This long feature explores the complicated relationship between creativity and solitude — in food, hospitality and art — through a visit to the beautiful, economically decimated eastern coast of Newfoundland.
“There’s a gannet!” shouts David Boyd over the roar of the boat engine, as a sleek white bird plunges out of the sky and nosedives into the blue-black Atlantic Ocean. It resembles a huge seagull with grey-tipped wings, and can barely take off from the glut of fish in its belly. “The first gannet ever I saw in Tizzard’s Harbour in 70 years,” Boyd says with wonder, turning coyly to his wide-eyed boat passengers. “Now, that’s what you call an unscripted moment.”
The weather has turned cold here, on the northeastern coast of Newfoundland, about 400 kilometres north of St. John’s. The wind whips black waves into white peaks that echo the ragged, primordial geology, while high, puffy clouds rush through a vivid blue sky. It’s nearly winter, but tourists are still arriving in droves; when weather allows, Boyd’s boat is booked solid.