Our first couple of days aboard the RCGS Resolute for One Ocean’s Labrador and Torngat Mountains Explorer cruise took us to places that were not on the published itinerary. What a treat to get to places expedition cruises rarely venture! In fact our second Zodiac excursion was one of the scenic highlights of our trip!
After the previous days chilly, overcast conditions for Zodiac cruising in Placentia Bay, when the early morning announcement came over the cabin speaker to get ready for another unscheduled excursion, we were delighted to see beautiful rays of sun shining down when we opened the curtains and looked outside.
By the time we ate breakfast and headed to the upper deck observation area, the sky was mostly blue and it was warming up nicely. Looking across the water to Hidden Cove, with it’s rock sails and sentinels, we took photos to pass the time while we waited to be called to the Zodiac gangway.
While warmer than the previous day, it was still windy on the upper deck.
The wind prompted extra care when taking a series of shots for later stitching into a panorama. Mr GeoK worked hard to avoid any wind-caused breaks in the waves and clouds.
This photo makes it clear why we quickly developed a strong preference to head to the uppermost deck to take shipboard photos. Although bracketing the western bluffs of Aviron bay between two decks is also an interesting approach.
This rock formation, at the mouth of the bay, is aptly named Aviron Rock.
And there goes the first Zodiac to explore.
Finally it was our turn to board one of the Zodiacs.
We’d barely set off when our guide, Mark, called over one of the other Zodiacs. Since we were the last Zodiac to depart, we had fewer passengers than any of the others, so to even the passenger load between our Zodiac and one other, we did an at-sea passenger transfer – for the only time on the cruise!
This sunlit vertical stacked arrangement is the southern arm of Hidden Cove, our first destination.
There was a high level of excitement when we spotted a grey seal.
And then a flock of birds flying low across Hidden Cove. The rock sail and sentinels here begged to be explored, especially given the accessible rock beach. But since this was not a pre-planned stop – instead selected earlier that morning by the captain and lead guide – we did not land.
We motored past a small waterfall and then spotted a hole in a rock wall jutting out from the main bluff. Our Zodiac guide maneuvered close enough to the shoreline that we could see the sky through the hole.
A few minutes later, we caught a glimpse of the RCGS Resolute through the gap in the rocks.
Rounding the rocky promontory, we entered Aviron Bay proper. It was time to open the throttle, if we had a hope of making it to the head of the bay before our deadline to be back on board.
In fact, some of the first departures were already heading back to the ship.
It was worth the gasoline we burned to make it to the head of Aviron Bay. Along the way, we saw another beautiful waterfall.
And we would have loved to tie the Zodiac up to one of those rocks on the shore and go explore on foot for a bit.
But there was no time. We had to hurry back to the ship.
We took comfort in the fact we weren’t too far behind the Zodiac just a couple of minutes ahead of us.
And relaxed even more when we entered the holding pattern, third in line to disembark.
It was a glorious – but short – exploration of a picturesque and seemingly untouched bay on the south shore of Newfoundland.
Aboard the RCGS Resolute, underway to Gros Morne National Park, we spotted a small fishing village nestled in a well-protected cove, prompting us to wonder what it’s like to grow up and/or live in a location like this – especially in the winter.
Two days running, the true expedition nature of this particular cruise resulted in two unique experiences – the silver lining. 🙂