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Labrador

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Shrouded in still mist, glittering in warm sunshine, bathed in bright moonlight, frozen in crisp silence, embroiled in a raging storm or a fluid stage for the dancing northern lights,you will find the many moods of the Labrador Sea profoundly moving.




This sea has had an extra-ordinary influence on the settlement of Labrador and the lives and cultural development of the residents. It brought the earliest explorers of the New World to Labrador shores, providing Vikings with wood. Its nutrient rich waters host a phenominal variety and quantity of sea life. In the winter the sea is bonded to the land by ice, offering unique opportunities to observe first hand the flow edge and ice ecology so little known to the public. In the summer its zero degrees celsius current parades the rare beauty of gleaming icebergs. This chilled current also creates coastal tundra conditions as it keeps the summer temperature average at 100C (500F), compared with the interior at 150C (590F), and dominates the climate of both Labrador and Newfoundland as it collides with the warm Gulf Stream Current.

For one of the greatest natural shows on earth try to imagine the magnitude and awesome sight of nearly 2,300 seals on one square km of pack ice, or the thrill of watching a pod of gigantic whales frolicking in the sea as you fly over, or the fun of porpoises, dolphins or whales playing around your boat, or the dizzy sight of 50,000 nesting birds crowded on a tiny island! Needless to say, binoculars are a very real asset on such a holiday.

The Labrador Current, nicknamed 'Iceberg Alley', each year moves about 2500 gigantic crystalline icebergs, calved from the glaciers around Baffin Bay, south to their final demise in the warm Gulf Stream off Newfoundland. Known to reach as high as a 45 story building (with 7/8th of its bulk still underwater), these incomprehensibly large masses drift along the Labrador coast in a majestic parade of shimmering white and luminous turquoise, azure and green.

From Cape Chidley to the Strait of Belle Isle, the Labrador Sea is a fascinating environment, unusually rich in nutrients and sea life. The ten species of whales, five species of seals and an abundance of cod and salmon sustained the native populations for thousands of years and then caught the attention of Europeans about 1500. For several thousand fishermen and whalers from 1500 to 1830 Labrador waters provided food, light and girdle stitfeners for a large part of the world, the geography of the ocean being tar more familiar to these dauntless sailors than that of the land which lay beside it.

 

 

 

Ocean Activities

The coastal boat or individual boat tours give you the best of both worlds, treating you to a closeup
of the fascinating ocean environment ot whales. icebergs and bird colonies and, at the same time.
the unique. colourful life ot coastal communifies. You can watch the sun. wind. rain and sea
continuously rework the surface ot beautrful icebergs,
be startled by a deafening roar as one turns over
or breaks into bergy bits and growlers and appreciate their awesome dangers.

You might spend a day cod-jigging, participating in the distinctive life of coastal Labrador, and savour your
own cod cooked as 'tish & brewis' right on the fishing grounds. 'Fish' always means cod. It has been so
important to Labrador the people respond, 'Is there any other kind?l' The temperate climate and long and varied
coastline make Labrador ideal tor adventurous sea kayakers Spring on the ocean offers the observer the
magnificent spectacle ot thousands ot seals whelping on the ice floes.

 

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