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magazine / mj07

May/June 2007 issue


FEATURE
Ghost coast

Ghost coast
Kayaking the foreboding fiords of Torngat Mountains National Park
Story and photography by Jerry Kobalenko

It is four in the morning on July 2, 2006, as the crane on the cruise ship Lyubov Orlova lowers us into the water near tiny Kohlmeister Island, at the northern tip of Labrador. The passengers have all risen early to see us off. A German documentary crew films our departure, in case we disappear and become news.

It's a reasonable gamble. The Torngat Mountains have witnessed many disappearances and disasters over the years. One traveller in the 1800s aptly described northern Labrador as "filled with rage and destruction" - not exactly an ideal place for a frail skin kayak. Inuit have travelled here for centuries, but I know of only three or four modern parties that have paddled the whole ghostly coast, and each of them tells a horror story.The Torngat Mountains have witnessed many disappearances and disasters over the years. One traveller in the 1800s aptly described northern Labrador as "filled with rage and destruction" - not exactly an ideal place for a frail skin kayak. Inuit have travelled here for centuries, but I know of only three or four modern parties that have paddled the whole ghostly coast, and each of them tells a horror story.

For the rest of this story, visit your local newsstand or go to our store to buy this issue.

Related stories:

In Depth: Torngat Mountains

Take a closer look at Canada's newest national park. Take a virtual tour of Labrador's Torngat Mountains National Park Reserve and discover the region's unspoiled wilderness. Learn about Labrador's early explorers and find out how Canadian Geographic contributor Jerry Kobalenko and his wife Sasha became the park's first official visitors. Watch video of the Kobalenkos' trip, visit our online photo gallery and learn about polar bears and other wildlife in the area.


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