Tuesday, October 14, 2008

View from the other side

Fort Amherst Lighthouse
copyright Jeanette Jobson

Last weekend I posted some seascape photos and yesterday I took some more photos as I hiked out to Fort Amherst in St. John's. The first photo in my October 8th post shows the entrance to St. John's Harbour and these images show that view close up from the Fort Amherst side of the hills.

WWII Gun Batteries - Fort Amherst

Fort Amherst is a small community is located on the southern side of "The Narrows", the entrance to St. John's harbour. Apart from some family dwellings, Fort Amherst consists of a man-made harbour, a lighthouse and the remains of gun emplacements built during World War II to defend against German U-boats.

The walk to the lighthouse at Fort Amherst is paved but cars are not allowed. The drop off on the cliffs on the side makes me uneasy. It is fenced but not what I'd call securely. Old railway ties and steel ropes didn't leave me with a sense of comfort, so I hugged the cliff side on the way up and back. Yes, I'm a wuss. I don't do heights well. I couldn't make myself go to the fence once I reached the lighthouse. The wire fence was perched right on the edge of the rock face with a drop of several hundred feet to the ocean below. I tried, but my feet wouldn't go there. Too scary...

The Battery
copyright Jeanette Jobson

The Battery is a small residential area within the city of St. John's, Newfoundland. It sits on the entrance to the harbour located on the slopes of Signal Hill. The Battery is noted for its steep slopes, colourful houses, and its importance as a battery for the defense of St. John's harbour in both World Wars.

The Battery is home to Chain Rock, a land outcropping to which a large chain and anti-submarine boom were attached connecting to Fort Amherst in order to prevent the entry of German U-boats into the harbour during World War II. Chain Rock is one of two rocks located on opposite sides of the Narrows, Chain Rock on the battery side and Pancake Rock on the opposite. The space between the two rocks is 174 meters. Chain Rock and Pancake Rock were used as early as 1770. A chain was stretched between both rocks by means of a capstan at nightfall to prevent illegal entry of enemy ships. During World War I the chain was replaced with anti-submarine nets.

The view back into the city of St. John's from this place makes it look so different. I rarely see it from this perspective which is usually the domain of ships sailing through 'The Narrows' or for those who live in Fort Amherst.

9 comments:

Bonny said...

This is a wonderful entry!! You have some terrfic photos, too. Makes me wish I was there to see it, but your photos are definitely the next best thing.

I visit your Blog almost every day (via Bloglines), but I seldom leave a comment. I really enjoy your Blog and have learned a lot from you about coloured pencil techniques.

Yours is one of my favourite all time Blogs!! :))

"JeanneG" said...

Thanks for the wonderful photos and the history lesson. Very interesting.

Jeanette said...

Bonny, thanks so much for your kind words. I'm so glad that you've learned something from it as well.

There are some unique areas here Jeanne. A real mix of the old and the new.

vivien said...

lovely photos :>) and it was so interesting to see the area

I feel exactly like you about heights! I want to be braver but the feet just will not move like yours!

shicat said...

Love the photos such a beutiful area. How do people get to there homes in the battery,and what about winter?

Jeanette said...

Heights, especially tiny roads on the edge of a cliff don't appeal to me. I truly had to force myself to concentrate on solid ground to just get out to the lighthouse. I couldn't have gone to the edge of the fence if my life depended on it.

Shicat, there is a road out to the houses on the Battery, just not very visible in this photo. Some of the houses, have to be accessed by flights of steps. A challenge to clear in the winter I'm sure.

Ploughs clear city streets of snow fairly well in the winter, though side streets are not priority so they may not be the first to get out.

Jennifer Rose said...

I love that side of Canada. I haven't actually been to Newfoundland but have spent a week in Nova Scotia and loved it. Even if my sister did swell up like a balloon :p (fish allergy was our guess)

Katherine Tyrrell said...

Me too on the height thing

I was staring at the rock - and it made me go and look up the geology of Newfoundland. My goodness you're sitting on geology heaven! More landscapes please! :)

See http://www.wordplay.com/geology/

and http://www.heritage.nf.ca/environment/nfld_story.html

Did I ever tell you I used to study geology too? ;)

Jeanette said...

You'll just have to visit then Jennifer! I have that fish allergy thing too....shellfish in my case. Imagine, living on an island and not able to eat shellfish!

Katherine, you'd have a field day here if you like geology. If you're into fossils, look here http://www.env.gov.nl.ca/parks/wer/r_mpe/ Newfoundland has the oldest fossils of complex life forms anywhere on earth at Mistaken Point.