Fortune Bay, South Coast

Getting There

They put the good things a long way away.

My odometer verifies that it's 1300+ miles from home, not counting the ferry. You can do the trip from Boston to the ferry in one long day, especially if you have 2 drivers. For me driving alone, I thought it better to split it over 2 days. Audio books make it better than bearable.

The ferries are large and modern. They leave several times a day, and there's an overnight one which is what I took this time. They tell you it's prohibited to sleep on the floor, but people do it, and I did it. But there are berths for rent if you prefer. The ferry takes 6 hours or so. In my 3 trips there and back, it's on schedule about half the time.


The reason it takes so long to get to the south coast is that there are few options, and none of them direct. The coast is mostly accessible by ferry, there being only 2 roads coming from the TCH (trans-Canada highway): one to Burgeo, and one to Harbour Breton. So you have to go all the way to the north coast, across the country, and then back all the way south again. The only other option is to take the ferry from North Sydney to Argentia (16 hours, goes several times a week) over on the Burin Peninsula, drive to Bay L'Argent, then take the ferry from there to Pool's Cove. So, I drove it. Really, it wasn't that bad, except for that road down the center of the province. It's in very rough shape in places, and there's no anything but wilderness all around. Not a single building. It's kinda cool how quiet and empty of human influence it is.

bad road

This is the good road. Oh, and don't drive it after dark. Lots of moose around.

interior bog

At first it all looks like this: vast barrens and bogs with scrubby brush.  Sometimes there's dense pine, maybe a river here and there.


At least they warn you. This goes on for 2 hours or so. It turns to gravel for about 5 or 10 miles. The gravel road is actually better than the paved. Somewhere in there, suddenly there's a sign welcoming you to the Coast of Bays. It's another hour before there's the slightest sign of a bay anywhere around.... Kind of like putting a sign in Worcester: "Welcome to Boston Harbor".

granite barrens

Finally, the landscape begins to change into granite barrens in great mounds all around. This, for me, is really really beautiful. I got all excited and wanted to get out and hike them, or at least take photos at every turn. But, it was getting late and I needed to get on the water and to camp before dark. Round about 3 pm I got to Pool's Cove, and the kayaking trip began.

Day 1