Thursday, July 22, 2010

Puffin Quest

Destination:       Machias Seal Island
                        44° 30.5′ north latitude 67° 05.8′ west longitude
                        Less than two miles from the Canadian border (at sea)

We’ve been hanging around with our friends, Steve and Lynn, on Celebration, while here in MaineLynn wanted to see puffins, and Anne heartily concurred.  We staged at Roque Island, a lovely place (when you can see it through the fog) with well-protected anchorages on both the north (Shorey Cove; see Celebration at sunrise) and south (Great Beach) sides.  Machias Seal Island is about 15 miles east-southeast of Roque Island, basically out in the middle of nowhere.  And boy, are there puffins!  Puffins flying, puffins swimming, puffins lined up along the roof of the Canadian coast guard buildings.  (The island is claimed by both the U.S. and Canada, but maintained by the Canadians.)  In addition to the puffins, we also saw lots of gulls and guillimots, and two razorbills, our first sighting of this species.  At the non-puffin end of the island, seals bobbed in the water and sprawled on the rocks.  It was a wonderful day for nature-viewing, and we were back at Roque Island in time to go for a walk on the beautiful mile-long sand beach.

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