Roz reports on ‘bergy bits’ off the coast of St John’s

Here is something I’ve never had to contend with before – bergy bits. They might sound cute, but these mini-icebergs, calved from larger icebergs further north, are causing no small amount of consternation in the OAR camp.

The last few years have been relatively ice-free in Newfoundland, but this year is making up for lost time. Ice has been reported as far south as 44 degrees north, adding an extra hazard to the Grand Banks, which already included messy wave patterns and persistent fog.

Not for the first time, I am ruing the fact that rowers face backwards. This is going to make it hard to spot ice hazards ahead. Fishing boats going out at this time of year keep a spotter on watch at all times to avoid collision with bergy bits. We won’t have that option. We have been putting the word out locally, and are searching for a vessel willing to escort us for the first 150-200 miles of our voyage.

A bergy bit - small by local standards - lurks in Quidi Vidi Cove

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