Joe Batts Arm – Shoal Bay. I had the opportunity to visit many new and exciting places during our recent Newfoundland Editors Trip. Many of the places we explored will have a lasting effect on me, but I was absolutely blown away by my first trip to Fogo Island. The rugged beauty of the landscape seemed to speak to my inner explorer and I couldn’t resist the opportunity to get my kayak in the water.
I drove around the island, scoping out several different locations, before finally settling on Joe Batt’s Arm. This historic town is located on the northeast coast of the island and you can put in at a small slipway at the heart of town or from a small sandy beach near the fish plant on the south side. I chose the former as I had the urge to get out on the ocean right away.
From my put in I quickly came upon a small rock garden, and with just enough swell to make it interesting I spent a few minutes playing around before moving along the coast. The shoreline was pretty rocky with lots of gaps and chutes to play in and tons of birdlife along the way. There are several islands just offshore that have inspired me to come back for some island hopping another time.
This paddle is very scenic with the towns of Joe Batts Arm, Barrd Islands, and Shoal Bay offering up some classic Newfoundland character. The rocky coastline is a kayakers dream. It was very calm
during my visit but I can imagine that with a bit of wind the conditions could get up to more advanced waters very quickly. Fogo Island is an incredible place with nearly endless opportunities for paddlers of all ages. The route I took was very easy for paddlers of all levels but be aware that weather conditions can change at any time, so be prepared. I am already planning a circumnavigation of the island for next season so stay tuned!
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