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I first crossed the Atlantic in 1975 aboard 'Stormalong', a 28ft Wharram-designed catamaran. Back in the UK, Pete and I bought an ex 6-metre racing yacht, 'Sheila', living on her for 4 years. Wanting to do more and go further with a boat we could completely trust, we built 'Badger' - the best boat in the world - sailing her 110,000 miles, into the Arctic and the Antarctic, around the Atlantics North and South and into the Baltic. She had junk rig - the only rig I ever want to cruise with. Pete wanted to build again - a 38 ft junk-rigged catamaran, 'China Moon' - which he designed. But before the project was finished, we went our separate ways. A year later I joined Trevor Robertson aboard his 35ft 'Iron Bark'. We explored the Canadian Maritimes, crossed the Atlantic twice, wintered in Greenland and crossed the Pacific to Australia and New Zealand. I fell in love with NZ and jumping ship, bought my own boat while Trevor carried on voyaging. I put a junk rig onto ‘Fantail’ and, having decided that N Island offered better cruising opportunities than S Island, sailed up there in 2012. Looking for a boat to see me out, I am now building a 26ft, wood/epoxy junk in Whangarei.

Wednesday, 21 March 2007


60°14.5’ N 64°23’ W
Chart 4773 Cape Chidley Area

Canadian Pilot: Labrador and Hudson Bay, ch VI, p 296
Admiralty Pilot 12: Arctic Vol III, 6.18
Cruising Guide to the Labrador G-25

Variation 33°W (13 E) (1997)
Spring Range approximately 22 ft; neap range 8 ft


Clark Harbour is at the E tip of Cape Labrador, at the E entrance to McLelan Strait. It is formed by Cape Labrador and Amity Island, and gives good protection except from due S.
The two islets described in the Pilot and shown on chart 4773 are in fact drying rocks, which are only visible at low water, springs. In the right light conditions, the rocks and shoal water surrounding them can be seen at high tide, through the clear water.


The approach from the S is straightforward. Keep a biscuit’s toss off the Amity Island shore until past the shoal.


Anchor in the N part of the harbour in 3 fms, good holding.
The narrow channel at the N end of the harbour dries out at low water.

The anchorage is surrounded by low, rocky hills. When visited in mid-August, several Inuit families were camped on the low spit of land, S of the harbour. They had travelled up from George River for their holiday in this traditional campsite and were very friendly.


60°36.5’ N 64°41’ W
Chart 5456 Button Islands

Canadian Pilot: Labrador and Hudson Bay, ch VI, p 299
Admiralty Pilot 12: Arctic Vol III, 6.30

Variation 33°W (14 E) (1997)
Spring Range approximately 22 ft, neaps 8 ft

This unnamed inlet, which we called ‘Nanuk Cove’, at the S end of the SE shore of Lawson Island, provides excellent shelter.

The Button Islands are separated from Killinek Island (the N tip of Labrador by the Gray Strait. The approach to the islands is complicated by the very strong tides (5-7 knots) and ideally the islands should be visited in clear weather, at neap tides. We approached them from the E side of Killinek Island and S of the Knight Islands. We left, going up the E side of Lawson and Lacy Islands.

An anchorage was found at the top of the inlet, in 5 fms. There was only just swinging room for Badger (34ft). A larger vessel may need to take lines ashore. This provides a completely landlocked harbour.

When visited, there were many growlers and small pieces of ice aground at low water, which gave us no problems in the calm conditions that we experienced.

The Button Islands were discovered by Sir Thomas Button, who visited these waters in 1612 and 1613 in an attempt to rescue Henry Hudson, who had been cast adrift by his crew in Hudson Bay, the previous year.

Whilst in this anchorage, we were visited by a polar bear which swam around Badger for about 40 minutes, giving us a close view of this most magnificent animal. We also saw another bear swimming across from the Knight Islands to Lawson Island, so there are plenty of polar bears about. Any walks ashore should take this into account.

Nanuk Cove

Please send any additions or amendments that you think may help others to voyagingannie@gmail.com.

© Annie Hill 2007

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