Blown Away at the Eastern Edge, Cape Spear

This morning Josephine had to be at work for 7 and, since Son #2 had to be at Uni for 1 and Daughter had dance at 3 I drove her in. After dropping her off a glance at the coffee in the holder reminded me that hot coffee always tastes better outdoors. Where better than Signal Hill for an early morning coffee?


The long climb up the hill yielded a beautiful view of Cape Spear, the most easterly point of North America. It’s the point of land top left in the photo.

Quite a drop down to the water, isn’t it? For the record it’s approximately 160 metres. The wind is moderate–around 50 km/hr. But look way out there by Cape Spear–there’s a bit of a surf on, isn’t there? Even though it’s a little more than 6 km away it’s still clearly visible.

It’s worth a look, isn’t it?


It’s a 15-20 minute drive from Signal Hill to Cape Spear. Though a bit spear-like when viewed from St. John’s, that’s not the source of the name. The French called this place “Cap d’Espoir” which means “Cape of Hope.” They, in turn, borrowed it from the Portuguese, who, along with the Basque, had long ploughed our waters in search of the valuable cod and whales. They had called it “Cabo da Esperança” which means the same thing.

This is a national historic site owing to the presence of the old lighthouse you can see at the right in the photo. This was the second lighthouse built in the province and was started in 1834. The first, by the way, is located in Fort Amherst, St. John’s (hmmm…worth a visit tomorrow or the next day!).

The wind! When I left home in Mount Pearl the wind was light. At Signal Hill it was moderate, but here, as usual it’s pretty much a full-on gale.

Just before you get to Cape Spear you’ll pass the tiny fishing village of Blackhead. It’s tucked in somewhat out of the wind but there’s still a bit of a swell on.

If you look closely you’ll see a few seagulls in the water. They don’t seem to mind the rough conditions.

Out in Cape Spear you’re fully exposed to the Atlantic. It’s never calm here and today does not disappoint.

Moving a little further along the coast the wind becomes even more savage. You have to crouch to steady yourself against it.

Only a fool would venture close to the water’s edge here. Rogue waves come by every few minutes. The wind was blowing so hard that the stocking cap (toque) I was wearing had to come off else the wind would have blown it off my head!  If you’ve ever worn one you know that’s saying something.

Back in the car, glasses had to come off as they were covered in salt. Camera lens too. Van–from grey to white with salt!

She’s blowing a gale out here. Back at Mount Pearl–almost calm.


About Maurice A. Barry

Coordinator: Teaching and Learning Commons, Faculty of Education, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Parent & Husband. eLearning consultant/coordinator. Program Development Specialist - eLearning (Department of Education; Retired). Writer: over 40 Math/Physics texts/webs. Developer & Manager of web content. Geek. Not into awards but loves comments.
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17 Responses to Blown Away at the Eastern Edge, Cape Spear

  1. Mjollnir says:

    Looks a bit wild out there right enough. Still beautiful sunny weather here though. 😀

  2. bluonthemove says:

    Did you have snow too. Snowed today in London 😦

  3. momshieb says:

    Beautiful! Its warm (45 F) and calm here in central Massachusetts today. I’d give a lot to be able to smell that salt air, gale and all!

  4. Beautiful, beautiful country there … right up my alley. Quite jealous. I could almost smell and taste the salt spray from watching the videos. Thanks for posting there … absorbed and appreciated. D

  5. Mary says:

    Great videos – hope the weather calms down for Easter!

  6. Tracy says:

    This is beautiful. It shows the exquisite power and wonder of nature, something that we humans will never control. I love the sea, the sound of breaking waves, the smell of the salty water, the coldness of the spray. It reminds me that no matter what goes on, nature is an inspiration. Thank you for a lovely post.

    • You’re welcome! I took a few ‘calmer’ ones today down at Quidi Vidi Gut and will post them later on today if there’s time. I noticed the waves still breaking over at Fort Amherst, though and may make a spin over there before the day ends…just to capture the waves. Hope the Easter Bunny was good to you :>)

  7. Awesome pics, enjoyed learning about where you live, thanks for sharing. Loved the photos

    • Hi there, yes, and, by the way, we close to being antipodal opposites (I am almost opposite Brisbane)…
      Why am I saying this? Turns out that an astonishing number of people who visit my blog are from Aus. I’m guessing it’s the commonalities between Aus and NL:
      — former British Colony;
      –sparsely populated given the size of the area
      –most people huddle the coast
      –resource based economy
      –acceptance of ruralism
      –reliance on neighbors
      –acceptance of distance education (my ‘thing’)
      –love of Eric Bogle :>)
      By the way–these pieces are ‘fluffy’. Skip ahead to the last few to see what I’m really about.

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