It seems like everyone and their dog has been to Ferryland recently to see the massive iceberg that’s making international headlines.
©Louis Power/The Telegram
FERRYLAND, N.L. — Since it floated south into shallow water off the coast of Ferryland, the towering iceberg that had everyone clamouring for selfies last weekend has made its way around the world.
Media outlets across the globe seem to be fascinated with the gigantic berg, said to measure more than 150 feet tall.
“Iceberg in Canada taller than one that sank Titanic draws tourists to Newfoundland town,” reads a headline in the U.K.’s Telegraph.
“Incredible images! Iceberg monster moored outside a small village!” reads a headline translated from Greek.
In Korea: “Do you want to go to Newfoundland to take pictures of the iceberg?”
Over the past few days, photos of the now-famous Ferryland iceberg have popped up on news sites such as Time, CNN, the New York Times and the BBC, as well as sites in Italy, Russia, India, Germany, Japan, El Salvador and New Zealand. Some have called it “Newfoundland’s new tourist attraction.”
Locals and regulars to the province know the berg is magnificent, but hardly part of a new attraction — these glacial masses are more than 10,000 years old, according to “Icebergs of Newfoundland and Labrador” author Stephen Bruneau, and up to 800 of them can make their way down to St. John’s from western Greenland every spring.
“The chances of seeing icebergs in a particular area depend on the number of bergs, wind direction, oceans current and temperatures, and the amount of sea ice, or pack ice,” Bruneau writes on the province’s Icebergfinder.com website, which currently shows close to 40 icebergs in a range of sizes mapped between southern Labrador and the southern portion of the Avalon Peninsula. Pack ice — of which there’s been plenty this year — protects the icebergs from being beaten by the waves and allows them to last longer, Bruneau states.
Contrary to what international media might believe, not all those who headed to Ferryland last weekend to see the iceberg were come-from-aways; there were plenty of tourists from just out over the Southern Shore highway.
“There’s a lot of ice around the coast this year and I don’t need to go far from home to see it, but this is the biggest iceberg I’ve ever seen,” said one man from Torbay who took his family, dog and camera for a sunny Easter Sunday drive to take in the berg. It was also the biggest line of traffic he had ever seen on the Southern Shore, since hundreds of others had the same idea.
Ferryland Mayor Adrian Kavanagh — who’s had his quotes translated into everything from Swahili to Italian this week — says his town has seen a steady stream of visitors since the iceberg moved in, even when the weather hasn’t been that great.
He’s delighted with the international attention on his community.
“It has sort of opened it up to people who didn’t know much about Newfoundland and what happens here this time of year, and they’re amazed by it, all this ice,” he said. “It’s great for visitors.”
It could be the start of a busy summer for Ferryland, especially if the worldwide media coverage translates into curious international tourists: apart from the regular breathtaking views on the Southern Shore, there appear to be more icebergs already visible on the horizon.
“The (current) iceberg has moved quite a bit, though you can still get a good picture of it, but another smaller one is after moving in,” Kavanagh says. “If you had a real good camera, you’d be able to see there are a couple more coming just behind it.”