• Christina Blanchard

A Cabin on the Ocean

How our dream to build a cabin on the ocean started.


We've both always loved the weekend retreat to the family cabin, lately it seems like the only place we want to be. The only issue is that we don't have a cabin of our own yet, and we will have to get creative if we want one anytime soon. This post is about how we came to settle on what our cabin would be, even if its just a dream for now.

Canoeing at the family cabin (Birchy Lake)

Mike and I both grew up Central Newfoundland, Canada. Growing up both of us spent time with our families outdoors in the woods of Central and Western Newfoundland. I have been going to our family's cabin for as long as I can remember, trout fishing and picking blueberries. Mike helped his own dad build their cabin as a young teenager, and he still claims that he drove more nails during the build than his father. We both have fond memories of ATV and skidoo rides, and canoeing on the lake. The weekend meant one thing, cabin time!

As a Newfoundlander, growing up in the woods is normal. But growing up on the ocean is THE normal.

Apart from summer trips to visit our relatives living in Coastal Green Bay and White Bay, neither of us had the traditional raised-on-the-ocean childhood of many Newfoundlanders. Mike and I were both in our mid-twenties by the time we had even caught our first cod!


When we moved back to Central Newfoundland in 2015 we found ourselves spending more and more time on the water, specifically the beautiful Notre Dame Bay.

Proud of my first Cod! Caught near Exploits Island.

Over the last several years our love of the Atlantic Ocean has continued to grow. With the purchase of a small sailboat it became clear that our future cabin would be on the ocean. As much as we love our family cabins in the interior, we both craved a retreat near the open water!

The Cabin Property of our Dreams:

  • Oceanfront location

  • Remote location in the woods, good for hiking and spotting wildlife

  • Somewhere to moor off our boat

  • 1 Acre of land for gardening and recreation

  • Privacy from neighbors (but some within walking distance)

  • Year-round access from the highway

  • Within an hour drive of our work/home

  • A cabin large enough to entertain & lodge our family and friends

  • Affordable

Seems like a tall order doesn't it?

Outside of the capital region (St. John's/Avalon Peninsula) most of the Newfoundland coastline is undeveloped. So unlike many places in the world, it is actually fairly inexpensive to acquire a plot of land on the ocean... given you are okay with an isolated location and some hard work!


With our limited budget, we've decided to search for a plot of undeveloped crown land, acquire and develop the land, and eventually build a cabin (if all goes according to plan)!

Now that it was clear what we wanted, the question was "how?". How do we find this dream property? How do we access it? Purchase it? Develop it? And when all of that is done, how do we actually build a cabin? Why is it a cabin not a cottage?


Follow along with us as we build a cabin on the ocean!


Wondering where to start? Check out one of these posts:

Mike returns from a kayak ride in the Harbor

About Christina

I'm Christina and I live in the beautiful Canadian province of Newfoundland & Labrador. We are building a cabin by the ocean in rural Notre Dame Bay. Come along with Mike, Duke and I as we pursue our version of the Islanders dream!

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Disclaimer: The information given on this website is for reference and inspiration only. When starting a building project always consult professionals and follow local laws and regulations. 

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