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
. 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.
Red Bay is a natural harbour residing in the bay that gives it its name. 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 Basques for their whaling operations. The location of the sunken vessel San Juan
is near Saddle Island.
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 the San Juan
-- sank in the waters off Red Bay during a storm. Other, smaller vessels, such as chalupas, have also been recovered from the waters.
was found 25–35 feet below water in 2004. It was the... Read More