Monday, July 13, 2009

Day 193: Murres and Puffins

Day 193: Murres and Puffins, originally uploaded by susanvg.

Birdwatching and more

There is nothing like a ride on a boat to slow time down. The ocean was calm, the air warm – perfect weather to take in the wildlife. It was wonderful to be out on the water. The first destination was Witless Bay Ecological Refuge – a series of small islands where thousands of sea birds nest in the summer. As we got nearer we started to see puffins zooming over the water. They are really like little windup toys with wings going at quite a speed. It was quite something to see the island – the bottom part rocky, where the murres lived along with some seagulls. The top part was grassy and full of holes – the nests of the puffins. There were thousands of birds. We also saw one black backed gull, which apparently eats puffins – up to 6 a day.

Later we saw humpback whales – such graceful creatures. Two spouts came up at one point and a double breech as the tails rose into the air. Here and there, the whales came up to breathe – no hurry, just a slow breath and then under the water again. The gently rocking water and their slow, calm movement brought a great sense of peace.

The coastline is incredibly beautiful, rocky, with constant inlets. The waves wash over the rocks causing little waterfalls as they retreat.

Finally a visit to Cape Spear – hailed as the easternmost point in North America. It may be the easternmost tip of Canada – but last I heard Greenland was part of North America. Funny how everything tries to be the “est” biggest, farthest, - something to make it unique. But each place is unique – it doesn't take superlatives to make it so. Cape Spear and its lighthouse from the 1800s was a lovely place to be. We spotted a whale offshore. After climbing to the top where the lighthouse is located, we stayed a while and enjoyed the view and the serenity. You could hear sounds from below – the waves, a flock of birds passing near the water and occasional muffled voices. A very peaceful place to be.

For more photos


  1. Sounds (and looks) like you are enjoying an incredible journey! Thanks for sharing - such a treat!

  2. I am enjoying your vacation! Just found your link at the bottom for more photos. These are wonderful and I look forward to more!

  3. This sounds wonderful, Susan. Glad your vacation is so restful and fun!

  4. I'm really glad the weather is cooperating for you. Your trips sounds like a great opportunity to recharge mind, body and soul. Enjoy!