While today’s Canadian Ice Service chart shows 44 icebergs in our vicinity, I’m pretty sure that everybody in St. John’s noticed only 1 of them, the one that almost moved into the Narrows:
It’s a good bet that this iceberg will be the year’s most often photographed iceberg. Not because it was special, it was rather flat and plain, like a big white Dorito. No, this iceberg distinguished itself by something it did: it was the first iceberg of the season to really ‘hit’ the coast, and it managed to do this just below Signal Hill, on a Sunday.
I’m not exaggerating when I say thousands of people saw this thing float by, me included. Flu or no flu, after spotting it on the webcam this morning I just had to see it for myself, I bundled up warm and headed for North Head.
I walked the sunny trail up and down several times, spoke to many people. Most of them were speculating on the height of the thing, I heard estimates ranging from 3 to 10 m, but without a ship next to it for scale, all the speculation was just that, speculation.
Enter a ‘ship’. A small coastguard vessel zoomed around the berg for a bit, giving me something to work with:
Let’s say, by the size of the operator, that this boat is about 7 m long. Taking that measurement I estimate this iceberg is an average of 7 m tall and about 270 m long on the long side, quite a berg after all!
After seeing the iceberg from all angles on Signal Hill, I moved on. During the course of the day the iceberg was steadily moving south, so Fort Amherst was the next obvious vantage point:
Next stop: East Coast Trail
After these crowded places, it was time for a better view from the East Coast Trail, so I headed up Deadmans Bay Path. The trail uphill was as slippery as slippery gets, ice flowed down every corner, making the ascent difficult to say the least:
When I made it op top I decided it was all well worth it though. First and foremost, I saw the iceberg, properly:
I also enjoyed squirrels chirping in the trees, watched bald eagles making inquisitive flybys and I snacked on deliciously juicy partridgeberries. Let me tell you, this hike almost cured my flu right there. Almost.