If you know anything about me, you know I’m a little obsessed with Newfoundland and Labrador’s Resettlement Act introduced initially in the 50s-60s. We were a new Canadian province, and the government decided the tiny fishing outport communities scattered around the coast were no longer viable. People who had lived in those towns their whole lives — those who had raised families there, and knew very little about the rest of the world — were forced to uproot and settle elsewhere.
It was a traumatic time for many, although for others it was a blessing. In New Bonaventure, we set out with Bruce Miller of Rugged Beauty Boat Tours to tour the coast around Trinity Bay, including resettled communities like Ireland’s Eye and British Harbour. The tour was one of the most refreshingly honest tours I’ve ever experienced; Bruce is an opinionated fellow (ask him about the cod moratorium), and he’s not afraid to be vocalize his thoughts. We even ended up at his cabin for a cup of tea and an Ugly Stick session.
Then we decided to try hiking the Skerwink Trail, a well-groomed and moderately difficult trail out of Trinity. I had been urged and gently prodded to hike this route several times before, and I finally did it. After a diet of deep-fried cod for the previous few weeks, it was a little harder than expected. Those sea stacks, though. One of the best maintained trails I’ve seen on the island.
Mike and I passed an elderly couple sitting on a bench overlooking the ocean. They greeted us with big smiles, and the man asked where we were visiting from.
“I’m from here,” I said.
He gestured to the view in front of him. “This is unreal,” he said. Indeed.
Highlights: my arse as I ascend many steps, my poor rock-skipping skills, and some Ugly Stick action.