We have been out with him on several occasions and have seen eagles up close, viewed great scenery and always caught our limit of cod during the recreational cod fishery. He seems to know the ocean around Cox’s Cove like the back of his hand.
In the winter Darren does snowmobile tours and he tells me that this year he has seen a big uptick in business.
“Whereas last winter I did perhaps two tours in January, this year it was closer to 10. I have a steady stream of repeat customers who return year after year and we always have a great time together. And its been virtually non-stop through February and March,” he recently told us.
He does a variety of trips through the winter and his full day trips usually go to the North Arm Hills or the “Sinkhole” near Lomond. His half day trips either go to his cabin where he does a traditional boil up with smoked mackerel or caplin plus drinks and homemade fruit cake or he takes people ice fishing. On his last ice fishing trip he told us they caught several nice trout.
He also caters to people who have never driven a snowmobile.
“I have had clients from Pakistan, Ireland and other countries where snowmobiling is unheard of so we spend the first 30 minutes of a tour making sure they are comfortable with driving a sled. I am very safety conscious and I always carry a lot of gear like an axe, shovel and snowshoes in case we run into problems” he said.
Last winter we had a chance to join Darren for a great trip to the North Arm Hills, which are located along the North Shore of Bay of Islands. These mountains are visible in the distance as you drive along the south shore of the Bay of Islands, but are generally inaccessible for most people unless you take a snowmobile trip.
Although we have lived in the Corner Brook area for over 30 years we had never been into this area before so when we heard that Darren was doing snowmobile tours of this area we jumped at the chance to join him.
We met in Cox’s Cove on a sunny day last March and, after a quick introduction on how to drive a snowmobile, we were off.
Our route took us past scenic Old Man’s Pond and by following a series of woods roads we eventually got to the base of the North Arm Hills. We drove along the base of the Hills and then followed a broad valley into a protected spot for lunch, where Darren lit a fire and produced all sorts of goodies to eat.
From there we ascended onto a broad plateau which forms the upper surface of the North Arm Hills where we climbed some small hills and cruised over the wide open slopes.
“Winter is the best time to get in here,” Darren told us. “Since you can literally travel anywhere”.
Then all too soon it was time to retrace our steps back to Cox’s Cove.
You can bring your own sled or you can rent a snowmobile from Marble Zip Tours and Darren will guide you.