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Ireland's Eye, Trinity Bay - Kayak Trip / Canoe Trip

Report Type: Destination Report
Trip Dates: January 2007
Nearest City: Clarenville, NF, Canada
Difficulty: Moderate
Submitted by: point65kayakguy View Profile

Description:

Departing late is somewhat the norm for us. Our planned departure from the opposite side of Trinity Bay of 8am turned into near 10. The near two hour drive and Tim Hortons stop in Clarenville had us stopped at the end of the road in Lower lance cove on Random Island. There is free parking at the government wharf, and we parked our truck back far out of the way incase anyone needed access to the wharf.

By 1 o'clock we were packed up and paddling in Smith Sound, heading east towards our planned camp at the thoroughfare. We stuck to the southern side of the sound. Nice landings are few and far between along this length of our journey as the cliff meets the ocean in about 6 feet of water along most of it. The first landing is about 2km down the coast in a place named locally as "Fish Hook" cove. It is a small beach and can be used as a camp if needed. There is a small garden above fish hook cove that could easily be used for 5-6 tents. Only downfall is there is no fresh water at this location. However back along the coast there are 3 waterfalls flowing into the sound and thundering off the cliff's where fresh water can be obtained. Saw a minke whale along this portion, it kept surfacing around us however didn't get within 100m.

We stopped at fishhook cove to have a snack and pee break, have a look at the map and the tent sites. Soon enough we were back on our way next stop would be to check out Long Harbour, it is protected from most wind due to the large island with a channel east and west providing access inside. The western channel is rocky and care must be taken. At the bottom of this harbour is a cabin and a fresh water supply running next to it. There is not many options to pitch a tent at the bottom, however the only real suitable place is near a cabin coming through the western channel on the way into the harbour. The banks along the whole harbour are very steep.

The tide was heading out so we sat back and took a free ride back into the sound out the eastern channel. Back on the bay we headed for Haydon point. As we rounded it the waves increased from the flat calm in the sound to about 1m and choppy. Still a nice day for Trinity Bay. We passed Connelly's Cove and over to the large grassy point on the thoroughfare. Landing on the front of it is very rocky and a real pain at low tide. We came around the point and realized there was a small tidal pool with a sandy landing on the back - here we landed, pulled our kayaks along the grassy field up onto the top of the knoll. Quickly tents were set up, wood was piled and the vodka and gin flowed. Before long we were three sheets to the wind on vodka and gatorade (light weight drinking!) sitting next to a roaring fire, with enough driftwood to last us a week on standby. Our resident award-winning chef (not joking!) cooked us potatoes and onions and cooked porkchops on a flat piece of slate. We caught up on what the heck the other had been doing for the past year, as I live in a different province and don't get to connect with many friends as much as I wished I could.

The weather couldn't be better, calm breeze which was just cool enough to appreciate the roaring fire. After 11:00pm rolled around and we were pretty smashed, I urinated on the fire and put the rest out with pots of salt water. Cleaned up the pots and off to bed. Of course making parting shots at the paprika colour tent of one of the adventurers.

At sunrise we were all asleep. 10:00 rolled around and the sun felt like it was stabbing my eyes. It was hot in the tent and man was my mouth dry. I could hear the other guys already on the go. Apparently we drank all the water the night before mixing drinks and had 1 liter between us. That's responsible, eh? Anyway we ate an awesome breakfast of blueberry pancakes and were on the way to look for fresh water. There was a small trickle of water running off from a bog at the thoroughfare but didnt look that great. Although we had tablets and a filter we decided to pass.

I had gotten ahead of the guys and was paddling around Flat Island waiting for the guys to catch up. Out from the water a sea otter climbs up on the rocks eating a mackerel. I tried to get close he got really angry hissing and grunting and took off. Pretty cool to see.

We scooted across to Ivanhoe to see if we could find some cleaner water. Talked to some lobster fishermen who spent the season in their cabin there. They said that they bring their water out with them as the water wasn't any good anywhere out here. It was all rust stained from the bog's. He offered us some but we kindly refused. He told us our best bet was in Ireland's eye, as there was a small brook there.

We thanked them and headed off into the open Trinity Bay along the south of the island. The sea was of course larger out here was it was open ocean. The swell was about 2 meters but rolling and spaced far apart. As we approached Round Harbour a large humpback surfaced about 80m away. I had thought I could hear him blowing but couldn't see him due to the fog. We hauled into Round Harbour and found zero water, however no cabins, and it looked like a peaceful spot to camp.

We were getting thirsty and decided to head straight to Ireland's eye and bypass searching in Traytown for some run off. Once approaching Ireland's eye we took a good look at Anthony Island a little further into the open of Trinity Bay. We were a little discouraged by the high cliff's surrounding it and the huge surf pounding out there. We decided we would play our planned trip across by ear. First we needed water.

Once inside Ireland's eye we were awestruck by the rolling grassy knoll's with high hills above. There were a plethora of signs of where the houses once stood in this resettled town. Only two newer cabins remain with another started construction. We quickly picked a nice spot on the western side of the harbour towards it's bottom. Across from us we could hear the small brook running. Paddled across and headed up the brook to find it's source. We spooked 4 wood ducks who quickly took flight out of the boggy marshy pond that supplied the brook. The water was brown, and to play it safe we filled our bottled with the water filter, then treated them with tabs.

We set up camp and quickly decided that we were on vacation and we would spend the day hanging out drinking and exploring Irelands eye. There was a huge church on the top of the hill overlooking the community that was a must see, as well as the post office in behind that. We also had planned on taking a walk over to blackduck cove VIA the path marked on the map. Not in the mood for bush bashing, and not finding the trail in behind the old post office we finished exploring around the massive church and began drinking.

We had some young teenagers come in a motor boat and stayed at the brown cabin not to far from us. However we never heard them the whole night. We lit another fire of course and cooked up another huge impressive scoff. Being drunk by noon, I can't remember what we had for supper, only it was good.

We solved all worldly problems that night, surprising all of us were agreeing on the same things or willing to see it the other persons way once they explained themselves. Suddenly the urge hit:
Toutons! basically fried bread dough.
Lucky for us, our cook made bread dough right there. Hauled it out and we ate like kings. It began to rain ad we just sat there drinking eating fried bread around the fire. What a night!

We awoke early the next morning to blueberry oatmeal and two of the largest pancakes I have ever eaten. So much in fact I believe we all couldn't eat it.

After filling up our totally empty water containers we were off to explore Traytown Harbour. It is a large protected harbour with a bunch of fishing shacks inside. At the bottom of traytown harbour is the remains of a large old schooner rotting on the shore.

We stopped at the thoroughfare at the location of the old E.J green herring factory. I cooked up some potatoes and we ate some ready to eat meals. It was around noon and the fog just didn't seem to want to break.

After lunch spent some time looking around. And I searched for cool shells - the area was literally covered in a while layer of shells from the gulls dropping them onto the large flat rock to eat. After lunch the fog still hadn't burned off. We decided we would head to Hickmans Harbour for water check it out and find a place to camp.

As we passed Indian Islands we say what was causing all the fog. A small iceburg emerged from the thick fog. However it was about 10km down the shore. We discussed it back and forth if we went for it or carried on as planned. Everyone was saying...I don't care, up to you etc. off we went to check out the Berg.

The thing was melting heavily. Common sense would dictate stay away as it could roll over any minute however my common sense took a backseat to a cool facebook profile pic. I was gonna go close and get the guys to take pics. The air surrounding it was so sweet and a turned my kayak so my rudder was touching the thing and got some hero shot/things to put in the paper if it let go and I went to Valhalla.

As I contemplated chipping some ice off to drink the thing groaned and popped LOUD. Anytime I had heard them pop like this before there was something falling or rolling. I paddled like a mad man and got outta there. We were in the middle of the sound but the weather was real nice. Slow 2m swell spread out really nice.

We decided to head towards Hickmans Harbour betting on a grassy field or nice beach. There was no where to camp here at all. We followed the harbour into the pond which is a rocky mess, with the same brown water.
-ABORT!-

I picked out Warwick Harbour on the map and off we went. A different little harbour for sure! small entrance in a rockwall with a circular harbour with a large island in the middle of it! However we lucked out on of the streams on our maps was running good. We set up on a grassy field on the eastern side of the harbour. And commenced the feast. Plan was this being our last night to feast like kings leaving only enough for emergencies.

Early night with only half a flask passed around the fire. We cooked bannock on a stick and crashed. I told the boys if anyone wakes up and it's light out wake everyone else up. The first guy up woke us we ate breakfast and headed out onto the sound. Half way across the wind pitched and started throwing large waves at us. We headed for the southern shore of the sound and started slowly making our way into the headwind. We played around a lot in the waves putting the bows of our boats totally underwater almost every wave that's when one guy realized his hatch was leaking bad. Whoops!

As we hauled into Lowerlance Cove we were treated to a perfect ending to our trip. Out in the white cap's two Humpback whales played and one gave us a wave with his fluke as if saying see ya!

A great trip with great friends I will remember for a lifetime.

Check out my blog: http://awholebunchofings.blogspot.com/

Outfitting:

Riot sprint
Current designs kestrel 140
Perception Carolina 14

Directions:

turn off TCH to Clarenville follow signs for Random Island, then Lowerlance Cove.

Resources:

Map 2c4 . Don't bother buying 2c3 as you can print off a Google map image and tape it to 2c4 and draw on the grid yourself. 2c3 covers about 100 m of what you need, waste of money.


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