Prime Berth in Twillingate

Hello and welcome to my blog! I’m glad you’re here. It’s week 35 in 2022 and I’m hosting Weekend Coffee Share linkup #85. Come on in for a coffee or tea, and let’s catch up.

Before reaching St. John’s, the capital city of Newfoundland and Labrador, from Western Newfoundland, I passed through many small fishing communities and headed north to the town of Twillingate, located on the Twillingate Islands on the north east coast of Newfoundland.

Twillingate gets its name from the French word “Toulinquet,” given to the islands by French fishermen, who compared it to a group of islands off the French coast near Brest also called Toulinquet. Twillingate is known for icebergs, whales, ocean experiences and outdoor adventures. It was a historic fishing community (since the 1500s), but because of the decline of the fishing industry, its economy now relies more on tourism.

One of the attractions in Twillingate is the Prime Berth Fishing Heritage Centre. It is a private interpretive fishing center and craft studio created by David Boyd, with the support of his wife Christine, as a tribute to his fisher forefathers. Captain Dave also runs boat tours for iceberg viewing and whale watching.

Prime Berth refers to the age old practice of each spring holding a draw, or lottery of sorts, to determine the place, or “berth” where fishermen would set their cod traps during the coming summer. Everyone hoped and prayed that they would be lucky enough to draw the best spot, or “Prime Berth”, as it was called. In David’s case this was personal and special as all the fishermen gathered in his father’s kitchen each May for the annual cod trap draw. In honour of this tradition, and as a tribute to proud people so dear to his heart, David decided to call his heritage centre – “Prime Berth”- meaning literally -“the best spot!”

Prime Berth Fishing Heritage Centre

The following two slideshows highlight some of the displays that I found interesting at Prime Berth. Click on the arrows or swipe to move through the slides.

Buildings and Doors

These brightly painted buildings house fishing artifacts and tools. There are hundreds of items on display in the buildings and on or above the doors. The last picture shows the jaw bone of a fin whale found at Trinity Bay in the 1950s.


These murals depict life in a fishing community. Look closely to see fish, icebergs, whales, seabirds, boats, clapboard homes, fishermen and women, the ocean and the rocky coastline. The island of Newfoundland is nicknamed “The Rock” because of its rocky terrain and high cliffs.

I hope to take you on an easy walk in a charming and historic town next week.

Shared with #ThursdayDoors, PPAC#62, #SundayStills.

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74 thoughts on “Prime Berth in Twillingate

  1. Denyse Whelan Blogs September 2, 2022 / 8:34 am

    History told via photos and memories here is so good Natalie. I am glad you have been fortunate enough to travel to these places and share so much with us too. I enjoy learning more about the ‘how’ and ‘why’ of life as it was and is now too. Thank you for the link up. Denyse


    • Natalie September 2, 2022 / 1:48 pm

      Hi Denyse, I feel fortunate to be able to travel and would never take it for granted. I’m glad you enjoyed my post. Have a wonderful week!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Dan Antion September 2, 2022 / 8:42 am

    It has been delightful following you along the path of your tours this summer, Natalie. Thanks for sharing those bright colorful doors with us.


    • Natalie September 2, 2022 / 1:50 pm

      Dan, Thank you for hosting Thursday Doors. I finally got organized to write up my ‘Doors’ posts. I have a few to share in the coming weeks. Have a great weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Dan Antion September 3, 2022 / 11:22 am

        Hosting is my pleasure, Natalie. I always enjoy it when you share your doors. You find the most interesting doors.


        • Natalie September 3, 2022 / 11:34 am

          Thank you, Dan, for your kind comment. It encourages me to participate. You’d be a wonderful teacher and mentor although I know retirement is much more relaxing and appealing 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  3. leannelc September 2, 2022 / 8:45 am

    Hi Natalie – I’ve never heard of Twillingate before – but it looks like a really lovely little fishing town. Once again you managed to find some lovely buildings and some great murals to share with the rest of us. And thanks for another great link party.


    • Natalie September 2, 2022 / 1:53 pm

      Hi Leanne, I’m glad you liked my post and pictures. I enjoyed visiting a number of small towns in Newfoundland. They all have something unique to offer and hundreds of years of history. Have a great week!


  4. Anne Fraser September 2, 2022 / 8:58 am

    I love the mural of the fishermen. They must have had a hard life.


    • Natalie September 2, 2022 / 1:57 pm

      Anne, I’m glad you like the mural of the fishermen. I think they have a hard life, having to work with natural elements in isolated places. Winter is cold and snowy in many places in Newfoundland.


  5. Thistles and Kiwis September 2, 2022 / 10:22 am

    Really interesting post. Reading this on Friday morning and not Saturday morning as in Canada…feels strange!


    • Natalie September 2, 2022 / 1:58 pm

      Barbara, I’m glad you arrived safely and my post is part of your morning. Have a wonderful stay in Canada!


  6. Writing Sparkle September 2, 2022 / 2:05 pm

    Visiting Newfoundland and Labrador is on my bucket list. I made it to Nova Scotia this summer. I love the Canadian East Coast.


    • Natalie September 2, 2022 / 2:18 pm

      Newfoundland and Labrador is stunning. I highly recommend a visit to NL. I love Canada’s East and West coasts.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. restlessjo September 2, 2022 / 2:30 pm

    Such a hard life those fisherfolk had, Natalie. I love the murals and look forward to your walk next week 🤗💗


    • Natalie September 2, 2022 / 3:58 pm

      Jo, I’m glad you love the murals. I look forward to joining your Monday walk next week. Have a wonderful week!


    • Natalie September 2, 2022 / 3:59 pm

      Thank you for stopping by. I look forward to sharing my next walk with you.


  8. Gary A Wilson September 2, 2022 / 4:47 pm

    Hi Natalie,
    You’ve captured a whole world here that I knew nothing about.
    Great stuff.


    • Natalie September 2, 2022 / 6:02 pm

      Thank you, Gary. I learned a few interesting things from visiting small fishing communities in Newfoundland.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Ally Bean September 2, 2022 / 4:57 pm

    Prime berth, how interesting. Never heard of such a thing, but it makes sense. The things I learn here.


    • Natalie September 2, 2022 / 6:04 pm

      I learned a few interesting things when I visited Prime Berth and Twillingate.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Deborah Drucker September 2, 2022 / 5:35 pm

    Really like the photos of the colorful buildings and the murals.


  11. msomerville2014 September 2, 2022 / 6:15 pm

    Hi Natalie, I am glad you had t he opportunity to visit there and to invite us along virtually. As always, love the pictures, the murals and the information. I liked the colorful buildilngs and the understand of Prime Berth, the family connection and of course, being a beach girl, drawn to water and loving sea food, interested in that too. Commercial fishing has got to be a rough way to earn a living, not for the faint of heart at all. Thank you to sharing not just interesting facts, but helping to stir up an awareness of things outside of ourselves. Blessings, Michele


    • Natalie September 2, 2022 / 7:18 pm

      Thank you, Michele, for your comment. I agree with you about awareness. I have a greater appreciation when I see cod and other fish in supermarkets. The ocean around Newfoundland and the long winter bring hard working conditions to the fishermen.


  12. Lydia C. Lee September 2, 2022 / 7:43 pm

    You really get all over! The buoys on the wall look like decorations! HA. This reminds me of Come From Away….


    • Natalie September 2, 2022 / 7:52 pm

      The musical Come From Away is a big success. I assume you’ve seen it? I visited Gander in Newfoundland, too.


  13. Ju-Lyn September 2, 2022 / 10:06 pm

    What a charming stop on your way to your destination …. and how wonderful to find this heritage centre. The murals are rather fabulous – history in mural; what a tribute to the fishing community.


    • Natalie September 3, 2022 / 11:10 am

      Ju-Lyn, I’m glad you liked my post and pictures. I learned a few interesting things from my visit to Prime Berth.


  14. Marsha September 3, 2022 / 1:25 am

    Beautiful post, Natalie. I love the bright colored buildings each with its own artifact. The mural is gorgeous and seems Biblical, doesn’t it? What a beautiful area. Thanks for sharing this along with all the history.


    • Natalie September 3, 2022 / 11:13 am

      Marsha, Thank you for your kind comment. I’m glad you liked my post and pictures. The murals caught my attention as they give a glimpse to life in a fishing community.


  15. Maria September 3, 2022 / 3:37 am

    What a quaint and beautiful little town. Your post almost makes me feel like I am there. Thank you!


    • Natalie September 3, 2022 / 11:15 am

      Maria, I’m glad to hear my post almost makes you feel like you are in Twillingate. I learned a few interesting things at Prime Berth.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. rawsonjl September 3, 2022 / 7:05 am

    Love all the colorful fishing buildings.


    • Natalie September 3, 2022 / 11:16 am

      They are bright and cheerful to see.


  17. Susanne September 3, 2022 / 8:03 am

    Those are some lovely colourful buildings! I find Canada a very interesting country historically (but not only), I started learning about the fishing and whaling traditions only through a documentary series on YouTube, “Disasters of the century” where most of it is about Canada. I’m happy to be back blogging, with a new blog that will be mainly shorter reflections and photos, but today’s post covers the whole summer so it’s anything but short!


    • Natalie September 3, 2022 / 11:25 am

      Susanne, It’s great to have you back. Fishing and whaling have a long history in Canada, especially in Newfoundland and Labrador. I’ll visit your new blog shortly.


  18. trentpmcd September 3, 2022 / 8:45 am

    Looks like an interesting place, and I am sure Captain Dave, with his first hand view of some of the history, makes it even more interesting.


    • Natalie September 3, 2022 / 11:27 am

      Captain Dave had a lot to say and he did a demo of how to fillet a cod fish. There were many tools and items on display at Prime Berth.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Astrid September 3, 2022 / 1:51 pm

    The Prime Berth heritage centre sounds like such an interesting place to have visited. I love the name of Twillingate too.


    • Natalie September 3, 2022 / 4:51 pm

      It was interesting to explore the different buildings at Prime Berth and learned about life and work in a small fishing community.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. csuhpat1 September 3, 2022 / 10:29 pm

    What a cool and interesting place. I do want to know more. Very nice.


    • Natalie September 4, 2022 / 8:29 am

      Thanks, Patrick. I’m glad you want to know more about Prime Berth. I included the link to their website in my post.


    • Natalie September 4, 2022 / 8:30 am

      Hi Donna, Those murals caught my attention when I was there. I hope all’s well with you and your family.

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Kathleen Howell September 4, 2022 / 10:31 am

    That is one place I would love to visit! Thank you for sharing. I just found a bone on the shores of Lake Erie, pretty sure it’s part of a fish jaw. I thought that was cool until I saw your whale bones! LOL


    • Natalie September 4, 2022 / 12:19 pm

      LOL, Prime Berth had a huge whale skeleton on display outside the centre and another huge baleen display in one of the sheds. You’d have fun exploring this place.


  22. Terri Webster Schrandt September 4, 2022 / 1:08 pm

    The pics of Twillingate are gorgeous, Natalie! What a fun quaint town! Part of your amazing tour of New Foundland and Labrador. Those murals really depict life on the waters as fishermen.


    • Natalie September 4, 2022 / 5:47 pm

      Thank you, Terri. Lots of things to see and photograph in Newfoundland and Labrador. I had an amazing vacation there.

      Liked by 1 person

  23. Rowena September 5, 2022 / 6:00 am

    Hi Natalie,
    Thanks for another interesting post. I like the sound of the fishing museum. It’s also made me ponder whether the idea is to just keep collecting until your collection becomes museum-worthy, especially if you’re unable to cull it back and satisfy the declutter mob.
    I am still following up from our trip to Bathurst a few weeks ago. I’ve been seriously blown off course chasing up the background on a couple of marble statues. After a few days of fairly intensive research, I’ve almost got the basics covered.
    hope you have a great week.
    Best wishes,


    • Natalie September 5, 2022 / 9:05 am

      Hi Rowena, Some museums started with personal collections then the collector(s) opened the place or made the collection available to the public to visit. Some invited donations to grow the collection. One example is the Museum of Broken Relationships in Zagreb, Croatia. Have fun with your research!

      Liked by 1 person

  24. Kirstin September 5, 2022 / 10:48 pm

    I love all those buildings and the murals.


    • Natalie September 6, 2022 / 8:23 am

      The building owners make good use of paint in many colours.


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