We are on our way back up the highway 360 from the Coast of Bays travelling north to the cabin after spending 3 nights in our new house in the charming outport of Gaultois. Did we say ‘new house’?!… Yes indeedy!!! You may think we have lost our heads but our hearts are full. Our new Newfoundland (all seasons accessible) home, “Selkie House,” sits atop a rocky outcrop on Long Island overlooking the harbour of Gaultois and the fjord. The journey from cabin to house is 5 hours and covers terrain that changes from north coastal spruce and juniper forest to rocky barrens before descending through rolling hills to the fjords of the Bay ‘d’espair and Hermitage Bay.
This part of the world is fed by currents from the north east of USA and filled with many species of whales and seals. The 20 mins ferry ride from Hermitage to Gaultois is a joy to behold with views up the fjord to the north east and ocean doted with islands to the southwest. Gaultois doesn’t appear until you round the corner of the cove, and this community, first established by the French as a whaling station 400 years ago, now is home to 170 souls with its own council, post office, library, school, two churches and two shops.
Once again we have been very welcomed by the community and our first night was spent yarning and laughing with a gathering of women around a fire until 3am. We even had impromptu visit from three outlandish mummers- a Newfoundland tradition that is still alive and well in this outport community.
Whilst the house was in great shape after being shut up and vacant for 5 years, the air was still a little musty on that first night, so we took up Marcella’s gracious offer of showers and bed in her home.
We were last here 10 months ago, when we spent two nights, watching the light of the rising full moon dance across the water from our upstairs room at the delightful Gaultois Inn. We were enthralled, enchanted and seduced from the first moments….a cliché but true: it was love at first sight. So it was great to return this year and it is all even better than we remembered. This time we met the Inn keeper, Jane Pitfield, who in collaboration with the community, is restoring the historical buildings including the Customs House and Garland’s Store….here are some links with more:
After two days scrubbing and breathing fresh life into the house, we took the 7am ferry back across the Hermitage Bay to Hermitage on a bright sunny morning, accompanied by a pod of spouting potheads and a humpback whale. Are we making this sound like paradise??? Damn right.
And now we head back to our other idyll, the Blue Charm Inn, for weeks of creative retreat, fresh trout and salmon fishing , leaving only for a few days end of the month to attend weekend workshop on smoke and pit fired ceramics.
We will return to Selkie House for a few weeks in September before heading for our antipodean home in Australia in time for the Spring planting.