The Atlantic Endeavour

Parson's Pond, Northern Peninsula, Newfoundland (Map)

Winter 2013-14


Two fishermen were pushing the Atlantic Endeavour south along the western shore of Newfoundland on November 30th, 2011. As they neared Parson's Pond, the lack of navigational lights challenged their knowledge of the area. The men had been through here before, but that was back when there were navigational lights to help them. Now at 8pm on the very last day in November, only the wharf light flashed, as the other buoys and seasonal markers had been removed for the upcoming winter season.

While common photographs of the Northern Peninsula might lead one to believe it is all dramatic mountains and steep coastlines, this first portion of the peninsula after Gros Morne features outward shoals, tide-submerged islands and rocky islets.

It was one of these shoals that the fishermen first hit near Parson's Pond around 8 o'clock. Fortunately, they were able to free themselves from the scraping and danger of that first hazard, but after continuing along they would hit a second shoal, one from which they were unable to push forward over, or from which they could reverse away.

It was here that they would not necessarily break deep, but the Atlantic Endeavour would start to take water. With all of their electronics malfunctioning, they were thankfully close enough to shore to use a cell phone and call in the Coast Guard. As they waited for helicopter rescue to be dispatched from 250km away, the two men boarded their lifeboat just to be safe, comforted by the fact of how close they were to shore.

The helicopter would arrive from Gander near midnight, air lifting the men away from their Atlantic Endeavour.

The 13 foot waves and 40 knot winds would continue to batter the vessel, eventually pushing it on to this stretch of rocky beach between Parson's Pond and Cow Head. Over the next few days, the boat's owner worked to scrap out all of the electronics, oil & engine parts, diligently working in early December because he knew the weather would only get worse. The scrapping effort was to the extent that he had a backhoe, the Coast Guard was there with oil-capturing sorbent pads and friends were present lending a hand.

The owner would eventually have to pay the Coast Guard for their troubles, but after that money was transferred, the case of the Atlantic Endeavour was closed.

I'd never seen the inside or simply been aboard one of these boats before, even in light of their abundance throughout Newfoundland. So even in the Atlantic Endeavour's frail state, I pushed the limits atop sloping boards and cracked fibreglass.

The above picture would be the bridge of the ship, stripped of every last morsel of electronics.

Peculiarly, there was also French graffiti all over the boat. The Viking Highway (Highway 430) is a popular tourist route, so some Frenchmen must've decided they needed to leave their mark.

'Un Captain Sa Poud' returns nothing meaningful when entered into Google Translate.

I've since driven up the coast two more times during the past summer, failing to spot the Atlantic Endeavour on either of those trips. I haven't taken the time to actually get out and look down the beach, but as a passenger on the right-hand side of a truck, I've really strained my neck to look for the boat & it doesn't seem to be there anymore.

It must've been cleaned up, as quite the storm would be needed to either rock the Atlantic Endeavour off of these rocks or push it further up along the coast.

I suppose I need another open day in February to be able to stop and walk down this icy beach in exploration.


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1 - Fisherman Lauds Gulf of St. Lawrence Rescuers - CBCNL
2 - Fisherman Lucky To Be Alive After Ship Runs Aground - The Western Star

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