Icebergs provide ups and downs for tour boats, tourists
The first day of summer is officially less than a week away. But that might take some convincing in communities along the Northern Peninsula and north coast of Newfoundland, where thick sea ice continues to clog harbours and idle boats used for business and pleasure.
The late iceberg season has proven to be a treat for tourists; less so for the tour boat industry and fishermen.
Paul Alcock, who runs Northland Discovery Boat Tours out of St. Anthony, admits it's been almost too much of a good thing.
"We've (usually) been able to start around the 20th or 25th of May, but this year it's only been the last three or four days we've been able to run regular tours," said Alcock, massive ice chunks bobbing in the harbour behind him.
He says it's the most severe ice conditions he's seen in almost 20 years, but added that safe paths for boats to navigate through have opened up in recent days.
"It's taken a little longer for the pack ice to go away," said Alcock. "The sea begins to have more movement and that helps erode away at the ice. So yeah, I'm thinking in the next few days most of this ice should be all gone."
I think it's just amazing. Nature is a wonderful thing.- Collista Parsons, North Sydney, N.S.
Still, the bergs and bergy bits sticking around continue to contribute to some extra-chilly temperatures from winds blowing on shore.
Nothing new for locals, but a brisk reminder for tourists of where all that ice came from.
Dan Green of Milton, Ont., admits to some initial trepidation about the sightseeing trip on Alcock's boat.
"My wife wanted to come, but I was kind of unsure ... but I'm glad I'm here. It's just great."
Collista Parsons of Nova Scotia brought her mom to the tip of the Northern Peninsula to celebrate her 80th birthday.
"I think it's just amazing," she said. "Nature is a wonderful thing."