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Life in Newfoundland

East Coast Trail Guide, version 1.5

After a big update in March, I’ve just published a small update to the East Coast Trail Guide, which brings the following improvements:

  • New links have been added to the Useful Websites section.
  • Brand new ‘weekend ideas’ have been added to the Camping section, suggesting how to make the best use of the official East Coast Trail campsites in the many spring and summer weekends ahead of us.
  • Several small corrections have been made throughout the book.

If you already have the East Coast Trail Guide, you can get this free update through the update feature in your iBooks app.

Small iceberg on HarbourCam

During the iceberg season it pays to check the local webcams every now and then, just in case an iceberg floats by, like it did this morning:

Small iceberg floats past the St. John’s Narrows – CBC HarbourCam

I know, I know, it’s not a very impressive specimen, but one day it could be, and that’s why it pays to keep an eye on the situation.

Here is a link to HarbourCam, here’s a link to more webcams.

HarbourCam is located in The Rooms. Only in Newfoundland can you visit a museum to see works of art in a gallery, then see a natural work of art float by during your lunch break as well.

If you’re in St. John’s right now, head up to Signal Hill or Fort Amherst to get a closer look. If you want to see it from the trail, North Head Trail is where you want to go, or maybe even Deadmans Bay Path if you’re up for it.

Night on Torbay Point

Six years ago tonight, I was out on Torbay Point watching the night sky. Torbay Point has always been a favourite place of mine to go stargazing, with unobstructed views all around it’s easy to see both the sunset at the start of a night out and the sunrise at the end of it.

Here’s a look at the last glimmer of dusk before nightfall:

Serene nightfall at Torbay Point – Cobbler Path

I knew ahead of time the sky might be a little too hazy for a clear view of the annual Lyrid meteor shower, so I had a couple of backup ideas, like this staircase lit by glow sticks:

Glowing stairs to Torbay Point – Cobbler Path

If you’re wondering if those white things on the horizon are icebergs, they are not. If I’d been out on the coast this week they very well could have been, but 2011 was a notoriously poor year for icebergs on the Avalon Peninsula, as I documented in the ‘iceberg seasons through the years‘ section of my Icebergs in Newfoundland page.

The white stripes on the horizon are in fact the lights of ships passing by. You can see the horizon is practically filled with them in the 4-hour panoramic photo featured on top of this post.

While I was waiting for my camera to complete that complex sequence, I laid back with music in my ears watching the tail end of the meteor shower. I saw a couple of very bright slow burners, so even without taking photos it was totally worth it just lying there with my eyes fixed on the starry sky above.

After my panoramic shot was finished, I took one last shot of the moon rising up from a cloudy horizon to the east, before I went home to get some sleep:

Cloudy moonrise – Cobbler Path

Newfoundland sea ice, late April 2017

Today was one of those rare clear days with blue skies everywhere, a good day for a hike and a brilliant day for satellite images:

Newfoundland sea ice on satellite – April 25, 2017

This image shows that sea ice is still present from St. Anthony down to Bonavista, but the sea ice on the Avalon is now almost gone. You can also see most of the island is still covered in snow…

Satellite images like these are available at NASA Worldview.

2017 Lyrids over Newfoundland

Foggy and cloudy weather will likely prevent anyone on the Avalon from seeing this year’s Lyrid meteor shower’s peak, which is today. However, the Lyrids last an entire week, and I’ve had success several times before just catching the start or tail end of the show, so you may see them yet!

Right now the forecast is promising for the early hours of next Monday and Tuesday. To see shooting stars flying overhead, find a suitably dark place away from city lights and look up. There’s no need to look in any particular direction, you’ll catch the most meteors just by lying down on a warm blanket and staring into space above you.

If you do go out, bundle up, it’s still pretty cold…

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