The “vaulted cave”

The “vaulted cave”
[#1] Photo 32 of 392: The “vaulted cave”
Taken 2009 August 5 from about 1250 m (¾ mi) north and a hair west of Rhu Pillinn
GPS 47°02.733'N 60°34.568'W

Photo #1 is a telephoto shot of the feature I think of as the “vaulted cave”. Again, alas, the colours are off here, as the surrounding rocks and the vault are distinctly reddish-hued. To the left of the photo and to the right of the “funnel” seen on the previous page is a fairly bare slab of rock, showing the loss of some of its lower tiers, and crowned by a rubble field at the top, to the right of which trees have been able to hold the land in place. Does this indicate a land slide at some point in the past? The captain of the whale cruise said that this coast has not changed noticeably in several generations, so, if this be the cause, it is definitely not recent.

Photo #2 much better portrays the true colours of the “vaulted cave”, here seen from fairly close in to shore and from the west. It shows that the rock seen at the left is of the same material as that forming the “vaulted cave”, whose stratified nature is evident in this view. This area of Cape St Lawrence is frequently bombarded by winds and waves (and ice floes in winter) sweeping across the Gulf of St Lawrence—350 km (217 mi) of open water separate the Cape from the land due north on the shore of La Belle Province, 96 km (60 mi) east of Natashquan (a beautiful town I was privileged to visit some years ago and which was then at the driveable end of Route 138). So it is no surprise that this shore is badly battered; the mystery is why only a very select portion of the rock has been eaten away to form the cave, while the rock all around the cave remains mostly intact.

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The “vaulted cave” seen from the west
[#2] Photo 33 of 392: The “vaulted cave” seen from the west
Taken 2009 August 5 from the waters close in and to the west of the “vaulted cave”
GPS 47°02.546'N 60°35.511'W
The “vaulted cave” seen from close in
[#3] Photo 34 of 392: The “vaulted cave” seen from close in
Taken 2012 August 22 from the waters 200 m (⅛ mi) off the “vaulted cave”
GPS 47°02.531'N 60°35.411'W

Photo #3 looks close in at the “vaulted cave” and the terrain directly above, which the topographical map shows rises more than 100 m (330 ft) above the water. If one takes the innermost vault as about a quarter of that distance (25 m (95 ft)), it becomes obvious that one could easily stand straight at the back of the cave where a small gravel beach lies below and inside the vault, a safe haven from a vertical rain, but not from a blowing wind from the north!

Photo #4 is an even closer view of the beach at the bottom rear of the “vaulted cave”. bringing into sharp detail the layering evident throughout the entire structure; alternating layers of what appear to be slate and sandstone display their colours in a stack going up the side of the hill.

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The inner portion of the “vaulted cave”
[#4] Photo 35 of 392: The inner portion of the “vaulted cave”
Taken 2012 August 22 from the waters 185 m (600 ft) north of the “vaulted cave”
GPS 47°02.495'N 60°35.339'W
The terrain above the “vaulted cave”
[#5] Photo 36 of 392: The terrain above the “vaulted cave”
Taken 2012 August 22 from the waters 180 m (590 ft) north of the “vaulted cave”
GPS 47°02.510'N 60°35.365'W

Photo #5 looks above the westernmost upper edge of the “vaulted cave” at the land above. For me, one of the interesting aspects of this photo is the amount of treeless area at the top of the ridge. I attempted to hike up there from Cape St Lawrence in the spring of 2013, but could find no path across the forest and chasms that separate this area from the Cape; this, of course, does not mean that no such path exists, but that, if one does, it will take a younger, more agile, and more intrepid hiker than myself to locate it. Still, if it were possible to get to the middle or right of the area at the top of this photo, the views would surely be spectacular in all directions!