Sunday, October 7, 2007

Bay Bulls

Bread and Cheese Point

Pulpit Rock within Useless Bay

heading in around the sea stack Pulpit Rock

The Flats

Grass Cove

Bay Bulls is just a 30-40 minute drive from St.John's. Paddling here is an opportunity for a quick workout and a good opportuntity to see some nice coastal features.
There is a public wharf beside O'Brien Whale Tours.
Across the bay there is small beach where you could launch or at least land for a break if needed. This is home to the Gatherall's Tour group.
The north shore was where we wanted to go for some pictures, particularly of the Pulpit. The east coast trail meanders from the end of the paved road just past Bread and Cheese B&B, named for Bread and Cheese Cove - to the light house and beyond to the Spout.
The area here is quite well known as an early settlement dating back to the late 1700s. Useless Bay is the interesting and fairly accurate name given to a stretch of coast in this area. It seems this name was given out of a sense of frustration; apparently for the inhospitable natural design of the shore for the building of stages and wharfs. There are many descriptions of the area since small settlements were located between the lighthouse and the main community. It is worthwhile reading some of these as you paddle along or hike the equivalent on shore.
While hugging the shore it is sometimes difficult to paddle due to the sea state - a combination of swell, wind and wave action it gives a good glimpse of the landscape and an appreciation of how and what fishermen must have coped with years ago.
In the off season or when you can't get out in a kayak the Spout hike is worth the 6 -7 hours it takes. In 1794 it was described as one of the most singular natural curiositys in Newfoundland. Thanks to the work and preservation efforts of the East Coast Trail association it remains an amazing site.

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