As you arrive, you look around in awe - is this another planet? The coast is rocky and almost red in color, with the rocks looking like displaced puzzle pieces which had been placed haphazardly around, dotting the island. When you drift to ta stop, the skipper invites the more adventurous of passengers to explore the island in a kayak! You hop in your kayak and begin to explore. Paddling along the coast, a bald eagle drifts lazily overhead. Free as a bird they say - here paddling among the sea caves of Bell Island, you feel you can finally relate to that saying.
As you enter the great cavity of rock called a sea cave, the world suddenly darkens around you. The water is still, with just a gentle lap of the ocean water against the rocky sides of the cave. You make your way deeper inside until a glimmer of sunlight shines down upon you through a blowhole within the roof. As you make your way out the other side, you have treated again to a view of the magnificent coastline. Is that a sea stack over in the distance?
You paddle back to the Zodiac and climb on board. The skipper completes his tour around the island before you head back to the marina. It's time to take out your camera...yeah, you'll need the wide angle lens.
Upon approaching a naturally formed sea arch, the captain invites you to jump in! Starfish, crab, mussels, and lobsters are greeted as you snorkel into the sea caves. Gazing into the deep blue waters beneath you, you slowly paddle your way to an outcropping. Crawling up onto the rocky shore, you kick off your fins to explore the shallow pools in the craggy rocks where sea urchins nest - be careful, some of them are sharp!
One last chance to show off your flipper skills awaits you as you make your way back to the boat. As you remove your mask and clamber back onto the boat, you are left with a final look at the amazingly unique geology of Bell Island. Who knew it was such a hidden treasure?
The engines are shut down and the Zodiac bobs quietly on the waves for a few moments before your guide begins an enthralling story of the natural history of this rocky coastline, the sea caves, the marine life and even icebergs (in season). Over the next few hours, you also hear stories of the early settlers on this starkly barren island, pirate legends, the abandoned iron ore mines that are tunneled from Bell Island underneath the ocean and even that there are four (4) WWII shipwrecks sunk by German submarines directly underneath you. Who knew this pristine environment had so many stories to tell? The more adventurous can snorkel in the caves or onto the shore to walk through the caves at the Grebes Nest for the Ultimate Close Encounter with nature.
A morning full of thrills from your Close Encounters: Sea Caves tour has you wanting to unwind from your aquatic adventure and you can't think of a better way to relax than having a picnic lunch while learning about ancient fossils along the scenic Manuels River in CBS.
You take out your Lunch to Go consisting of your choice of a gourmet sandwich, salad, kettle chips, a homemade square plus a bottle of water provided with care from Coffee Matters. The babbling Manuels river babbles and rolls over the ancient bedrock that lies beneath just feet away from your cozy sitting spot. You then begin to wonder about the origins of the shear beauty of this place, until your fellow hiker and paleontologist Dr. Rod Taylor, Ph.D., from Manuels Hibernia Interpretattion Centre takes you downstream to the fossil site so you can literally hold 500 million years worth of history in your hands in some of the largest trilobite fossils in the world!
We are honored and excited to announce our partnership with Coffee Matters and Manuels Hibernia Interpretation Centre to bring you this mindful experience to add onto your next Close Encounters: Sea Caves trip!