Red Bay

Red Bay was the eastern limit of our travel in Labrador. It is significant today for its National Historic Site which includes the remains of a C16th Basque whaling station. Declining whale stocks in the Bay of Biscay in the early 1500s led Basque whalers to cross the Atlantic to this area to hunt. This was very big business with potentially huge rewards. Whale oil was highly valued as a bright burning lamp oil and was used in soap, paints, medicines and other uses. Settlements were seasonal with the whalers arriving in spring to repair winter damage to their wooden buildings and then leaving around the start of the next year when the weather became too severe for them to remain.

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