Iceberg porn proves popular

Brian Jones bjones@thetelegram.com
Published on June 27, 2014
Taken from the author's facebook page, Brian Jones heads out to grab some iceberg shots.
Brian Jones

Signal Hill was speckled with tourists earlier this week as people flocked there to see the icebergs.
The hilltop parking lot was headlight-to-taillight traffic as vehicles moved at a glacial pace, their drivers hoping to find an open space among the cacophony of cars.

We got lucky. A guy pulled out just as we pulled up.

Hiking down the path and stairs for a close-up view of the fabulous floaters, Younger Boy was willing, but less than enthusiastic.

As I took more pictures than necessary of the ’bergs, the Narrows, the harbour, the city, the boats, etc., he said with exasperation, “Dad, haven’t you ever seen Newfoundland?”

The days are few on Signal Hill that the wind doesn’t feel like it will blow you right off, but Monday was calm, bright and warm, with blue ocean and white ice being a main attraction for tourists both local and foreign.

I knew some of them were foreign, because I could see the McDonald’s job application forms sticking out of their pockets.

Younger Boy knew some of them were foreign, because he heard some different accents — maybe New Yorkers, maybe Australians.

“See?” I said. “People come thousands of miles to see icebergs.”

“Yeah,” he said, “but we can see them, like, every day.”

He’s right.

We can, especially this year. You can’t look at the water these days without seeing a glimmer of white, big or small, near or far.

And, of course, they’re all over social media.

So many people have posted pictures on Facebook that it’s starting to seem like iceberg porn. And yes, I’m among the guilty.

The cliff of ice behind Fort Amherst was particularly popular.

So, too, were shots of an iceberg in the distance, and some variation of the description, “The view from my window.”

Several people posted that one, probably for the benefit and/or envy of mainland friends.

If they gave out a golden statuette for such things, it would have to go to Ocean Quest, whose scuba divers took amazing underwater pictures of icebergs.

The divers who swam alongside a sheer wall of submerged ice are definitely braver than your average onshore tourist.

Heading back up the hill and with our backs to the oceanic scenery, we heard what seemed like a massive cracking whip.

It resounded off the hill, echoed out to sea and caused people on the west coast of Ireland to pause and say, “What was that?”

We quickly turned. The nearest iceberg looked the same.

“Was that a wave, or did it crack?” I asked a couple of women behind us.

“A piece broke off,” one said.

Bobbing in the water beside the iceberg was a newly discharged bergie bit.

All that noise was from a brief breaking off of a piece barely bigger than a box of discarded Tories.

No wonder people who have witnessed a rolling iceberg say they make an unbelievably stupendous racket.

What wonderment. You sit there in a comfortable curve in the rocks, the icebergs shine white on bright blue, the sun lights up the cliffs beyond Fort Amherst, Cape Spear is visible in the distance, the breeze is soft and warm, and — pondering the possibility of a Higher Power — you contemplate whether Newfoundland (and Labrador) was granted such stunning spectacularness to make it easier for Newfoundlanders (and Labradorians) to take their minds off the perpetual social and political mess.

“Never mind the government. Let’s go see the icebergs.”

It’s too long to serve as a motto on licence plates, but on a fine summer day, it works.

 

Brian Jones is a desk editor at The Telegram. He can be reached by email at bjones@thetelegram.com and can be found on Facebook.