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Francois (pronounced  Franceway) is a real Newfoundland outport. There were once hundreds of such communities all existing on the cod fishery. The town has no roads and the only way in or out is by boat or helicopter. In winter it is also possible to go overland by snowmobile.

This is one of my favourite places in all of Newfoundland

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Wharf space is limited and most of the bay is quite deep so the local fishermen set up a rafting system for flotilla boats with lines to the shore.

Here a dory is going to meet another boat to escort it to the raft.

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The raft is taking shape.

The hills round the town are about 900ft high



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The completed raft.

You can imagine the effect of 75 boats, say 250 people, on the town of Francois population 120.

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This photo shows the town reservoir and the communication dishes.

Before satellite TV, each house had its own TV antenna at the top of the hills. You can imagine what it looked like!

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An "aerial" shot of the town from the hill top.

There is some wharf space for the occasional visiting boat but not for 75.



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The locals had set up a water taxi service to and from the raft. You just had to call up on VHF.

It was quite a scramble up the wharf particularly at low tide.

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Main street Francois. The flags are for our benefit. There are no cars, just a few ATV's like the one in the picture.

Every person in the town, even the babies had name tags on and they had locked up all the dogs so as not to annoy the visitors.

We were treated to a magnificent dinner in the school dining room served at three sittings because the room was so small.



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I visited Francois again in 2000 and this time tied up to north end of the ferry wharf.

The ferry seems to stay in Francois most nights but the skipper doesn't mind you rafting off the ferry.  He even lets you use the crew's showers!


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There are several challenging hikes round Francois and any of the locals will give you the information. This one on the east side of the harbour is so steep that a rope has been put up to help you down.

Most of the hikes have blazes but I wouldn't like to be caught out away from the town in a fog.

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This 450ft cruise ship visited Francois several times in 2000 and was quite a sight anchored in the small fiord. They have been known to tie up to the wharf which is only 100ft long!

In 2000 my daughter and I were invited to the dinner for the passengers in the school building. The locals thought we were on the ship and the passengers thought we were locals - until we opened our mouths!

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