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We are off to Newfoundland so tag-along with us.

Ferry to McCallum an isolated community outport

Friday, June 24, 2011

Today we drove about a half hour from Harbour Breton to Hermitage and took a 90 minute ferry ride to the isolated community of McCallum.
This tiny community of  aprox 75 – 90 people is probably most reminiscent of the typical Newfoundland outport that existed prior to the 1900’s.  McCallum is only accessible by the ferry, which runs once a day and twice a day on Fridays and Sundays.  We talked to a couple (probably our age) that live in McCallum and were just coming home after babysitting for a month in Gander for their daughter and husband who work on the rigs.  Getting around McCallum is mostly on foot.  There were paths and boardwalks with handrails along the side of the hill.

There are no roads, so no cars.  We did see 2 four wheelers, one which met this couple to take all their packages and supplies from the big city up the steep hills to their home. Life in this community is definitely a way of life.  The ferry brings all supplies to this community. Monday’s is fresh fruits and vegetables, and if you don’t go to the tiny grocery store on Monday you basically don’t get any that week.  Bread  usually comes in twice a week and milk and eggs are pretty much always available. You can order your groceries at the little grocery store in Hermitage and for 50 cents they can come across on the ferry, you just go meet the ferry at the wharf.  I don’t imagine they get too much ice cream in McCallum.  Only a small number of households in the community have internet as that is all the Bell Alliant will allow.  All the gas for their fishing boats had to be lugged over in 5 gallon containers from Hermitage. Fishing is the mainstay of this community and while we were there they were packing fish in dry ice to be shipped to the processing plant.   

These fishermen only have the little dorey type fishing boats and can fill their quotas and make their living without the larger boats. These fishermen and women definitely love what they do and their way of life to persevere the elements on those bitterly cold and windy days with no cabin to protect them.  Hats off to each and every one of them!
The one person we spoke to moved to McCallum last year and bought their house for $22,000.  We also passed by a large salmon farm that harvested over one million salmon last year.  When we got back to Hermitage they were loading the salmon fry onto the troller to replenish the pens. 
The rest of the day we had some R and R that ended with a nice campfire. Another very interesting day to add to our Backroad Memories.

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