Henley Harbour on the coast of Labrador is what we expected to see a lot more of – a ghost town.
The entrance had this truck-sized chunk of iceberg (what is called a growler) sitting in the middle, with smaller bergy bits scattered around for garnish.
The chart does not have a lot of detail, and the harbor is very tight, so we used our Furuno CH270 SONAR to watch for obstructions (right hand monitor).
Here is the Coastal Explorer view of the Canadian HO chart of this area. You can see our position (yellow "boat") just off a shallow spot (depths are in meters).
Check out the rock off our starboard beam on the chart, and then on the SONAR (red mass to starboard). The SONAR is set to a 600 foot (180m) scale. Although the rock is shown accurately on the chart, sometimes rocks are missed, or misplaced – or there are no soundings – which is why we use the SONAR as a quality control check. Playing with it now also increases our skill level for later on when we are cruising in areas with few or no chart details.
Here we have turned 70 degrees to port, and are entering the very narrow confines of the harbor. The SONAR range has just been changed to 400 feet (120 m).
This photo with a wide angle lens makes the shore look a long way off. But we are in the center of a 400-foot (120m) area of deep water, about to anchor.
RADAR image (left) and SONAR (right) now at anchor. You can see by the track (white line) on the SONAR where we have dropped the hook, and then backed down to set it.
This SONAR image is a vertical slice through the harbor (previous were horizontal) and it is looking directly aft. We have 165 feet (50m) until shallow water with the chain stretched out. We rotate the SONAR antenna in this vertical mode to check the shape of the bottom on all sides.
Henley Harbour was once a flourishing fishing village. But the cost of maintaining "civilization" for these outports was high and the Canadian government offered incentives for residents to relocate to centralized villages where services could be efficiently provided (at least, that was the theory). You can tell by the new timber on this section of dock that someone is making at least part time use of the area.
The harbor is surrounded with abandoned buildings, some with curtains still in their windows.
For now, however, the inhabitants appear to be just us and the minke whale who is working the entrance.
You could easily spend a week in a spot like this, exploring ashore, and checking out the adjacent harbors. Maybe we’ll have to come back one of these days.