Topsail Beach

The other day I stopped at the grocery store and the cashier asked where I’m visiting from- everyone here is so, so chatty and friendly and welcoming! I told her we’d just moved here from Maine, and she wanted to make sure I knew about some of the really special beaches and best spots for watching for whales or watching the capelin roll. Capelin are little silvery fishes that come right up to the seashores to spawn during summertime in Newfoundland. They’re so plentiful that the waves rolling up on the beaches are thick with silvery fish and some families come down to the beaches to scoop them up in buckets and cook them over campfires on the beach. The capelin also attract whales, who come in closer to the shore to eat them when they’re swarming by the shore.

We came away from the grocery store with a hand-written list on receipt paper: Topsail Beach, Cape Spear, Middle Cove Beach. Our friendly cashier recommended these as the three best, most special places to start out on a whale watching / capelin sighting / swimming / wading / sightseeing tour of the area. So, the next morning it was sunny and warm and we headed off to Topsail Beach. It’s not a sandy beach, it’s all just sea-polished rocks and gravel! The ocean was TOO COLD for any of us southerners to swim in, though Sadie did some enthusiastic wading. We didn’t see any whales at all, but lots of capelin- they were indeed rolling right up on the shore with every wave! There was a boy with a little net down the beach, who was catching enough to fill his bucket. Harriet did NOT want to go in the water – too many fishes in there! There were also lots of dead capelin washed up on the rocks everywhere, which I guess is just part of the natural course of events. The beautiful rocks were maybe the most wonderful part of the visit- so many colors and patterns, stripes and textures!

Next time we come back, I’d like to try hiking up the trail to look out from the top of the cliffs next to the beach!

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