Iceberg watching in Twillingate, Newfoundland
Copyright @ novascotiamiss
When a huge block of ice melts your heart
I will never forget our first iceberg sighting in July 2009. The berg was huge! Far bigger than we had ever imagined in our wildest dreams. It was twice as long as an aircraft carrier and weighed approx. 250 tons. It was the largest they had seen in Iceberg Alley in over 50 years. The tip was looming 12 metres out the water and only made up 10% of the whole colossus. The remaining bulk was lurking down below. One of these big monsters had been responsible for the sinking of the Titanic, 100 years ago. The thought sent a cold shiver down my spine.
The little town of Twillingate, Newfoundland is the iceberg capital of the world and undoubtedly one of the best spots to see icebergs. The iceberg season is from mid May until mid July. Once the water warms up they start breaking up and disappear. We were lucky, as this natural phenomena is unpredictable. Winds and ocean currents bring the icebergs all the way from western Greenland and Canada’s Arctic. They are an average of 10’000 years old and take years to travel. Depending on the weather and the sea ice cover, they sometimes appear in huge numbers and other times are rarely seen. Since we were living far away, we had been tracking the iceberg activity on the internet to ensure that we didn’t come all the way for nothing.
But there it was - awesome! It seemed like we could almost touch it, it was so close. No need to catch a tourist boat. We just sat there on the cliff for hours and watched in awe. It was a pretty hot day and small waterfalls we pouring down the sides. The monstrous ice block was surrounded by “bergy bits” (smaller ice bergs) and “growlers” (small chunks of floating ice). A sign that the giant was busy breaking up. That night we were staying at a campsite several miles away. We were awakened by a thunderous roar. The iceberg was calving. When we visited again the next morning, it had broken into 3 huge bits.
The Quidi Vidi Brewery near St. John's uses growlers to brew the popular Iceberg Beer. Iceberg water is extremely pure and not at all salty. It also makes great cocktail ice cubes.
We stayed in iceberg alley for five glorious days and saw hundreds of icebergs. Each one was completely different. They all come in different shapes and sizes. Some float into the scenic bays, others are just floating past, far out at sea.
Ever since that first encounter, icebergs have been ingrained in our memory. One day we will go back to the picturesque bays of iceberg alley. We will visit the friendly people who proudly point the way to the nearest icebergs. Once an iceberg melts your heart, you’ll never forget.
Newfoundland Tourism Iceberg video
Newfoundlands iceberg tracker website
Newfoundland & Labrador iceberg facts
Travel guides Newfoundland & Labrador
Where is Twillingate, Newfoundland
Another article about interesting activities in Newfoundland
- L’Anse aux Meadows, Newfoundland: The only Viking settlement in North America
The vikings rowed from Greenland to Canada over 1'000 years ago. The only Viking settlement on the North American Continent is in L'Anse aux Meadows, Newfoundland