For iceberg watchers, the spring of 2019 will be one to remember. Hundreds upon hundreds of icebergs have been spotted along Iceberg Alley and a great number have even made it all the way to St. John’s and beyond: that doesn’t happen every year.
While watching these icebergs from harbours and highway viewpoints is an easy and perfectly pleasant way to enjoy them, I like to hike out to them on the East Coast Trail to get a better look.
Take for example a lovely spring day in 2014, when I spotted two icebergs around Cape Broyle Head from Admirals Cove. I knew as soon as I saw them I’d get a much better look from the trail, a hike on Cape Broyle Head Path would lead me right by the both of them:
Walking into this stunning spring scene I knew I made the right choice, the trail always rewards me in some way and today was no different. 🙂
As you can see in the above photo, there’s quite a bit of fog out on the ocean and as I watched, it slowly covered the bright white iceberg, lighting up the foggy blanket from below:
After some time on Cold Harbour Hill I pressed on to find the iceberg on the other side of the Cape. It’s a bit of a climb to get on top of Cape Broyle Head, as you can see in this picture taken above the cliffs of Cold Harbour:
That peak in the top of the frame is Cape Broyle Head, one of the most formidable peaks on the entire East Coast Trail. When you reach the top, a forest of pale green lichen welcomes you:
While these lichens look soft they’re actually sort of rough and dry to the touch.
A little further along the trail I passed a spot called Blow Me Down, named for the strong wind that can blow you on your back if you come here on a blustery day:
On the other side of the Cape the trail is more sheltered but covered in rocks and roots, a bit hard on the ankles:
Above Church Cove there’s a viewpoint that offers a dizzying look onto the beach below. There’s no way to get down safely, so a view is all you get:
The strange blue colour of the water is something you often see when icebergs are melting nearby; in this case there’s a bergy bit just outside the frame, it’s likely stirring up sediments from the bottom, or something in its meltwater is causing the discolouration. If it had been a little later in the year, a spawning event or even a small bloom could have been the cause of this picturesque phenomenon.
After a quiet lunch break in Church Cove Meadow I continued the hike and found the second iceberg where I expected it to be, right below the trail in Shag Rocks Cove:
What a beauty! A fitting reward at the end of my hike if I do say so myself. With a colour like that the water looks positively inviting, a private pool for weary hikers to cool their feet… 😉