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Newfoundland Travel Blog - Pouch Cove

Updated: Jan 27, 2022

Many of us spend years "chasing the dream" in our 9 to 5 jobs. This was certainly the case for me but, after my retirement, I saw that life had more possibilities than previously imagined. As a lover of nature and owner of a small vacation rental in Pouch Cove, I often explore the outdoors, take photos, and share my experiences with guests in order to help them plan their vacation. This blog showcases one of my favourite locations, my home of Pouch Cove.

Located near a fishing shed, the boat launch for Pouch Cove is set in a valley between two rocky cliffs on the shoreline.
Pouch Cove boat launch

Pouch Cove has its roots in the fishing industry. Prior to confederation, Newfoundland was on the radar of European colonies because of its rich fishing grounds. Fishermen would spend winters at home in Europe and return to fish off the coast of Newfoundland after the ice retreated in the spring of the year. However, in the early 1700's, some families began to settle year-around in Newfoundland and support themselves through fishing and farming. #fishing,#pouchcove, #newfoundland, #fishingstage, #portauthority, #boatlaunch, #ocean, #horizon, #fishingvillage

An old picture showing the crew of two boats of fishermen emptying codfish from their nets and into their boats in Pouch Cove.
The crew of two boats of Pouch Cove fishermen secure their bounty of codfish from their nets and into their boats.

For years to follow, boats containing crews of 3-4 men would fish in Newfoundland waters, manually operating their crafts by rowing and sail. Typically, they would depart home at dawn and fish through the day with use of trawl lines and bait. Wearing cotton gloves to protect their hands, they would pull the fish into their boat, quite arduous work by any standard. This photograph shows fishermen at sea in Pouch Cove (possibly in the 1960's). One of the men in the far left boat is my husband's father, Matthew Murray. #fishing, #fishermen, #codfishery, #boat, #fishingboat, #pouchcove, #ocean

To access their boats anchored near the coastline, fishermen would descend ladders draped down the side of steep cliffs.
Years ago, fishermen in Pouch Cove would have to use wooden ladders mounted on ropes to access their boats from the wharf.

After a day of fishing offshore, the fishermen would journey home with their catch, holding poles upright in their boats as they came into view of the community to signify to their families that they had a successful day. In response, the women in the community would gather at the fishing stages in preparation for receiving the catch to process. #PouchCove #Newfoundland #Fishing #FishingCommunity #FishingStage #NewfoundlandHistory

Pack ice blocks the Pouch Cove harbour as a fresh blanket of snow covers the boat launch and barren winter landscape.
Snow covered boat launch in Pouch Cove, Newfoundland.

With the arrival of winter, pack ice and harsh ocean conditions would prevent fishermen from going to sea. During this time, they would assess their equipment and upgrade gear as needed. #PouchCove #Newfoundland #Fishing #FishingCommunity #FishingStage #NewfoundlandHistory, #boatlaunch

In the coastal community of Pouch Cove, houses surrounded by tall trees are built on the grassy landscape overlooking the ocean.
Bird's eye view of the ocean-front community of Pouch Cove.

Everything changed in 1992 when, in response to government concerns regarding dangerously low cod levels in Atlantic waters, the fishery was essentially shut down. The "cod moratorium" legislation was passed and the ability to make a living off the water fishing cod came to a screeching halt. Fishermen were compensated for their equipment and loss of livelihood. In some cases, they were retrained. Nonetheless, the decision to close the fishery was contentious and tensions regarding that decision remains high even today. #codmoratorium, #rural. #outport

Mature trees and purple flowers grow next to an old red shed that sits alone in an overgrown field.
An old shed sits in an overgrown field surrounded by purple flowers and mature trees.

Very few residents continue to live "off the land" but skeletons of the past still remain. Today, visitors to the town of Pouch Cove will be left with a lasting impression of its friendly residents, breathtaking views, and culturally rich atmosphere. #rural, #shed, #field, #purpleflowers

A white picket fence establishes property borders in a field overlooking the ocean along Pouch Cove's coastline.
A white picket fence surrounds a private yard along the coast of Pouch Cove.

The natural landscape and beauty of Pouch Cove is attractive for those with a preference for an unrushed lifestyle and for tourists who wish to explore the great outdoors. Because of its proximity to St. John's, many feel that Pouch Cove's location offers the ideal position to enjoy the best of both worlds (errands and work in the city; coming home to the country atmosphere of Pouch Cove to relax in the evening). #pouchcove, #country

The early morning sun casts an illuminating glow on the tall end of an iceberg in the ocean near the Pouch Cove coast.
Wedge shaped iceberg in Pouch Cove, its dominant side illuminated by the early morning's sun.

The coastal waters often see icebergs in May through June but, as with all things in nature, the arrival, distribution, and size of icebergs can not be accurately predicted. #iceberg, #seasonal

Beautiful coastal view from atop a tree covered cliff on the Biscan Cove hiking path, East Coast Trail in Pouch Cove.
The clifftop provides a panoramic view of the vast ocean and rugged coastline.

Many enjoy the hiking experiences available in the community. Two beautiful hiking paths are located in Pouch Cove: Stiles Cove Path and Biscan Cove Path (East Coast Trail). The view from atop the massive cliffs along the hiking trails offer panoramic, aesthetic, views of great expanses of forest, ocean, and rugged coastline. #hiking, #eastcoasttrail, #ocean, #oceanview

Beautiful orange hues emerge on the distant horizon as a gull soars freely over the vast ocean below.
Against the bright orange hues of the morning's sunrise, a seagull soars freely above the ocean.

Pouch Cove boasts that it is "first to see the sun". It certainly has stunning sunrises and is an amazing start to any day! #pouchcove, #sunrise, #horizon, #ocean, #oceanview

Ocean spray is cast off this humpback whale as it completes its breach near the shores of Pouch Cove, Newfoundland.
Humpback whale lunging to the right atop the ocean surface as it completes its breach off the coast of Pouch Cove.

In season, Pouch Cove welcomes the arrival of a diverse population of sea birds, whales, dolphins, seals, and other aquatic life. This humpback whale completed a breach only a few feet from a lookout point on the coast. #whale, #humpbackwhale, #whalebreach, #ocean, #oceanview, #mammal, #pouchcove

American goldfinch perched upright on a tree branch in the yard of Murray House Vacation Home in Pouch Cove.
Birding enthusiasts will love the opportunity to see songbirds in close range during their Newfoundland travels.

Newfoundland is also a popular destination for those seeking bird watching opportunities. Many species of songbirds, including the American goldfinch, are common visitors in Pouch Cove. #songbird, #americangoldfinch, #bird, #birding, #birdwatching

Coastguard approaching a beam of shimmering light atop the ocean surface as the early morning sun breaks the horizon in Pouch Cove, Newfoundland.
A glistening sunbeam dances across the ocean in Pouch Cove as the coastguard advances toward Shoe Cove Island.

Even those living in the community never get tired of the aesthetic beauty of the coastline of Pouch Cove. #aesthetic. #pouchcove, #coastguard. #sunbeam

Fog settling on the ocean surface and in crevices of a cliff along the coast of Pouch Cove, Newfoundland.
Fog approaching the coast of Pouch Cove settles into the crevices along the rocky cliffs.

A fog bank gravitating toward the cliffs and settling on the ocean surface is a sight to behold. #fog, #mountain, #ocean, #oceanview

Dark clouds shroud the coast of Pouch Cove as huge waves slam its oceanside cliffs.
Pouch Cove's coastline is being slammed by huge waves after a winter storm.

Huge ocean waves slamming the coast are equally impressive. #winter, #coast, #pouchcove, #ocean, #oceanview, #oceanwaves