Nfld. & Labrador

'Spectacular' icebergs on the Northern Peninsula

The Northern Peninsula is seeing above average numbers this year during iceberg season.

Some of the longest icebergs they've seen, says local naturalist

One of the longest icebergs Paul Alcock has seen pass by the Northern Peninsula, at about 700 feet long and 70 feet high. A boat to the right of the berg showcases its magnitude. (Paul Alcock/Northland Discovery)

Newfoundland and Labrador's northeast tip is seeing a lot of iceberg action this year.

While the past few years have been good for iceberg viewing — on average there are eight to 12 bergs in sight during this time of year — this year there are more than 20 within 10 miles, according to Paul Alcock, head interpreter and local naturalist at Northland Discovery. 

"They're quite spectacular icebergs," Alcock told CBC Radio's The Corner Brook Morning Show, noting that some of the bergs stand 120-150 feet tall and 300 feet wide.

One tabular, or flat, iceberg in particular is 70 feet high and about 700 feet long. Alcock said it's one of the longest he's seen pass through the area.

Paul Alcock is Northland Discovery's head interpreter and local naturalist. (Paul Alcock/Northland Discovery)

"And with tabular icebergs often you see waterfalls pouring over the edges," he said.

Tabular icebergs are flat on the top and have a gentle slope, he explained. They form little rivers which begin to melt and form waterfalls.

"It's just a beautiful scene as you steam around the iceberg and see those waterfalls just pouring off the iceberg. It's quite amazing."

By land is nothing compared to by water

While seeing icebergs from land can be an impressive sight, Alcock says it's nothing compared to getting up close and personal.

"When you get out by boat you can not only see the waterfalls and the deep, blue lines, you can hear the waves pounding against the ice, you hear the pops and cracks going through the ice," he said.

"It's an entirely different experience altogether," he said.

Alcock used an analogy to help convey his point.

"If you watch your favourite NHL hockey team in the playoffs, you're excited [when] you watch it on TV. But if you're there live in person [the excitement] is 10-fold."

One of the 20 plus icebergs Paul Alcock says is currently off the coast of the north east tip of the island. (Paul Alcock/Northland Discovery)

With files from the Corner Brook Morning Show