A Travellerspoint blog

September 2020

Battle Harbour & Red Bay

Double Island and Saddle Island Lighthouses

After our night in L’anse Amour, we awoke to a beautiful sunny day for a what would be a fantastic travel day. Our host served a great breakfast, and then we left early to make sure that we were on time for our boat ride. Our destination that day was the historic island community of Battle Harbour. To get there we would take a little ferry that runs once a day from Mary’s Harbour, about 2 hours up the coast, on a road that was mostly gravel.

If it was going to be sunny for only one day, this was the best day to have it. We passed by the town of Red Bay. Our plans were to spend time here on the way back but had no time for stopping on the way up. There was an iceberg in the distance. I decided to get a photograph. I got out of the car and lined up my shot. Then the blackflies began their attack. I quickly took a photo and fled back into the car. That was my first introduction to the dreaded black flies of Labrador.

I was enthralled by the rocky terrain which was much different than Newfoundland.

We arrived in plenty of time and checked in for our boat ride. It was not a big boat.


The ferry ride was a great part of the trip. I rode in the bow taking photographs until the captain signalled me to move, so I went into the cabin.
We passed icebergs. I loved the rocky terrain. We passed a small settlement which I assumed was seasonal.

Battle Harbour was once a bustling commercial centre, the base for Labrador’s cod and seal fisheries. With the decline in the cod industry and eventual closing of the cod fishery, all operations were ended. But the Battle Harbour Historic Trust has done wonders to restore many of the structures. We booked one night (it was not cheap) in a shared house that included our meals.


There were tours of the old fishing premises. We did a hike around the island. I could count about a dozen icebergs. The colours were amazing and really brought to my mind, “This is magical” as I tried to capture them.


A huge pod of humpbacks put on a show just before dark. The lighting was not great, but I did attempt to capture some of that. We had a passed a sailboat anchored in the harbour. Some of the crew jumped into a zodiac to get a closer look.
The lighthouse was across the water. I was hoping that we could book a boat trip and was disappointed that nothing was available.

Based on comments to the post, here is a short edit. There were no black flies in Battle Harbour.

We left the next day as the fog and drizzle returned. I took another photo of my favorite boat from the ferry.

It was a beautiful sunny day when we passed through Red Bay on the way up. It was much different on the way back. The number of sunken whaling ships has made it a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We spent a couple of hours in the museum. One of the other possible activities was to visit a beach full of whale bones. We passed on that. It was not a good day for walking on the beach.


There is a lighthouse there, the total opposite of Point Amour. The Saddle Island Lighthouse is a steel tower. The weather did not encourage me to attempt to get closer.

We passed the Pinware River. Labrador is known for its great salmon fishing. There was a narrow bridge. I parked our car and walked up on the bridge to get a better photograph. I took it and then had to run to get off the bridge as a large semi was barrelling down the road. I did not think that it would be good to share the bridge. I was engulfed by black flies when I got back to the car. Po did not want to open the door but eventually relented.

We ended the day back in Point Amour at our now familiar B&B. It seemed like we had been friends for years. We got to meet the daughter and son-in-law. He was going fishing, not the trout kind but big commercial North Atlantic fishing. We also learned a bit about Labrador politics. Newfoundlanders feel hard done by in Confederation with Canada, but Labradoreans feel hard done by Newfoundlanders. They take the resources, the minerals and hydroelectric, but spend little in Labrador.

We had a fellow guest this time, a man who was driving up through Labrador in a little car. We wondered how he was going to make out since we had heard bad things about the state of the road.

We had a 9 am ferry to catch the next morning. I was enjoying my coffee, so got away a little late. We arrived at the ferry at just after 8, the CBC news came on as I left the car to check in. I then found out that there was a strict rule about checking in an hour before departure. There were two lines, one for those with paid for reservations (like us) and those without. Our line closed, and we had to join the end of the non-reservation line. I nervously waited as three or four people bought their tickets. We were the last car to get on.


That day we ended up in Flowers Cove. That is included on a previous post.

Posted by Bob Brink 15:08 Archived in Canada Tagged lighthouses canada newfoundland labrador Comments (4)

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