Updates to Cruising Guide to Newfoundland

S/V Pilgrim, Brian Stewart and Jane Witherspoon

Whitby 42, Double headsail ketch, LOA:42 feet, Beam:13 feet, Draft: 5.5 feet, Disp: 17 tons

Ground tackle: 65 lb CQR with 200 feet 3/8 BB chain, 22 lb Danforth 20 feet chain + 200 feet nylon rode. Spare anchors include 24 lb Danforth and a 42 lb CQR.


Name of Harbour:   Griquet, p 201

Approaches:  The French chart in the cruising guide although old is detailed and very good.         

Anchoring / Docking:  The wharf was full the day we arrived;  3 fishing  boats, one of which had sunk and had a dive team raising her.  Therefore we anchored in the bay to the SW.  Good holding in mud in 25-30 feet of water with little or no weed.  (51 31.60’N 055⁰ 28.20’W)  No swell.

Ashore:  There is a grocery store about 1.5 miles from the wharf.  Follow the paved road over the Dark Tickle Bridge.  When the road ends (T junction) turn left and continue on this road for about ¼ mile.  Store is on the left hand side of the road.  No WiFi in anchorage or near the store. 

Ashore:  Hike up the Camel’s Hump Hill for a great view of ice bergs.  In 2011 we could see 100+ bergs and part of the Petermann Ice Island that broke off of the glacier in Greenland in 2010.  Black Tickle Bridge was impassable even in a dinghy due to low water.   

History:  In nearby St. Lunaire there is a stone with an inscription thought to be attributed to the 6th century Irish Monks.  For more information see Robert Burcher’s website:  


Name of Harbour:   St. Anthony, p 198


Anchoring / Docking:  Although there was plenty of room on the north wharf, the harbour master’s office directed us to the second wharf on the south side (government wharf).   One of the trawlers moved to allow us to squeeze behind it and in front of another trawler overhanging the north face of the wharf.  The trawlers were sometimes rafted 3-deep on the south wharf even though the north wharf had plenty of space.  A Coast Guard boat (Matthew, from Ottawa) arrived unexpectedly and we were given half an hours’ notice that we would have to move.  There was plenty of room for the 100+ foot coast guard boat on the north wharf, but neither it nor we were directed to that space.  We were directed to raft against a long-liner on the government wharf.  They were unhappy to have us rafted against them and told us they planned to leave at 6AM the next morning.  Lots of oily pink scum on the water surface from the shrimp boats.  Power (must have very long extension cords) and potable, but tannin-brown water available on the public wharf.  Although St. Anthony is not on the Boil Water Advisory, the quality of the water is questionable.

Ashore:  The only public phone is in the Viking Mall.  WiFi is available at the Municipal / Library Building.  If you have a CAP ID from another town, you can access the WiFi on the building steps when the library is not open.  Post Office at the top of the hill from the government wharf.

The Irving Gas Station (close to the Viking Mall) has laundry facilities that appeared to be new in 2011.  3 washers and 3 dryers.  $3./load for the washer and $3/load for the dryers.

No public showers were found.

Advice:  Harbour authorities not friendly, but townsfolk are very helpful


Name of Harbour:   Conche , p 193


Anchoring / Docking:  The wharf at Conche was taken up almost exclusively by local boats.  One cruising sailboat that arrived after us docked on a short end of the wharf (overhanging).  We anchored in Stage Cove in 30 feet.  Light wind, so there was no real test of the anchor hold.  Uncomfortable swell in Stage Cove would have been even worse in Silver Cove.  Chart plotter told us we were anchored on land.

Ashore:  Post Office and grocery store, but could not find the colourful B&B / restaurant. 

Advice:    Not recommended



Name of Harbour:   Fourche Harbour / Williamsport, p 190


Anchoring / Docking:  Rock and kelp at recommended anchoring location with a very thin layer of mud and kelp  did not provide the good holding as was suggested in the guide. We re-anchored further out in 45 feet.  When we brought up the anchor, we also brought up white large heavy plastic bags. Cliffs on all sides meant that VHF radio signals came and went and GPS accuracy was very poor. This site has the worst SSB propagation seen in 5 years of cruising.  Constant swell made the anchorage uncomfortable.

Advice:  Not recommended unless very settled weather.




Name of Harbour: Pacquet Harbour, p 185


Anchoring / Docking:  We anchored deep in Paris Bay in 25 feet, opposite the little community of Woodstock.

Ashore:  Small convenience store was relatively well-stocked


Name of Harbour:   Little Bay Islands, p 179


Anchoring / Docking:  Water is under a boil water advisory, but this is not posted on the wharf. 

Ashore:  The Inn is Edna’s Boarding House.  Charlene and Jim organize a music weekend in early August and with advance notice may be able to organize a Kitchen Party.  Contact:  sharlenehinz@eastlink.ca  There are no stores.


Name of Harbour:   Lewisporte , p 170


Anchoring / Docking:  The yacht club has VHF channel 68 turned on, but no one in the yacht club or in the marina monitor it.  The marina offers haul out and launch services only.  That does not include stands and power washing, which can be obtained through Coast to Coast Yacht Services  (http://nf-boatrepair.tripod.com ).  There is a manual mast crane for smaller boats.  If you want to unstep masts, you must arrange this through Central Ready Mix(709-535-6689).  They may show up at the agreed upon time and the operator likely has never seen a sailboat before.  Two hour minimum charge ($248.60 in 2012).  Peter Watkins provided us we advice and help with the crane operator.  There are no diesel mechanics that are willing to work on a boat.  At the Yacht Club, Laundry is $2.75/load and Dryer is $1.25/load and usually dries fairly well.  There is a nominal charge for using the BBQs at the club house.

Ashore:  In addition to the chandlery, there is a Home Hardware, a bulk food and a drug store close to the marina.  All the other stores are a long walk (4 km) except for the Save Easy grocery store and the Esso Station/Liquor Express, which are 2 km from the marina.  An excellent hunting and fishing supply store (Blue Ridge www.blueridgeinc.ca ) is about 5 km from the marina.  A Canadian Tire Store located close to the Foodland and Coop grocery stores (4 km from marina).  There are only 2 restaurants:  The Brittany Inn (also a motel) and Chinese, both about 4 km from the marina.  There are some convenience stores and a couple of fast food outlets as well. 

Advice:  If you are not from Lewisporte you are from away, and some of the residents and staff will want you to stay away. 


Name of Harbour:   South Samson Island P. 173


Anchoring / Docking:  Alternative Anchorage:  Intricate Harbour.  49⁰ 29.82’N 054⁰ 51.67’W  Anchored in 27 feet in soft mud.  Two cottages under construction and one Kayak Centre in the bay. 


Name of Harbour: Moreton’s Harbour p 169

Anchoring / Docking:  The marina is closed.  We anchored in soft mud with kelp in 30 feet of water at 49 34.39’N 54 51.47’W.  


Name of Harbour:  Twillingate p 167

Anchoring / Docking:  There was no floating dock at any of the fishing wharfs in June 2012, and no evidence that one would be put out later in the season.  The fish plant workers did not have any knowledge of a floating dock.  The harbour supervisor and mayor, Gord Noseworthy, was helpful and had us tie to one of the fishing wharfs; all except the wharf next to the plant are in good condition with good depths.  $13.50 / night with electrical hook up for 42 foot boat.  Laundry:  $1.50/ load  Dryer:  $1.50/ load.  Showers, no charge. 


Name of Harbour:  Seldom Harbour p 162

Anchoring / Docking:  In 2012 the Fisherman’s Union Wharf / Museum did not open until June 25.  However we were allowed to tie up at the wharf.  The electric power (15 amp service) and WIFI were available.  Water is available.  Although Seldom Come By is not on the boil water advisory, locals said the water should be boiled.  Showers and laundry were not available until they opened. 

Ashore:   Building supply close by, but convenience store for groceries is about a 2 km walk, and a larger convenience store and post office are about a 5 km walk. 


Name of Harbour:   Greenspond & Valleyfield, p 156

Anchoring / Docking:  Alternative Anchorage 2)  Puddingbag Cove.  Excellent holding in 20 feet of mud.  Waited out 3 days of fog.


Name of Harbour:   Bonavista p 142

Anchoring / Docking: South end of the floating dock is reserved for visiting boats.  $23.32/ night for 42 foot boat with electrical hook up.  6th and 7th nights free.  Free WIFI at the Harbour Office.  Shower:  $4.  Laundry:  $1.25, Dryer:  $1.25 (but may require an additional cycle).  Fresh water available at the dockside, but the local residents do not drink the tap water in Bonavista, even though not on the boil water advisory.


Name of Harbour:   Catalina p 140  Port Union

Anchoring / Docking:  Anchored in 25 feet of mud with lots of kelp, but held well.

Ashore:  There appeared to be two substantial wharfs and plants that were idle.  No large fishing boats were in the harbour.  We were here overnight on Canada Day, which may explain the lack of activity.  No Fireworks.  The city seems in decline.


Name of Harbour:   St. John’s p 121.

Anchoring / Docking:  None of the wharfs are now available for visiting boats.  There are two floating docks at Harbourside Park, with no electricity, no water, no WIFI.  They can accommodate 45-foot vessels.  There is a significant swell coming in the narrows even in calm conditions.  In windy conditions (any direction), the motion at the dock and chafe on dock lines is significant.  The wooden rails on the dock used for securing lines are badly chewed.  Boats over 50 feet raft off an out-of-service schooner tour boat on Wharf 6.  200 feet are occupied by a derelict Russian cruise ship with a noticeable list.  Hibernia Oil Field supply ships are active, often rafting two deep just north of the floating docks.    The water faucets on the wharf clearly state the water is not for drinking.  Public toilets are a good distance from the floating docks, and there are no showers available except in hotel rooms.  The floating docks are a favourite hangout for local youth and tourists who often come out on the floating docks and stay a while. 

As Canadians, we are embarrassed that the capital city of one of Canada’s “have” provinces has such poor facilities for visiting boats, especially with the major emphasis (and dollars spent) on tourism advertising.   


Name of Harbour:   Bay Bulls & Witless Bay Ecological Reserve3 p. 119

Anchoring / Docking:  We anchored in Witless Bay in 20 feet, sand and weed bottom.  CQR anchor would not hold, but the Danforth held very well.  However, the swell made lying at anchor very uncomfortable.  The sail through the 4 islands (Great, Green, Gull and PeePee) was worthwhile.  


Name of Harbour:   Fermeuse p. 115

Anchoring / Docking:  Tried anchoring beside the Marine Service Centre, but the CQR was totally fouled with kelp.  Anchor RIGHT ON the anchor symbol for good holding in mud with kelp (less) in 20 feet.  The floating docks behind Sheep’s Head had limited space, but no power or water.  Water is available at the fish plant in Lumley cove, but space is tight and manoeuvring difficult.  Fishing boats do land and unload at the plant (in 2012) and the water is potable. 


Name of Harbour:   St. Bride’s p. 109

Anchoring / Docking:  We were allowed to stay at the loading dock overnight, but if staying longer, would have been required to raft against a fishing boat.  The harbour is tiny and manouvering for a 42-foot boat without a thruster in strong winds would have been dangerous for the fishing boats, the harbour and for us. 


Name of Harbour:   St. Lawrence & Little St. Lawrence p. 86

Anchoring / Docking:  Anchored in Little St. Lawrence in mud.  No swell.  Very comfortable.  4 Loons


Name of Harbour:   Fortune p. 78

Anchoring / Docking:  The two new long finger docks (west side) have 15 amp service, but no water.  The toilets / shower / laundry was locked and the harbour supervisor was not in his office or available at either telephone number provided at the office.  One sailboat from St. Pierre ignored the inner red navigation aid and grounded. 


Name of Harbour:   Jerseyman’s Harbour p. 65

Anchoring / Docking:  Good holding in 25 feet, mud and kelp bottom, between sand spit and wreck.  One occupied cabin and one under construction in 2012


Name of Harbour:   Facheux Bay, Brent’s Cove.  P. 47

Anchoring / Docking:  20 feet, mud and kelp, but good holding even in 18 knot gusts. 

Ashore:  The lodge still has furniture and equipment, but is not in good condition.  The boardwalk from the wharf to the lodge is quickly being swallowed up by vegetation.  There was no evidence of trails leading away from the lodge. 


Name of Harbour:   La Hune, Deadman’s Cove p 34.


Anchoring / Docking:  anchored in 30 feet with CQR and Danforth anchors and held our own in gusts up to 30 knots from the east.  Wind outside was forecast to be south at 20-25.  Fog and heavy rain.