we saw icebergs and we saw dolphins. Then we saw more whales, too much whales to count in fact. You know how you say “there’s a whale at twelve o’clock” to indicate there’s one in front of you? Well, we had whales around the clock, they surrounded the boat! We had lots of close encounters too, whales swimming alongside the boat, going underneath the boat, circling the boat again and again, it was ridiculous. Marije had never seen whales like this before, what a great final performance, and that’s not even the end of it.

The dolphins I mentioned earlier, they came bow-riding with us! Marije and I were both right on top of them, we were able to see them clear as day, it was amazing. In the distance we saw Humpbacks breaching, and when we approached the iceberg we saw earlier, it rolled over! Yes, crazy, but it was just that kind of day. When we drifted the boat through the ice-field, all the little pieces of ice were fizzing and crackling in the ocean.

Bowriding dolphins - Witless Bay Ecological Reserve

Bowriding dolphins – Witless Bay Ecological Reserve

A Humpback whale surfaces - Witless Bay Ecological Reserve

A Humpback whale surfaces – Witless Bay Ecological Reserve

Puffin - Witless Bay Ecological Reserve

Puffin – Witless Bay Ecological Reserve

Iceberg - Brigus South

Iceberg – Brigus South

Collecting pieces of iceberg - Brigus South

Collecting pieces of iceberg – Brigus South

Humpback whale detail - Witless Bay Ecological Reserve

Humpback whale detail – Witless Bay Ecological Reserve

Two Humpbacks - Witless Bay Ecological Reserve

Two Humpbacks – Witless Bay Ecological Reserve

Posted in Wildlife | Tagged , | 10 Comments

My work in Newfoundland

When I left a good job in Holland six years ago, people asked me what I was going to do next. I often joked that I wasn’t going to do anything next, I was retiring at thirty to enjoy life in Newfoundland.

Now, while I have certainly enjoyed myself here, I haven’t retired, quite the opposite in fact!

Work as an outdoor photographer is both a lot harder and a lot more satisfying than the office job I had before. How could it not be?! Every day the weather allows it, I explore the East Coast Trail and come across magnificent scenery and wildlife that I only ever saw on TV before I moved to Newfoundland.

On days when the weather is uncooperative, I work at home, putting together a book. You see, the pictures you’ve seen here are the shots I take for this blog; many of the photos you haven’t seen are going into this trail guide:

 

This digital publication will come out later this year, on the iBookStore.

I think it will be useful to visiting hikers and locals alike, it shows the scenic highlights of the East Coast Trail, all the bits in between, and the wildlife you can expect to see here. In addition to the photography, I have created hiking maps for the entire trail, including useful extras such as wildlife watching areas and berry picking spots.

As you probably know, I am leaving Newfoundland soon, so I will finish this book from afar, but I will keep you informed right here.

When there is more news about this book, I will share it on the front page of this blog, and on this new ECT Guide page in the hiking section.

Posted in East Coast Trail | 16 Comments

East Coast Trail Quiz 3 – the answers

Here are the answers to last week’s East Coast Trail Quiz:

Continue reading

Posted in East Coast Trail | Tagged | 2 Comments

The new blog: Pacific Sander

With only ten more days to go before we leave Newfoundland, I think it’s time I announced the new blog:

This fresh new blog has all the news about the move, the journey to the other side of Canada, and of course eventually it will become the blog where I’ll share our experiences on Vancouver Island.

You’ll see it all looks a bit different, I still have to get used to it myself to be honest… The theme I used for newfoundsander wasn’t available anymore but the basics remain the same, there’s a menu, there’s a search box, only they’re now on the left. The appearance of the new blog may still change in the near future.

Right now I’m very busy and still in Newfoundland of course, so there’s not a whole lot of content yet, I started the new blog on May 1st and kept it private until today, just so it wouldn’t look empty on day 1.

Posted in Day to day life | 18 Comments