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2008 in Newfoundland and Labrador2008 in Newfoundland and Labrador

The Year (2008) in PhotosThe Year (2008) in Photos

Welcome to this 2008 photo essay by our staff and guests. Maybe you are interested in a vacation to Newfoundland and Labrador; maybe you are considering a vacation with Wildland Tours; or maybe you want to enjoy some beautiful nature images and stories from the past year. Whatever brings you to our site we invite you to click on the slide show, check out the images, and further explore our website.

The Year 2008 Was a Great One For Icebergs.The Year 2008 Was a Great One For Icebergs.
The hemisphere's largest icebergs drift past Newfoundland and Labrador

Every spring the waters off Newfoundland and Labrador offer some of the planet’s most impressive iceberg watching. The largest icebergs in the hemisphere drift past our coast in spring and early summer. Guests on our first Newfoundland Adventures and Viking Trail Experience trips typically get to enjoy and photograph icebergs.

Fossil Beds Fossil Beds
We take the time to examine our planet's past

We found some new-to-us fossil beds and enjoyed visits to some spectacular time traveling destinations.
There are many fossil beds in Newfoundland and Labrador. We are always happy to show some of them to our guests.

Trilobite FossilTrilobite Fossil
This trilobite fossil dates back over 550 million years.

This trilobite fossil dates back over 550 million years.
We can show you fossils like this on all of the small group vacation itineraries that feature the island of Newfoundland.

The Humpbacks Arrived Early The Humpbacks Arrived Early
Our 2008 photo contest winner - whales and iceberg with no photoshop

This photo by guest Jim Floyd is the winner of our 2008 photo contest.

The Planet's Oldest RocksThe Planet's Oldest Rocks
The northern Labrador coast is home to some of our planet's oldest rocks

Our polar bear expedition featured some of the planet’s oldest rocks and landforms.
The scenery on the north coast of Labrador is magic. This was one of the many dramatic sites we enjoyed on our first Polar Bear Expedition.

Polar Bear Viewing Polar Bear Viewing
In 2008 we pioneered a commercial polar bear viewing vacation in Labrador

The landscape of Labrador allowed us to enjoy polar bear viewing without harming any animals.
One of the “dirty secrets” of polar bear watching is that the crews of large expedition ships and remote northern areas are often forced to shoot polar bears as they attempt to prey on tourists. This mother and her two cubs were three of the dozen polar bears we saw during our 2008 expeditions to northern Labrador.

Black BearsBlack Bears
Newfoundland and Labrador is home to some remarkable black bears

The black bears and caribou we saw also kept a wary eye out for polar bears.
This black bear was photographed in northern Labrador on our 2008 polar bear expedition.

World's Largest HerdWorld's Largest Herd
Torngat caribou walking in a Pleistocene landscape of wolves and polar bears

Most of our Newfoundland and Labrador holidays feature caribou.
This animal is from the world’s largest herd which occupies the Labrador coast during the summer.

Orcas AttacksOrcas Attacks
This humpback survived a recent orca encounter

This year we documented more incidents of orcas attacking humpbacks then ever before. Whale Study Week guest Patricia Avery photographed this humpback about 10 days after it had been attached by orcas. While the whale healed at an impressive rate, it’s tail and dorsal area will be scarred for life from the encounter. The guests of Wildland Tours and contributers to Atlantic Whales are helping to document these encounters between humpbacks and orcas.

Humpback TailsHumpback Tails
Humpback Whale Tail from one of our 2008 Whale Study Weeks

We photographed numerous humpback tails for the international census effort.
This humpback whale was photographed while it was showing off for us during one of our July 2008 Wildland Tours Whale Study Weeks. The colours and marks of the tail are as distinctive as a human face or fingerprint.

Atlantic Whales CatalogueAtlantic Whales Catalogue
Orcas are being seen more regularly off Newfoundland and Labrador

We also greatly expanded our Atlantic Whales catalogue of orcas and documented animals from Saglek Fjord to St. Pierre, France.
Our friend Michael Earle of Battle Harbour photographed this male orca off southern Labrador. Every year we feature orca research on one of our expeditions (Southern Labrador Adventure or Northern Whale Study). We had previously seen this individual and his travelling companions on photos contributed to the Atlantic Whales website

Southern Labrador Adventure  Southern Labrador Adventure
This orca group from 2008 was still together during our 2009 expedition

These three orcas were one of the highlights of our 2008 Southern Labrador Adventure holiday.
Soon after our holiday group left our study area a group of three orcas — likely these same animals — killed a minke whale.

Giant SquidGiant Squid
A giant squid dwarves two very frightened pre-teens at the provincial museum

Another highlight was the giant squid in the Newfoundland and Labrador Museum (the Rooms) made it out on to public display.
The giant squid, shown here with Angela and Jennifer Snow, is one of the planet’s most famous and mysterious animals. In 2007, a National Geographic kids show featured marine biologist and company president Dave Snow explaining what is and isn’t known about this little known sea monster that appears to be fairly common in the waters off Newfoundland.

Cruise Ships Cruise Ships
Wildland Tours hosted Lindblad's National Geographic Explorer

Our crew serviced cruise ships from Saglek to St. Pierre. We were delighted to host Lindblad’s National Geographic Explorer. 
Wildland Tours was delighted to host the new National Geographic Explorer in September 2008. We met several past guests on board as the ship sailed to Hebron, L’Anse aux Meadows, Red Bay, Gros Morne, Corner Brook, and St. Pierre.

Friend to the AnimalsFriend to the Animals
Our guests rescued these murres - we don't always get this close!

We always try to be a friend to animals in distress.
These two common murres or turrs (common guillemots to Europeans) were tangled together in a piece of fishing net until they were rescued from drowning by two Wildland Tours’ Whale Study Week guests. Read Teens Rescue Tangled Turrs

Sperm WhaleSperm Whale
We sometimes enjoy (and study) sperm whales

One of our Whale Study Weeks also featured an adventure with the world’s largest toothed whale, the sperm whale.
The sperm whale has the largest brain on earth and is able to dive to incredible depths. We know they enjoy giant squid but they also eat other squid and fish. Over the past three years Wildland Tours has been documenting a small group of sperm whales, including this individual, as they occupy one of our bays on a year-round basis.

Sperm Whale TailSperm Whale Tail
We often see and listen to sperm whales - they have the biggest brains on earth

Newfoundland Adventure guest Patricia Frochaux photographed this sperm whale.

PuffinPuffin
We hang out with puffins while we watch the whales

All of our Newfoundland Adventures featured tens of thousands of puffins and other seabirds.
Puffin photo by 2008 Wildland Tours’ photo contest winner Jim Floyd.

GannetGannet
We visit the new world’s most accessible and spectacular gannet colony

Gannet photo by 2008 Wildland Tours’ photo contest winner Jim Floyd.
All of our Newfoundland Adventures and Whale Study Weeks feature the new world’s most accessible and spectacular gannet colony.

Cape St. Mary'sCape St. Mary's
We take a 20 minute walk to one of the planet's most accessible seabird colonies

The dramatic cliffs of Cape St. Mary’s were also a highlight on all of our small-group excursions in eastern Newfoundland.
Our Viking Trail Experience tours all featured moose, eagles, and little known geological and historic highlights that would be headliners anywhere else in the world.
  

Moose Are Almost Always Seen on Our Viking Trail Experience Trips.Moose Are Almost Always Seen on Our  Viking Trail Experience Trips.
Watching a moose on the Viking Trail as we travel to Labrador

Our Viking Trail Experience tours all featured moose, eagles, and little known geological and historic highlights that would be headliners anywhere else in the world.

Bald EagleBald Eagle
We usually see bald eagles on the Viking Trail Experience.

Photo of bald eagle by Viking Trail Experience leader Mark Tsang.
Most guests see eagles during their Newfoundland and Labrador vacations with us. Occasionally we see golden eagles in Labrador too! The bald eagle has an eight foot wingspan.

Conferences and Special EventsConferences and Special Events
We assist with some of the province's largest conferences and events.

In between travel adventures we also found the time to help with many conferences and special events.
Todd Andrews has worked with Wildland Tours and Event Planning Associates supplying technical support to conferences and special events for over a decade.

MantrackerMantracker
Reality Television Star Mantracker enjoys the horses during a 2008 conference

One of the last 2008 special events involving Wildland Tours was the National Search and Rescue Conference.
Here we see reality star Mantracker enjoying the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary’s horses.

Contributions and RecognizationContributions and Recognization

This was the year we were recognized by both National Geographic and Canadian Geographic. We also made contributions to science as whale researchers and the local media spread the word about our decade of orca research and more recent polar bear adventures.

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