All of Newfoundland is dear to me, but I have a special place in my heart for Twillingate and Fogo Island.

Both are fantastic places to get away from it all, I’ve been there several times in the past few years and I’m already looking forward to my next visit. Since that won’t be for a while yet, let me tell you the tale of a visit from a few years back:

It’s early April 2011 and I’m longing to see sea ice. Like every other year I dutifully watch the ice forecasts and satellite images, I see the sea ice approaching but not reaching St. John’s.

I figure if the sea ice won’t come to me I’ll just have to go to the sea ice instead, so I pack up my things and drive to Central Newfoundland, with no particular destination in mind.

After 7 hours of driving through all kinds of weather I find what I’m looking for in Salt Harbour, on New World Island. At this point it’s close to sunset and after taking the advice from a friendly local I set out on a trail that leads me to this view:

Sea ice sunset - Salt Harbour

Sea ice sunset – Salt Harbour


Frozen cliffs at sunset - Salt Harbour

Frozen cliffs at sunset – Salt Harbour


Sunset gulls - Salt Harbour

Sunset gulls – Salt Harbour

You can imagine how happy I was to arrive on the scene with all this golden light and sea ice moving in the surf. There was even a small iceberg there, or the remains of one at least:

The remains of a small iceberg - Salt Harbour

The remains of a small iceberg – Salt Harbour


After the sunset - Salt Harbour

After the sunset – Salt Harbour

After a good night’s rest in a Twillingate inn I spent most of the following day exploring the local hiking trails and drove around to see if I could find any wildlife:

Seal on the ice - Twillingate

Seal on the ice – Twillingate


Seal on the ice - Twillingate

Seal on the ice – Twillingate


Ice & Rocks - Twillingate

Ice & Rocks – Twillingate


Ice & Trails - Twillingate/Durrell

Ice & Trails – Twillingate/Durrell

In Toogood Arm I saw a pair of ravens eating a dead seal pup, a big lunch for these two lucky birds. Every spring you can find these ‘white coats’ on the ice here, some make it, most don’t, that’s nature:

Ravens eating a seal pup - Toogood Arm

Ravens eating a seal pup – Toogood Arm


Red Box - Salt Harbour

Red Box – Salt Harbour

After taking in the sights and sounds of the many small harbours on Twillingate and New World Island I joined the lineup for the 4:15 ferry to Fogo. On the approach to the island I was already able to spot several coves filled with sea ice and even a few icebergs. Exciting!

Once I was on the island I drove all the way across, just to see what I could find. I liked the look of the blue sky above Joe Batt’s Arm so this is where I got out, walking the trail to the Long Studio:

Zita Cobb's Long Studio - Joe Batt's Arm, Fogo island

Zita Cobb’s Long Studio – Joe Batt’s Arm, Fogo island

This beautiful black box always grabs my attention, it somehow looks like it doesn’t belong but at the same time like it’s always been there, left by an alien culture to both puzzle and delight visiting photographers.

The bay in front of the Studio was filled with ice, big chunks of which had crawled up onto the shore:

Chucks of ice - Joe Batt's Arm, Fogo island

Chucks of ice – Joe Batt’s Arm, Fogo island


Icy sunset at the Long Studio - Joe Batt's Arm, Fogo island

Icy sunset at the Long Studio – Joe Batt’s Arm, Fogo island

After the sunset I walked back to the car, and somewhere along the way was joined by a fox. The friendly animal was perfectly happy following me on the trail at first, but soon it veered away and made me follow it instead.

A friendly fox - Joe Batt's Arm, Fogo island

A friendly fox – Joe Batt’s Arm, Fogo island

Keeping up with a fox is hard, but it always leads to something interesting, in this case I observed the fox for nearly half an hour as it hunted down a mouse somewhere underneath the snow:

Pouncing fox - Joe Batt's Arm, Fogo island

Pouncing fox – Joe Batt’s Arm, Fogo island

Eventually the mouse was found and quickly dispatched. The fox moved on, vanishing into the darkness, and I returned to my car with a big smile on my face.

That evening I found a place to sleep in Stag Harbour, where I was approached by a wobbly man from Port aux Basques. He had clearly had a few drinks too many and enthusiastically joined me on a pizza-quest across the island, before keeping me awake for most of the night, banging on his empty motel room door after having lost his key.

After sleeping in the next morning I once again woke up to blue skies, and continued my explorations of the island, starting with an invigorating walk up Brimstone Head:

The view from Brimstone Head - Fogo Island

The view from Brimstone Head – Fogo Island

As you may know, Brimstone Head is one of the 4 corners of the flat earth, so I was very careful not to fall off the edge.

For the remainder of the day I drove through all the little towns and harbours, taking in as much fresh air and scenery as I could.

Deep Bay - Fogo Island

Deep Bay – Fogo Island


Fallen house in Deep Bay - Fogo Island

Fallen house in Deep Bay – Fogo Island

The Fogo Island Inn is quite famous now, but back then it was still in the early stages of construction. What a location!

Fogo Island Inn - Fogo Island

Fogo Island Inn – Fogo Island


Bergy bit - Island Harbour, Fogo Island

Bergy bit closeup – Island Harbour, Fogo Island


Pack ice leftovers - Shoal Bay, Fogo Island

Pack ice leftovers – Shoal Bay, Fogo Island

At the end of this last beautiful day of my island getaway I returned to Joe Batt’s Arm for one last sunset, and I was not disappointed:

Sea ice sunset - Joe Batt's Arm, Fogo Island

Sea ice sunset – Joe Batt’s Arm, Fogo Island


Sea ice sunset - Joe Batt's Arm, Fogo Island

Sea ice sunset – Joe Batt’s Arm, Fogo Island