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6/18/2014

East Coast Icebergs on the Rise


Just off the coast of Newfoundland float humongous slabs of bright, white ice -- almost close enough to touch.
Over the weekend, a large berg floated within metres of the shoreline in St. John’s harbour, attracting a crowd of onlookers.
It’s just the latest in what’s been a banner year for icebergs in Canada’s eastern-most province. Tourists are taking in the spectacular sights from the beaches or on guided boat tours. Some are even hopping in the frigid waters to get a closer view.
“Icebergs are so plentiful around these parts, we actually put them to good use,” says the Newfoundland and Labrador tourism website. Iceberg water, iceberg vodka and iceberg beer are all crafted using the water from the ocean’s natural ice cubes. And though the area usually has plenty of bergs, this year they’ve been especially plentiful, says iceberg expert Stephen Bruneau.
He said more icebergs than usual survived the trip down south, toward Newfoundland’s coast, this year.
“I think it has to do with the harshness of the winter,” the Memorial University associate professor told Canada AM earlier this week. “We had more sea ice around, and when we have more sea ice, there tends to be a preservation of the icebergs.”
Those planning a trip out to the frosty shores can scout out where the icebergs are in advance using the province's Iceberg Finder, a map regularly updated by a team of tourism staff and satellite trackers.
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