Red Bay, Labrador ~ Day Six

Red Bay, Labrador~ Day Six

This fishing village is either named because of its history as a Basque whaling port that was established as early as 1530, and the water running red from whale’s blood, or due to the red granite cliffs.  It’s known as one of the most precious underwater archaeological sites in the Americas because several whaling ships sunk there.  This led to its designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2013.  The sheltered harbor was used during World War II as a mooring site for naval vessels.

The Beothuk, the original inhabitants, are believed to have arrived as early as AD 1, from Newfoundland. The last known full-blooded indigenous woman was Shanawdithit.  After seeking food and medical help from a British trapper, along with her mother and sister, she worked as a servant for several years for John Peyton, Jr.   Explorer, William Cormack, who founded the Beothuk Institute in 1827, brought her to his center to learn from her. She taught him vocabulary and tribal notions and myths, as well as sharing drawings that illustrated their implements, dwellings, and parts of the island.  She died from tuberculosis in 1829, when she was in her twenties.

An amazing amount of research was done here by Dr. Selma nee Huxley Barkham (cousin of Aldous Huxley).  Widowed at the age of thirty-seven with four children under the age of ten to raise, she eventually conducted remarkable research and documented Basque whaling stations.  I hope there will be a biography of her amazing life.  You can read a bit more here:

It was foggy and wet when our ship anchored at eight a.m. and the tenders shuttled people to shore a short time later.  The main attraction was the Visitor Center, with its sixteenth century chalupa-style whaling vessel.

Red Bay, Labrador

Due to the fog our captain soon suspended tendering ashore and the main goal was getting people back on board.

We enjoyed dinner in the dining room and met Marlis and Wayne from the University City area of San Diego by way of Chicago.  We are pretty familiar with the area where they live now, so we enjoyed a lively conversation about San Diego.   This was followed by a fantastic performance by Nestor Santurio.  He was one we’d enjoy seeing again!  Nestor Santurio

We were ready for a sea day and a chance to sleep in!

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