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Tropical Storm Isaac

Newfoundland - Oct. 2-4, 2006

Mark Robinson, Peter Rowe and I decided to catch a last minute flight to Newfoundland in order to chase Tropical Storm Isaac, which was expected to make landfall on the southern portion of the Avalon Peninsula. Well the flight was one of the more interesting ones I've been on. I knew that there was a possibility that the flight might be canceled due to the storm, especially since it was accelerating towards the Island. We made it up to the point where we were circling St. Johns, getting ready to land when we hear the pilot announce that conditions were too bad and that we were going to have to divert to Stevensville, on the other side of Newfoundland to re-fuel and then head back to Toronto...It seemed that this was going to be the end of the chase but when we finally took off from Stevensville, they announced that they were going to make another attempt to land in St. Johns. At least we had a second chance. The fog was so incredibly thick that I didn't see the ground until we were just above the treetops and over the runway but we made it. Upon landing, the passengers erupted in applause. At least we'd made it but now we were way behind schedule.
Unfortunately, darkness was beginning to set in and there was no way that we could make it to Cape Race in the southern portion of the island before nightfall so we drove out to Cape Spear which is the most easterly point in North America. This would put us out on a very exposed area to experience the storm. Unfortunately, Isaac took an unforecasted sharp turn to the right and the bulk of the storm didn't affect land. There were some impressive waves but the rain and wind were lacking.

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Rough seas at Cape Spear - Foggy lighthouse at Cape St. Mary's

 

The next day we headed to the southern Avalon Peninsula and ended up at Cape St. Mary's where there is an ecological preserve. We witnessed the most amazing cliffs that dropped over 1000 feet straight down into the sea, beautifully lit by the sun. This is where almost 40 thousand Gannet birds were roosting and we took the trail led right up to where they were. It was an incredible experience to be surrounded by so many birds in such a picturesque place.
Later that day we met up with one of the local cod fishermen whose wife filmed some incredible video of 60-foot waves crashing into St. Bride's Harbour during hurricane Gert. Into the evening, we drank rum at his house and watched the amazing storm video. The next day we returned to where the video was shot and filmed an interview with him.

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The view looking towards the near 40,000 Gannets, roosting on the cliff side with a steep drop to the sea.

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Incredibly beautiful Newfoundland coastline at "Bird Rock"

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Thousands of Gannets everywhere. - The harbour at St. Bride's that got thrashed by Hurricane Gert several years ago.