One of the most beautiful spots in Newfoundland is Bay of Islands and Cox’s Cove.
We met Darren Park, who runs Four Seasons Tours, for a spin around the bay in his traditional dory. Darren knows his home cove like the back of his hand and immediately took us to a nesting sight with two baby eagles. Two adult birds were standing guard and watching the water.
Then Darren gave us a show. He tossed a fish out for the birds, but before they could swoop down a seagull snatched it. The chase was on!
Mama eagle was not about to allow some gull to steal her baby’s food, so she honed in on the gull like a fighter jet. After a brief attempt to escape, the gull made the smart choice of dropping the fish. Mama picked it up and flew right over us to the nest.
From there we made our way to a few of Darren’s favorite fishing spots to try our hand at jigging a cod.
He made it look simple, just drop the line all the way to the bottom, (nearly three hundred feet!) then reel it up a couple turns and give it a few good tugs. Next thing we knew he had a big ole cod on the line.
WATCH: Eagles, cod jigging, wild land-and-seascapes and a visit to Darren’s fish cabin – all in a traditional Newfoundland dory!
Needless to say, it took us a bit longer to hook one, but we did get the hang of it and before long everyone had caught a good sized fish. We had heard about kissing the cod, and for some reason Veronica thought it was a great idea, so we puckered up and smooched our catches right on the lips. Later we learned that cod kissing is part of an induction ceremony for honorary Newfoundlanders. Well, this way we were ready for it when the time came.
After our lip smacking with the fish we were surprised by the salty taste left behind. We had to keep reminding ourselves that this was the ocean, because the bay looked for all the world like a freshwater lake up in the North Woods. At least until we started seeing jellyfish.
Once we were all successful cod fishermen it was time for a little sustenance, shellfish boiled in sea water.
We beached the boat right in front of Darren’s fishing cabin and he grabbed a bucket of mussels and scooped some water from the bay into it.
The mussels came from right there. At low tide he just walks along the shore and picks them up.
With some fresh snow crab tossed in, and a few minutes on the stove, we were ready for a feast.
In Cox’s Cove we learned about the real Newfoundland. From people like Darren, who has lived there all of his life.
Beautiful scenery, unbelievable fresh seafood, gorgeous water, and most of all, fantastic people.
We felt like we met a new best friend every day.
David & Veronica, GypsyNester.com