Day: July 24, 2020

The Time I Saw Puffins

Visiting Machias Seal Island to see the puffins has been on my bucket list for a while. Despite its proximity to Grand Manan, I had never been there. The island is part of a bird sanctuary and the number of visitors per day is limited. While the Machias Seal Island is owned by Canada, it is also claimed by the United States, so those visitors are split between the two countries. Tours normally sell out within a few weeks after they go on sale in the winter. In the summer of Covid, things are of course different. Visitors outside Atlantic Canada being unable to visit created openings on the tour this summer which was an opportunity that couldn’t be passed up. After one bad weather cancellation, we set sail this morning. Despite the fog, the puffins were so close and easy to see. I’m not a bird watcher (despite the abundance of birds around Grand Manan) but this was an incredible tour. Puffins make a weird noise, somewhere between a chainsaw and a cow, which I did not realize until we were ashore. We spent 45 minutes in a blind watching and listening to the birds. A quick sail around North Rock to see seals, and we were back to the Seal Cove wharf about 5.5 hours after we left.