Red Bay is a fishing village and former site of several Basque whaling stations on the southern coast of Labrador in the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. Between 1550 and the early 17th century, Red Bay was a major Basque whaling area. The site is home to three Basque whaling galleons and four small chalupas used in the capture of whales. The discovery of these vessels makes Red Bay one of the most precious underwater archaeological sites in the Americas. Since June 2013 it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. [2 ]
Geography [ edit ]
Red Bay is a natural harbour residing in the bay that gives it its name, both names in reference to the red granite cliffs of the region. Because of the sheltered harbour it was used during World War II as a mooring site for navel vessels. In the bay are Penney Island and Saddle Island, which were used by the Spanish Basques for their whaling operations. The location of the sunken vessel
is near Saddle Island. San Juan
History [ edit ]
recovered from the waters of the bay and on display in the museum.
Between 1550 and the early 17th century, Red Bay, known as
Balea Baya (Whale Bay), was a centre for Basque whaling operations. Sailors from southern France and northern Spain sent 15 whaleships and 600 men a season to the remote outpost on the Strait of Belle Isle to try to catch the right whale and bowhead whales that populated the waters there, according to Memorial University of Newfoundland.
In 1565, a ship—believed to be
-- sank in the waters off Red Bay during a storm. Other, smaller vessels, such as chalupas, have also been recovered from the waters. San Juan
galleon was found 25–35 feet below water in 2004. It was the fourth trans-oceanic ship to have been found in the area.
cemetery on nearby Saddle Island holds the remains of 140 whalers. Many of the people buried there are thought to have died from drowning and exposure.
believe that a decline in whale stocks eventually led to the abandonment of the whaling stations in Red Bay. Today, an interpretive centre in Red Bay explains the history to visitors.
Local legends of Red Bay make reference to a hidden treasure buried in a body of water known as
Pond on the Hill at the foot of Tracey Hill by the infamous pirate Captain 51°43′43″N 56°26′56″W / 51.72861°N 56.44889°W William Kidd. An attempt was made to find the treasure by residents of Carrol Cove by draining the pond. The attempt had failed.
Red Bay has been designated a
National Historic Site of Canada, [3 ] and since 2013 it is one of seventeen Canadian sites added to the UNESCO World Heritage List. [4 ] [5 ]
Demographics [ edit ]
Population in 2001
Population change from 1996
Number of families
Number of married couples
Total number of dwellings
Land Area (km².)
Source: Statistics Canada 2001 Census [6 ]
Tourist attractions [ edit ]
Basque whaling station on Saddle Island. The location of the sunken vessel
(1565) is near the
s wreck that grounded in 1966.
Basque whaling stations
Iceberg and whale watching
Local entertainment and cuisine
See also [ edit ]
References [ edit ]
External links [ edit ]
Coordinates: 51°43′55″N 56°25′32″W / 51.73194°N 56.42556°W