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Rose Blanche

  • Histoire de Rose Blanche
  • Square Rose Blanche

Do Rose Blanche is a name adapted to that village? Yes and no!

No because when we arrive we see some white rocks. (and not some white roses)

Yes because when we went visit the village we have seen quite a lot of white roses.

Why the name of Rose Blanche? It's a deformation of the French word white rocks.


Rose Blanche

  • Avec Christian au phare de Rose Blanche
  • A quai a Rose Blanche

Many villages on the south coast of Newfoundland are very isolated, only accessible by sea. Population is decreasing since fishing is declining, dozens of communities have been wiped off the map to save budget. But if at least 10 per cent of the inhabitants is willing to stay, a village can remain.

Rose Blanche is at the end of the road, a good shelter for boats, well know for her lighthouse. We meet Christian, he is slowly crossing the Atlantic back to Brittany, after he did the Ostar race from Plymouth to Newport. A solo race very difficult this year, only a quarter of the skippers arrived, others had to give up, four boats sank!


Cape Anguille

  • Beau temps belle mer
  • Navigation estivale au sud de Terre-Neuve

Since I bought Vagabond in October 1999, we never had sailed so little during the summer! After 17 consecutive seasons in the Arctic, it is strange, and enjoyable, to frequent temperate waters. Here we are further south than Brest!

No drifting ice, no unknown shoal, good charts and reliable weather forecasts, internet on board thanks to the mobile network, water at almost 15°C... only a slight head wind has been persisting for 3 Days, keeping us a little away from the ideal cruise. We are really enjoying this easy sailing along the west coast of Newfoundland. Aurore and Leonie grew up, they take part more and more in the navigation!

Shortly after Cape Anguille, southwest of Newfoundland, we enter the very small harbor of Codroy: the name of the village comes from 'cod' and 'roi' (king). We watch a good load of soles being offloaded. The village is also known for its large Anglican church.


Port Saunders

  • Trampoline Port Saunders
  • Vagabond a Port Saunders

For our first stop in Newfoundland, after crossing the Strait of Belle Isle, we choose a small wharf in Port Saunders, drowned in a thick mist. We are right in front of George's house, who is as sympathetic as his accent is difficult to understand! He is fishing from the dock, also the girls are in a hurry to get out the hooks. Léonie catches a sculpin, but she releases it (too many edges)... George finally offers us a big bag of cod fillets, both frozen and dried.

The Lavers family lives 50 meters from the wharf. She is welcoming us home for showers, and lending us a huge pick-up to visit the surroundings! Aurore and Léonie prefer the trampoline with their children, while France and I take the road to Port au Choix and up to Point Riche, where we meet with a not shy caribou. Good news, far fewer mosquitoes here than in Labrador.


Red Bay

  • Aurore Inukshuks Red Bay
  • Musee baleiniers Red Bay

It is in Red Bay that we learn that we have changed time zone for a few days... We must add 30 minutes (!) to our watches. Southeastern Labrador is at the same time as Newfoundland.

We are here at the first whaling port ever. In the 16th century, it was the most important center for whale oil production in the world. Up to 2000 Basques from France and Spain were working in the bay. The site is listed since 2013, the museum is exciting and the "Fish & Chips" excellent!


Chateau

  • Pretes pour une baignade en eau froide
  • Reparation de la trinquette

The passage in front of Battle Harbor is very narrow. This national historic site was the economic and social center for southeastern Labrador for two centuries. The village has been recently renovated and attracts visitors.

Vagabond follows the coast, a few isolated cabins, a lady calls us by VHF radio, out of curiosity and courtesy. Very friendly exchange!

A little further on we find Henley, a little too exposed to the wind, then we find a well sheltered anchorage at Chateau. Aurore and Leonie soon put on their suits and jump into the water (4°C). A seal approaches, but not enough to be seen underwater. However the girls are quite frightened!

On land, on a beach of large pebbles, at the foot of a big firn, we can see a black bear. We remain grouped, he stays away. Stunning view on Newfoundland, in a distance, behind a parade of icebergs.

Our 14th of July begins with the repair of the staysail, for France, while the girls help me to fill up 3 jerry-cans of fresh water in the neighbouring river. We do as fast as possible to avoid being eaten by mosquitoes! Away from the trees, the wind is sufficient to keep them away, phew.

Then the whole family goes into the water, cold but clear, the bottoms are rich: on the menu tonight, crab, clams, mussels, and other seafood. In Qikiqtarjuaq I often dived alone under the ice. Today, harvesting is done with the family and free diving!


Cartwright

  • Municipalite Cartwright
  • Beaucoup d icebergs le long des cotes du Labrador

Going down Melville Lake, Vagabond is almost doing 12 knots! She's looking forward to be back to the sea and to see icebergs again. Here they are, coming from the Arctic. In terms of polar navigation, that's all for this year...

Our speed drops to less than 2 knots as we approach Cartwright, when the headwind blows at 55 knots. So we appreciate the stopover in this small village of 520 inhabitants (same size as Qikiqtarjuaq, where we stayed 3 years, in Nunavut). The good breeze drives away mosquitoes and black flies (worse than mosquitoes), and that's good.

A Swiss sailboat is also in Cartwright, before heading to Greenland, when winds will be fair. Nice encounter.


She is floatting!

  • Equipage Vagabond pret a reprendre la mer
  • Leonie et Aurore impatientent de voir Vagabond flotter

In the end, we waited for twelve days. Twelve days to cross the few meters keeping Vagabond away from the water. Here we are, Vagabond is floating again, since 3pm today, July 11th. Going through a short check-list, and we leave Goose Bay. Heading to Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon, via southern Labrador and the West coast of Newfounland.

Doreen has been welcoming us in her house, when mosquitoes or rain were giving us a hard time camping. We enjoyed tasting some fresh food from her garden. She also let us use her car to explore Goose Bay surroundings or to look for some spare parts for the boat. Thank you!

See also Vagabond's position, and the latest pictures.


Tent and waiting

  • Camping pres de Vagabond

That's it, a crane should be available in two days. We all look forward to putting Vagabond back in the water and being able to live aboard normally. Meanwhile, since the site is closed at night, we camp outside the fence (with the mosquitoes!). Or we accept an invitation to town if it rains too much (thanks Doreen).

The starboard propeller shaft has just been reassembled without too much difficulty, the last September incident was simply by loosening a nut. Problem solved! A little bit of painting on the hull, then other preparations will be done afloat.