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Opening ShotJohn Armstrong thought this was one of the prettiest places he had ever seen.

With John Armstrong, Robin Ball and temporarily missing Andy Adams and Greg Nicoll. Photos by John Armstrong

It was with great trepidation that Galley Guys Robin and John left Greg and Andy behind to embark on a mission to explore Newfoundland’s historic sites, cod fishing techniques, and culinary culture.

FishermanFishermen on the docks preparing the fresh caught cod.

 

 

We arrived in St John’s in the late afternoon of Day One, checked into the hotel, and then headed down to Water and George streets to absorb the culture, some libation, and animated discussions with local Newfoundlanders, followed by a late dinner in a well-established St John’s restaurant, Blue on Water.

Twillingate Houses

 

 

 

 

 

Some of the lovely Twillingate houses.

Day Two was busy with sightseeing to Signal Hill, a number of historic churches, and a whale watching and puffin tour. We finished the day with a classic Newfoundland meal comprised of baked cod, cod patties, cod tongues, and some local craft beer.

We departed early the next morning for a four-hour drive to Twillingate where we experienced some of the most beautiful scenery one could ask for. We were at the Twillingate Light House looking down at the icebergs and had a breathtaking view of the treacherous coastline.

Ladies at the Restaurant

 

Eileen Sansone and the ladies at the restaurant.

Midway through the afternoon we discovered a small wharf down on the water where we watched two fishermen filleting their catch of cod and of course, removing the cod tongues, which are a delicacy. It was a picture of accuracy to see them at work.

We departed Twillingate later in the day for Lewisporte, but having been told one of the most famous Newfoundland lobster restaurants was on the way, we decided to stop and sample the fare.

The restaurant is called ‘Doyle W.Sansome& Sons Ltd. Dockside Seafood Restaurant.’ It is located in Hillsdale a short drive from Twillingate. This is a ‘cash only’ establishment, so don’t get caught without some or you will be out fishing for your dinner!

Eileen Sansome, the General Manager and co-owner, greeted us; the greeting was a typical Newfoundland hello - a huge hug and big kiss.

Eileen’s restaurant has a fascinating history that dates back to 1999, when a salt-water lobster pool/tank was built to accommodate the lobsters caught by local fisherman. In essence, the lobsters go from the trap, to the tank, to boiling water, to your plate.

We started with crab spring rolls accompanied by sweet chilli cream sauce. Robin had fish chowder followed by fish and chips and I worked my way through a 1 ½ pound lobster, all tastefully served and delicious to the palate.

LobsterAppetizing lobster on the plate.

Eileen tells the story of a 17-pound lobster that arrived at her facility. Rather than serving it, they kept it in the tank and had an auction for it with the proceeds going to the St John’s Sick Children’s Hospital. Considerable funds were raised and Harry the lobster was returned to the sea.

The restaurant is open from the first week in May until the first week of October. You may get more information on the facility by going to the following website www.sansomeslobsterpool.com.

After dinner we spent the night at Lewisporte and departed the next day for Trinity, arriving around noon. For those who have never been there, I would implore you to make the trip. I have travelled most of the world and this is the prettiest town/village I have ever encountered. During the winter months it has a population of 37; during the summer months that balloons to3,000. It is dotted with very quaint B&Bs, but also guesthouses that serve scrumptious meals.

St. John's HarbourView of St. John's harbour.

While there, we took a coastal cruise on an open 27-foot skiff powered by twin Yamaha outboards. We were hosted by Bruce Miller from Rugged Beauty Boat Tours. Bruce, an avid Newfoundland historian, fisherman, and storyteller, had a wealth of knowledge that he passed on to us describing the life and heritage of the people in the outports in the 1800s and 1900s, and the ultimate resettlement of the residents and the abandonment of the rugged, but scenic,outports. If you are ever there, I would suggest you take the tour as this might be the best three hours of sightseeing, cultural education, and entertainment of your entire trip. For more information visit the following website www.ruggedbeautyboattours.net.

Robin and John ToastRobin and John toast with QuidiVidi Honey Brown celebrating their trip.

We spent two days in Trinity then headed back to St John’s for more sightseeing and another great Newfoundland dinner. We left the next morning for Toronto having learned a lot and gained much respect for all Newfoundlanders and their way of life.

 

 

 

 

 


Robin and Lobster

Robin picks out two big ones!

 

Once again, the Galley Guys have been able to share their experiences with our readers in both print and digital platforms - we look forward to sharing future episodes!

John & Robin. (Greg and Andy in absentia)