Labrador, Canada

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The photo above if of my AAA map.  I cleverly blocked out the other three Maritime provinces with the shadow of my smartphone (camera)!

Labrador (half of the “Newfoundland and Labrador” province) is a very large land-based area attached to Quebec province. It is the extreme eastern mainland portion of Canada. Labrador comprises 73% of the land size (of NL combined) but has only 8.6% of the population.

The indigenous Inuit people are largely gone from here.

Most of Labrador is very remote. Small villages along the coast are only serviced by boats (see dotted lines on the map above), ferries and small aircraft. The only roads are in extreme southern Labrador.

Torngat Mountains National Park, at the north end of Labrador, is extremely rugged and people are not advised to go there unless they are very experienced in surviving harsh, winter weather (and know how to deal with polar bears. Seriously – that is a requirement). Park rangers want you to register with them when you enter and notify them when you leave. They want you to let them know roughly where you are planning to go so they know where to look for the bodies if you don’t come out. This isn’t somewhere you run off to for a weekend getaway…

 

Welcome to Newfoundland!

July 26, 2019

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Thursday I took a large ferry from North Sydney, Nova Scotia to Port aux Basques, Newfoundland. Newfoundland is a huge island, the size of the State of North Carolina, northeast of Nova Scotia. The ferry ride was scheduled to take between 5 1/2 and 7 hours depending on weather. The seas were calm and we did it in 6 hours.

Newfoundland is one half of the Canadian province called “Newfoundland and Labrador,” the other half being Labrador as you probably guessed. They are one half in name only – Labrador is considerably larger in size (73% of their combined land area) but has a markedly smaller population (only 8.6% of their combined population).

A friend of mine in Pennsylvania lived with someone who raises and breeds Newfoundlands (the dog). They have 8 of them and this was the scene shortly after I arrived at their home for a visit last year. The 8 of them were very excited to meet me at the door but after about a half hour they were all asleep on the kitchen floor. They are very big so you are only seeing four:

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The dog breed is generally pronounced NOOFIN-lind (at least that’s what my friend called them). Canadians prefer that you pronounce their province noofin-LAND and I’ve been told that that pronounciation is technically correct for both.

I will be spending 10 nights on Newfoundland:

As I said, Newfoundland, the island, is also very big. Here is a picture I posted previously showing all of the Maritime provinces I will be visiting during this trip (all of them but Labrador). Newfoundland, at over 42,000 square miles, is almost as big as New Brunswick and Nova Scotia combined.

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I was hoping to take a ferry over to Labrador to see a few things, and to say I’ve been there, but the length of the ferry ride and the wait between rides made it too time consuming so I will have to do it on my next trip up here.

Newfoundland and a small part of Labrador have their own time zone, thank you very much. Curiously it is one HALF hour ahead of Atlantic Time (which itself is one hour ahead of Eastern Time). Most of Labrador is Atlantic but the extreme southeast portion closest to Newfoundland is NL Time.

I will make a separate post about Labrador.

 

I noted on the instructions for the ferry that when I return to Nova Scotia I may not bring back “plant material or produce” from either Newfoundland or Labrador. They also do not want me to bring back dirt (soil) on my car and may wash it before I drive on board.  Apparently what happens on Newfoundland STAYS on Newfoundland…

Lobster!!

July 22, 2019

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My friend and frequent commenter Shawn pointed out that I mentioned a lobster interpretive center in the “New Glasgow to Antigonish” post without providing any details. The “center” was in a small restaurant and basically amounted to several pictures and posters on the wall with lobster facts and trivia. Here are some examples:

 

Lobsters are located in all the oceans of the world

A male is called a Cock, a female a Hen and a young lobster a Chicken

To evade predators lobsters can quickly curl and uncurl their abdomens and thus propel themselves at speeds of up to several feet per second

They can be left or right handed (clawed, if you will)

They listen with their legs and smell with their feet

Their blood is colorless

The largest lobster on record weighed 44 pounds and was caught in Nova Scotia in 1977

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(Photo credit: wjbq.com)

 

So now you know!!