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Oohhhs and aahhhs!

3 Jun 2014 by Dominique Chiasson in Icebergs , Culture , History , Trinity and Museum
Region: Avalon

Oohhhhs and aahhhhs!!! 

Sensory overload! Everybody we met and everything we saw provoked long oohhhs and aahhhhs….

We started our drive along the western shore of Conception Bay where we saw more icebergs. I never expected so many different shapes… that change depending on the angle you view them from different trails and coves. Also, their colours vary from spring white snow to delft blue to aqua translucent. The closest berg was at Western Bay and it will “hang in there” for a few days because it is literally “ on the rocks” just a few hundred feet off the shore. The best way to see it up close is to hike a very nice 1.4 km


Later, after a long, barren 10 km stretch, we ended up in Bay de Verde… So impressive! The sea on both sides of the small harbour made for picture ops galore! Then it was on to Winterton, the home of the Wooden Boat Museum of Newfoundland. Well, there’s another gem!



This is where the story is told of all wooden boats from the kayaks and umiaks to dories, punts, schooners and shallops. Beverly and Jeremy greeted us and shared their love of this craft. Did you know each harbour had its own colour-coded gunnels (hand rails on dories)? Grey was for Winterton. We learned about the great “make & break” engines (who knew?),  the famous adjustable three-piece mould traced back to the early days of naval architecture, and was used extensively in Winterton. With slight adjustments of these 3 pieces, frames could be shaped in different sizes…. It all looked so easy and simple, but it required a fine craftsman to work with this mould.


Then we met the master boat builder Jerome Canning who proudly showed us his boat shed where 1- to 5-day workshops are held for kids and adults on how to build a dory. The attendees love the experience! For the kids, it’s like making a puzzle. The shapes are all there. Now assemble them and build a sturdy dory… but whatever you do, “don’t go against the sun”. It’s back luck!


Our last aahhh!! of the day was at the Doctor’s House Inn & Spa, a sprawling and gorgeous place. In summer, the gardens are like the colours of the rainbow. The rescued Newfoundland ponies in a nearby pasture are an adorable bonus to watch.  The inn’s owners are determined to make their paradise the best destination in Newfoundland for weddings and I believe them! The sunset from our Witch Hazel room was our last reward for the day…Oohhhh!


Today’s highlight was Trinity Bay with it picket fences, narrow lanes and all; we visited the Lester Garland House.  Trinity was a flourishing harbour. Mr Garland’s own 30 ship fleet and businesses kept it busy . By the 60’s, many of his buildings were in ruins and were demolished but a new group of visionaries rebuilt them on the same site using the original plans. You can now visit the Merchant’s House, the Mercantile Premises, and the Green Family Forge  where they do some smithin’ and you can buy some of their pieces in town as well as at the Devon House in St. John’s.


Of course, the Rising Tide Theatre has a great spot by the water. A walk around  town will allow you to discover all the colourful houses, a chocolate shop, the Hiscock house, the Trinity Mercantile Coffee Shop which serves a partridgeberry- coconut -cream cheese bar (Ahhhh).

Have you had enough Oohhhs and aahhhs yet?

I’m fit for bed. Tonight, it’s at the Artisan Inn in their Grand Barbour Place cottage on the first floor, complete unit with kitchen and dining room….Aahhh!