Birthday Weekend, Part 1: A Fish Plant

Port aux Basques, Isle aux Morts & Diamond Cove, NL (Map)

Autumn 2012.


With snow on the ground & chilly air afoot, I knew I would only fully enjoy my birthday if I went south.

I consumed plenty of bourbon on Thursday night, accompanied by the people who were quickly becoming great friends over the past few months of life in Corner Brook. This would leave me foggy & tired come Friday morning, but I had to cover that 220km before my noon ferry left for the mainland.

Hilariously, after rushing & stressing because I was going to be late for my ferry, I arrived to find out that it was delayed for 10 hours at the very least. Well, a day in Port aux Basques beats a day in a cubicle - but this was still going to be a long day. I went into the ferry terminal bathroom & shaved, then sat myself down in the tv lounge to read and watch whatever was playing. The nearby truck drivers were loudly complaining about how Marine Atlantic makes up delays to combine winter sailings where they're not happy with the number of reservations per boat.

Even though I was amused with the trucker conversation, eventually a child's movie would come on & I needed to get out of there. What do to in wintry Port aux Basques?

After stopping at the wharf in Isle aux Morts to take some pictures, I continued east on NL-470.

I had known about the fish plant outside Rose Blanche for years now. It was always on the to-do list, but never that high in priority.

If I was going to be stuck in Port aux Basques for the day, why not make the best of it? I can hardly think of something I enjoy more than abandoned buildings on my birthday, so yeah, let's go!

It was a wintry, frigid day with a howling wind that made me happy to get inside the building.

Their fish plant is actually on the cove before Rose Blanche, so there was no activity to worry about at all; it was a simple case of parking and withstanding the weather conditions.

There was maybe 10 rooms to the entire place, and while some of them were larger, it was definitely a case of having all the time in the world & being able to mosey about.

The La Poile ferry would come to the wharf outside this building sometime today, but that wasn't for hours.

If you're wondering about history, this plant is just like the other one I went to with Kristen in Isle aux Morts - it closed sometime after the cod moratorium in 1992 and the same owner has been letting this one sit and krausen as well.

I left the interior of the building and couldn't help but climb the oil tanks I noticed when I came to La Poile eighteen months ago. This shouldn't indicate that it wasn't that cold because I did this. I scurried up to the top and sat there to give my cold hands a much needed rest.

The sun would come out and cast a pleasing sliver of afternoon light.

I returned to Port aux Basques and claimed my free birthday meal at the Pizza Delight. The 20-something girl was a bit confused when she id'ed me to certify my free meal, but overall, she gave me less of an awkward time than I imagined.

Eventually I ran out of options and returned to the ferry terminal. I was a bit sour even though I had a good day.

We would surprisingly leave around 11 and although we wouldn't cross the NF-NS line before midnight, it felt good to get going towards the mainland.

The conditions were settling down & I was looking forward to North Sydney.

Onward to Part 2!


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