Kayaking the Coast of Newfoundland’s Baie Verte Peninsula
Required skills: Paddlers should have minimum ‘moderate’ skill grade for this paddling event. Those graded less than ‘skilled’ should be aware that conditions may require that they be directed to land accompanied by a guide.
Beginners may be permitted to participate, subject to the following:
1. He/she arrives with a paddle partner;
2. Both paddlers are physically fit and capable of paddling 20km or 6hrs per day;
3. Both paddlers arrive early for skill review/assessment and advice/training;
4. Both paddlers are willing to share a single kayak designed for two paddlers (subject to availability).
For coastal paddlers this Explore NL event is a 4-day North Atlantic kayaking reverie. From the point you push your kayak from the shore at Burlington on Day-1 to Day-4 when you haul it from the water for the last time, the sights, smells and sounds of your paddling venture will consume you.
Baie Verte Peninsula got its name from the French fishermen who sailed its shores in the 16th century. It is the most westerly and largest of many peninsulas that form the northeast coast of the island. It juts into the south flowing Labrador Current, turning it east into the North Atlantic Ocean to meet the Gulf Stream. This confluence of two major ocean currents governs the climate of Newfoundland and explains the extraordinary marine phenomena that draw kayakers year after year.
Like a palm open for snowflakes the Baie Verte Peninsula catches ‘bergs’ arriving on the Labrador Current. Calved from massive Greenland glaciers they drift along these shores, going aground or drifting onward to end their journey in the warmer Gulf Stream. For the paddler there is no better viewing and photo opportunities with bergs than along the coasts of the Baie Verte Peninsula.
In sync with the icebergs, numerous marine species arrive along these shores, from the innumerable tiny and elegant capelin to the largest whales of the world’s oceans--the Right whale, the Humpback and the Sperm—even the venerable Beluga; and occasionally the biggest of all, the Blue whale. In all, 22 species of whales visit these waters every year. Seals are a common visitor, too. And in the sky and on the water, the murres, guillemots, eagles, terns, puffins; and along the tidal zones and estuaries many wading shorebirds including the endangered and enigmatic piping plover.
The coastal geography and landforms tell an astounding geological story, one that has shaped human presence here going back 4000 years. The Peninsula’s geological origins were deep in the Earth’s mantle. Subsequent phases of continental drift resulted in one of the most mineralized regions of eastern Canada.
Going ashore at Bett’s Cv. and Indian Burying Place in Day-3 and staying the night at Round Hr. in long-empty houses evoke the pre-European and European settlement of the Peninsula. Four thousand years ago the Maritime Archaic peoples quarried soapstone near Fleur de Lys for cooking vessels as did the Dorset Paleoeskimos 2000 years later, along with carving local chert for tools and ornamental purposes. Leaping forward to the late 1800s mining of copper, silver, asbestos and gold became the Peninsula’s major economic engine. Those days are gone, but gold is still profitably mined on the Peninsula with additional gold prospects in development. Baie Verte Peninsual is hard to beat for the paddler with an interest in rocks or geology in general.
Glacial, alluvial and marine erosion sculpted today’s coastline landforms--bays, coves, beaches, sea caves and sea stacks. Add four centuries of a fishing culture and its visible legacy in today’s communities and in the many abandoned fishing villages--the Baie Verte Peninsula is a coastal kayaker’s full-meal deal.
4 days on crystal clear waters flowing from the Arctic Sea.
Crystal clear light for kayaking photographers.
Icebergs and ‘bergy-bits’ as found nowhere south of Greenland.
Annual migration of millions of capelin to spawn on local beaches.
Whales (22 annually visiting species).
Numerous marine and shoreline bird species.
Coastal camping far from urban light pollution.
BCU accredited kayaking guide.
All events/tours start at Marble Inn Resort in Steady Brook. Explore NL is affiliated with Marble Inn Resort. However, our participants are free to make pre-tour/post-tour accommodation and travel arrangement as they choose. If you need assistance with ground transportation or accommodations, we would be pleased to assist.
All kayaking gear, including single kayak and paddle, PFD, and dry bags are included (tandem kayaks on request). Participants must bring his or her own sleeping bag and apparel appropriate for hiking, including rain gear.
Event’s Daily Itinerary
IMPORTANT: The event itinerary may change at any time due to inclement weather and other circumstances beyond our control.
8:30 meet and greet at Marble Inn Resort followed by a gear and skill assessment. Be prepared for an initial paddling session.
1:30 Departure Marble Inn Resort to ‘glamping’ site at Burlington, Baie Verte Peninsula (approx. 2hrs). Sunset Paddle or Hiking option
Meals: Morning snack upon arrival, Boxed Lunch and evening Campsite Supper
Paddle to Middle Arm and Harry’s Harbor (subject to elements), with exploration of coves and inlets along the coast and visit sites of former fishing villages.
Meals: Light Breakfast, Shore Lunch and Campsite Supper
Paddle north to Round Harbor with possible stops at Betts Cove (once a bustling mining center and home to over 2000 people) and Indian Burying Place, where a Beothuk grave was found by the first settlers.
Arrive at Round Harbor and spend the night in traditional ‘salt box’ houses.
Meals: Light Breakfast, Shore Lunch and Campsite Supper
Paddle full day exploring the coastline in search of whales, seals, birds and bergs. Load up and Travel To Marble Inn Resort.
Meals: Light Breakfast, Shore Lunch and Final Supper at Marble Inn Resort (alcohol not included)
We recommend extending your Newfoundland vacation with a visit to Gros Morne, L’Anse aux Meadows, and/or St. John’s and the Avalon Peninsula. Ask your agent for details.