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Conception Bay "Outports" Excursion: "A Trip Around The Bay"

Note: As with all of our field trips, this trip will only go ahead with sufficient numbers. Please register for this trip through the registration module to secure your space!

Date: Friday, August 16 (full day)
Departure: 8:00 a.m. from the Science Building archway
Return: 6:00 p.m.
Guide:  Gordon Handcock and Chesley Sanger 
Cost: $85 per person (includes transportation, lunch, and entrance fees)

Please be aware that the return time is an approximation and is not guaranteed. If you are planning other travel around the return of this trip, please leave ample time to get to the airport, in the event of any unexpected delays.

In traditional Newfoundland parlance, the term “outport” referred to almost all other settlements outside the Capital St. John’s; outports were/are mainly coastal fishing communities but include also important ports and commercial centres.  In modern times ‘outport’ Newfoundland has largely become ‘rural’ Newfoundland.  Meantime, anyone leaving the capital takes “a trip around the bay,” and that could refer going to any outport in any of the coastal indentations around the island (Trinity Bay, Bonavista Bay, and Placentia Bay etc.).

The main intentions of this excursion are to provide participants with a well informed introduction to the socio-cultural history of rural “outport” Newfoundland and an opportunity to observe its contemporary style of life.

The excursion will follow the route taken by French forces under Pierre la Moyne D’Iberville in the winter 1696/7 in seeking out and destroying fledging English settlements in Conception Bay.  From the University, the bus will travel to Portugal Cove and then follow the coastline of Conception Bay to Topsail, and pass through the Town  of Conception Bay Town (an amalgamated entity of eight former coastal villages) to Holyrood, an historic deep water port with a varied economic history.   From Holyrood to Carbonear, a distance of 40 kilometres, the tour route touches upon some 20 outport historic settlements, collectively constituting one of oldest and the most densely populated outport/rural regions of the province.  The excursion will highlight aspects of the natural environment, cultural landscape and settlement geography related the region’s social and economic history including the early European migratory fishery (toponymy), colonization, ethnic and demographic patterns, traditions and life styles, and modernization trends.  Stops are planned for Cupids (with its museum on early Newfoundland settlement and an archaeological site related to the 1610 English plantation of the London & Bristol Company), Brigus (a well-preserved mercantile centre in the traditional cod and seal fisheries, and the intact home of the legendary polar explorer Capt. Bob Bartlett), and at Port-de-Grave/Hibbs Hole an historic fishing community now well adapted to the modern resource and market realities.

Please email any dietary restrictions to cag2013 [at] with the subject "Dietary restrictions: Conception Bay field trip" by June 1, 2013. We cannot guarantee accommodations after this time.