Newfoundland, Found

8 Jul

July 6, 2019/Day 241

Noon Position: 46 39N 53 01W

Course(t)/Speed(kts): NE 6

Miles since departure: 31,717

Leg to St. John’s/Days: 4

Miles: 465

As we closed Cape Race, a heavy fog came down that ate up the wind. I reeled in a drippy spinnaker and started the engine at 0430. Already daylight was coming on. Over coffee, I set myself for a long shift in the pilot house.

We were entering an area where icebergs could be found. And though the latest ice report was a far cry from the one we saw before our Halifax arrival–now there were fewer bergs per square degree than fingers on one hand–I still wanted to be cautious.

Compare this chart to the one posted on June 1, 2019.

By full light, visibility was below 200 feet, and it stayed that way all day.

While I would have liked more wind, this part of the run provided a good test of systems rarely used on the first 237 days of the Figure 8; namely, the engine and the radar. Coming in along the Newfoundland coast was all instruments.

Would we see our first ice today? Lack of visibility seemed to answer this in the negative. But would radar pick it up?

That answer appeared to come in the early afternoon by an unmoving target to the NW. First ice of the Figure 8 seen…if not by eye.
The only break in the monotony of gray–the flushing of Shearwaters that had taken to the water top for an afternoon nap.
Land Ho. First sighting of Newfoundland. Cape Broyle comes out of the fog.

Newfoundland. A curious name. Not New Holland or New France or Nova Scotia or even Nova Albion. Not any of the names that in their statement lay claim to this or that piece of the new world. Newfoundland, rather, seems uttered in shock (What, here?) and suggests that, on first blush, the discovery was not deemed worthy of addition to the empire.

If the above is the case, then the discoverers had lost their sense of beauty in the hard crossing from the old world.
I didn’t wish to press on in the dark; so, we anchored for a short night of sleep. Cape Broyle Harbor. Admiral’s Cove. 60 feet. Mud. July 6, 2019.

This article was syndicated from The Figure 8 Voyage


  1. Claudia R Moyer

    Lucky me! My Mom is a Newfie. Been to Newfoundland numerous times. August is the best month to visit. Love the Rock so much bought a summer home on the Southern Shore of NL. Embrace your roots, people, and visit Newfoundland. Nothing like it on earth. Please like and share my page, 5 Fox Hill, for info on my little piece of heaven. God bless you.

  2. Ron Witzel


    Good that all electronic systems are working in the fog.
    Best Wishes for this different leg of the voyage.

    Ron Witzel, S/C
    Marin YC

  3. Brian T

    A different type of cruise now; setting the hook come dark.Different perils.
    I’ve followed your blog since your onset and look forward to every post.
    Safe travels, Randall.

  4. Dr. Thiomas Gaetano Palumbo

    Thanks so much for sharing such an interesting article–
    After reading it, I decided to read Herman Melville’s “Moby Dick”
    again–Love that book–One of my all time favorites–And, Randall,
    may God and His angels continue to walk with you on all
    your adventures–

  5. P.R. Hornby

    Quite an intimate view of the coast, lucky you, kind of like stepping back, in time, hundreds of years ago… Maybe best you aren’t converging with icebergs or Vikings..

  6. Jeff

    I don’t know why the Google algorithm sent me a link to your blog, but enjoy Saint John’s it’s a beautiful town, make sure to try a quidi vidi IPA, Newfoundland has and interesting idea of what constitutes an IPA. Safe journeys.

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