Students experience wild mid-term break in Norris Point
The Bonne Bay Marine Station hosted its third annual midterm break event in mid-February. Nineteen students trekked across the island to Norris Point with hopes of skiing, snowshoeing, sliding and studying.
Participants included graduate students and undergraduates from Memorial’s Marine Institute and the Faculty of Science’s Department of Biology.
“The trip provided not only a unique opportunity to experience Gros Morne National Park in the height of winter, but also encouraged those in different phases of the biology program to network and enlighten each other about opportunities at Memorial,” said Victoria Neville, a student organizer of the event. “The diversity of attendees allowed for informal constructive discussions and connections for those who wish to apply to graduate school, summer internships and ways to get more involved on the St. John’s campus.”
Snowshoeing was a major theme of the trip. Students visited the Cow Head Community Trail, Burnt Hill, South East Brook Falls, Lobster Cove Head, The Arches and Western Brook Pond.
“Many came to realize how gorgeous the Bonne Bay region is during the winter after a fresh snowfall,” said Allison Eaton, manager of the station. “Caribou were spotted along the coastal lowlands and unique ice formations kept the photographers busy.”
During the last day of the midterm trip, a group of students drove out to Marble Mountain to go skiing and zip lining.
“The majority of the group had never been to the mountain and truly had an eye-opening experience,” said trip participant, Michelle Valliant. “They could not believe how gorgeous the mountains were, complete with a view overlooking the ocean. The remaining students continued to relax and explore the Bonne Bay area.”
The group also experienced a record winter storm in all of its glory with brutal winds.
“An aquarium tour was cut short as the first of several power outages plagued the station,” said Allison Eaton. “As the night carried on, local residents clocked wind speeds in excess of 180km/h. Students stayed inside for fear of being blown into the ocean!”
The power finally went out for the night at approximately 9:30 p.m. until 10 a.m. the next morning. Student’s spirits remained high as they played games and trivia by flashlight. Station Director, Bob Hooper and Ms. Eaton greeted the students in the morning and treated them to toast, tea and hot chocolate cooked on an old camp stove.
“Overall, the midterm trip to the Bonne Bay Marine Station was memorable for all participants,” said Ms. Eaton. “New and old friends had a great time interacting with one another and making plans for future adventures.
“It was a great opportunity for students to discover the potential Bonne Bay Marine Station holds for the student body. Many commented that it was magnificent to experience the area during the winter, in comparison to the high paced summer months. Bonne Bay continues to be a beautiful setting all year round and is definitely a fascinating place.”