The Rock is known for its iceberg-viewing adventures and has become one of the best places in the world to commune with these breathtaking glacial giants.

MY FIRST ICEBERG was a strange beauty that looked like the bottom half of a toothy grin. That was on a St. John’s boat tour in 2017 and since then I’ve chased them across Newfoundland and Labrador and seen them in all shapes and sizes, and in colours that range from snow white and glacier grey to aquamarine.

I’ve gaped at these 10,000-year-old glacial giants from double-decker tour boats in Bay Bulls/Witless Bay, ferries to Battle Harbour, Zodiacs in Trinity and sea kayaks in Twillingate. I’ve spotted bergs from shore in Fogo Island, Bonavista, Elliston and Middle Cove.

Icebergs are edges of glaciers that have broken off and slipped into the sea. Ninety per cent of ours come from Greenland and the rest from Nunavut. Remember, only 10 per cent is visible so keep your distance in case they roll and create dangerous waves. What the province calls “Iceberg Alley” stretches from the coast of Labrador to the southeast coast of the island of Newfoundland. I’ve seen Mother Nature’s floating sculptures as early as April and as late as July, always melting as they drift south and die.

Iceberg Alley. Newfoundland and Labrador

Iceberg Alley. Photo by @julianearlephotography

Diane Davis created Newfoundland and Labrador Iceberg Reports – a Facebook group with 75,000 members – so people can swap sightings in real time. “It’s a pure obsession,” admits the retired Gander teacher. “I also think it would be a sin for people to be in Newfoundland and not realize they’re 15 minutes or an hour and a half away from an iceberg.”

I love the hoopla almost as much as the thrill of the chase. Last year, photographer Ken Pretty from Dildo took viral drone shots of a phallic-shaped iceberg in Conception Bay. You can’t make this stuff up. Another shape-shifting beauty, straight out of central casting, once created traffic jams when it got stuck off picturesque Ferryland.

While an iceberg off Newfoundland sank the Titanic, they’re sometimes harvested, melted and used to make beer and spirits. If you spot one on a boat tour, your captain will almost certainly scoop up some “bergy bits” and gift them to you as ice cubes for a celebratory drink.

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