Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Icebergs Galore

One of the things we were really looking forward to was seeing in Newfoundland was icebergs.  Well, did we see icebergs!  They came in all shapes and sizes and just filled our iceberg bucket.  

A couple of times we heard a loud thunderous sound and then an iceberg would break apart right in front of your eyes.  I just happened to have my camera pointed at the one above so captured it (although the quality wasn't the best because I didn't have time to change lenses to my telephoto) and made my very first GIF to show the iceberg breaking apart.

I learned a lot about icebergs while I was there.  The icebergs that float past Newfoundland formed 10,000 years ago in glaciers in Greenland.  They take several years to make the journey from Greenland to Newfoundland before breaking apart.   The little pieces of ice that break off from the main iceberg are called bergy bits or growlers depending on their size (bergy bits being smaller).

This was another iceberg that broke apart while we were there and you can see all the growlers floating away from it.  They actually pop and snap like a bowl of Rice Krispies which is the sound of air being released from the ice as they melt.

Naturally I pulled some of the ice out of the water and tasted it.  It is supposedly some of the purest water in the world and is used for making beer and alcohol.

We saw lots of icebergs from the shore, but wanted to get up close and personal with some too (well in a safe and careful manner that is) so we took a trip with Northland Discovery Boat Tours from St. Anthony and loved it.  We saw several whales and were taken out to see two icebergs - one so enormous that even the crew were impressed and were taking photos.  It was approximately 200 feet high and 300 feet long.

And the other one was a lovely curved striated one.

They also pulled a piece of ice out of the water so everyone could taste some iceberg water.

And the photo below was taken by the staff on the boat tour - that's me in the grey hoodie and my mother in the red polar fleece.  They put the photo on their Facebook page and tweeted it on Iceberg finder - which is a mighty thrill given that I stalked that website daily for two months before going to Newfoundland to see what was happening with the icebergs.  You can see a screenshot below of the website with the tweeted photo on the left-hand side.  I feel famous!

Icebergs are quite difficult to photograph because when they are in the sun the light bleaches out the details.  So, although I loved seeing the turquoise blues and gleaming whites when the sun was shining, 

I also loved the soft details you could see when the sun was low in the sky or the sky was cloudy.

Are icebergs on your bucket list?  Have you ever seen one?  This was definitely a thrill for us.


  1. Grace ... what a wonderful trip. Everyone I know that has gone to Nfld has absolutly loved it.
    Love your iceberg photos.

  2. That is fabulous. We are moving to PEI in the near future and maybe will get a chance to get to Newfoundland from there.

  3. Definitely on my bucket list!!! Fabulous pictures - what a trip of a lifetime you had!!!! Awesome!!!!!!