Saturday, March 10, 2007

Magical Merasheen

(Photos top to bottom by Alison Dyer: Paul & Andy on crossing; At play in the fields..; Tack's Beach; Swings at Tacks Beach; View north from Tack's Beach; Paul spies Eagle nest; Paul & mussels; View of Merasheen above Baker's Cove).
March 16, 2007

Until a couple of days ago the snow was piled high, barely saw the top of my 6-foot fence in the back garden. The kids have been using the neighbour's garden- and that adjoining below - as a toboggan run, their own private hill. Am thinking more and more of places I want to visit and explore this summer by kayak. So many bays, so little time.

Few years back 3 paddling buddies and I decided on a long weekend September paddle in around the islands off of Merasheen, that fabled long emerald jewel - once home to a people who had a strong song and story-telling tradition - in the middle of Placentia Bay. (Kayak Newfoundland Labrador has several trip reports on the area, e.g. by us in 2002, by Tim Hollett about his 9-day trip; and most recently one by kayaker-mountaineerer TA Loeffler - who leaves tomorrow, March 17, to attempt Everest!).

It's about 14km from Arnold's Cove in the bottom of the bay, across the tanker lane, to the tip of Merasheen. At any time of year the weather, wind and waves can make it less than ideal to paddle. So we arranged a trip with a small fishing boat, the owner also had two small basic cabins in an otherwise deserted cove that we could stay in. Perfect. So, the crossing was exciting, the bell kept ringing, a few others boats were headed fast for shore. Two or more hours later, I can't remember, we entered the channel between Merasheen and the Ragged Island chain.

We had a couple of days to dart around the many islands (a purported 365 in Placentia Bay) - if the wind came up one side, we had several options. That's the great part about paddling this part of Placentia Bay. Of course we had to take a trip up to Tack's Beach. Once a thriving community, it was resettled as part of the government resettling scheme of the 1960s. But neat cabins dot the idyllic landscape. By people of legendary hospitality. Our own little cove, Baker's Cove, over-looked Merasheen. Had a nice toast of screech while gazing up at the stars and over to the dark silouette of that island on the last night. Not a sound.


Douglas Wilcox said...

Roll on spring! Funnily enough, our weather is going downhill withstrong north winds and snow forecast for tonight!

Alison Dyer said...

Hi Douglas, that's not an auspicious forecast for this time of year. Roll on spring indeed! A