For generations, Bay de Verde has been a thriving fishing port, seeing off local longliners and processing seafood for market. This spring, though, the town of Bay de Verde was rocked to its core when the Quinlan Brothers' seafood processing plant burned to the ground. It was the lifeblood of the community, employing hundreds of people from the town and surrounding area (and even several temporary foreign workers from Thailand). While the company vows to rebuild and local residents keep the stiffest of upper lips, there is maybe more reason than ever for tourists and staycationers to check out all the really positive things the Bay de Verde area has to offer.
1. Iceberg and Whale Watching
Positioned near the northwest tip of the Avalon Peninsula, jutting out into the North Atlantic, Bay de Verde is a great place to get your whale- and iceberg-watching fix. Both migrate past in spring and summer and can be viewed from shore.
2. Historic Anglican Church
Bay de Verde is home to a number of historic buildings, including the Anglican church built mostly by volunteer parishioners in 1891. The Roman Catholic Church has been standing since 1897. Its unique design required the services of three master carpenters.
3. Bay de Verde Heritage Premises
Fishing-related replicas, a fish store and flake, a store loft, the Blundon House (built in 1896) and family cemetery are just some of the features of the Bay de Verde Heritage Premises. The property also contains the Baccalieu Island exhibit featuring several hundred artifacts that show how people used to live in the past.
The Heritage Premises is also the starting point of the 4-km Lazy Rock Hiking Trail to an amazing view of the ocean. Apparently this footpath served as the first road out of the community. In nearby Red Head Cove, there’s the newly developed Baccalieu View Walking Trail. It leads to an unparalleled view of Baccalieu Island, which used to be inhabited by families of lighthouse keepers.
5. Baccalieu Island Ecological Reserve
Just off the coast of the Bay de Verde Peninsula is the Baccalieu Island Ecological Reserve, the province’s largest seabird colony. The island can only be reached by boat and it’s closed off to visitors during some parts of the year for researchers. It’s a great place to train your binoculars and camera on seabirds like the Atlantic puffin and the Leach’s Storm Petrel.
6. Come Home Year
Bay de Verde is hosting its first Come Home Year
July 31-August 6, 2016. Jam-packed with activities, including a meet and greet, community breakfast, craft and bake sale, bingo night, movie night, garden party and an outdoor concert.
7. Good Eats
Anyone looking to grab a bite to eat while they’re on the go can check out the Gasland Restaurant in Old Perlican. Or try some trad-fusion fare at the Cajun Cod Café & Studio in Grates Cove, where they dish out NL-Cajun-Korean cuisine.
8. Places to Stay
There are several places to stay while visiting the Bay de Verde area, including the newly renovated Jimmy’s Place B&B (their deck has an awesome view of Bay de Verde and any passing icebergs). There are also Caboto Rock View B&B in Grates Cove and Hogan’s Cabins in Northern Bay.
9. Surfing - Yes, Surfing!
It may be a well-kept secret - unless you’re an avid local surfer - but when the seas are just right in the neighbouring communities of New Melbourne and Brownsdale, it makes for some righteous surfing.
10. Grates Cove Walls
From the 18th to the 20th century, the population marked their fields - everything from livestock and vegetable gardens to cemeteries - with rock walls. About 150 acres of land was broken up by these walls, which were recognized as a National Historic Site in 1995.