Voyage of the s/v Tamara

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Labrador remains one of the last great wilderness areas on earth. The vast mainland portion of the combined Province of Newfoundland and Labrador stretches from the Straits of Belle Isle in the south (immediately adjacent to the first European settlement in the New World-the Viking encampment at L'Anse aux Meadows) to Cape Chidley on Ungava Bay in the north. Eons of glaciation, uplift and erosion have carved a landscape reminiscent of the way the world looked millions of years ago. Beyond the northern-most settlement of Nain, the Torngat Mountains remain, as their name means in the native Innu and Inuit languages, a land of mysterious spirits. These spectacular mountains rise directly from the sea, but evoke the canyons of the American Southwest, while the geology of the area from Hopedale to Nain resembles that of our Yosemite Park.

In the course of our cruises we have carefully retraced the spectacular, but often difficult and challenging route pioneered by the notable Donald MacMillan aboard the famous wooden arctic schooner Bowdoin. Making twenty-six voyages to the North in the Bowdoin, MacMillan was often forced close inshore in order to skirt the pack ice, allowing him to call at numerous villages and missions during the exceptionally short navigation season found along this coast. Tamara would do the same.

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