Whales & puffins

Monday, June 17, 2013
Time to say goodbye to St. John’s and slowly head South to Ferryland, with a few scenic stops along the way while exploring the Irish Loop and the Eastern Shore.
The highlight of the day was a two-hour boat tour from Bay Bulls to see the Witless Bay Ecological Reserve. What a treat!!! I took some Gravol before going on board, to ensure my sea legs were not going to give up on me and my stomach would not churn! (It worked…).
Note to travellers: Not only do you need to be dressed in layers, but those layers need to be warm and waterproof because it is WINDY out there!!!! A winter hat will allow you to stay on deck to enjoy the full experience. Actually, some gloves could be useful too!
The staff of the boat company, O’Brien’s (www.obriensboattours.com), is definitely experienced in taking tourists out of the bay and into the ocean to meet the whales. We were so lucky because there were many of them popping up to take a breather from their monotonous swim! NFLD is their feeding ground at this time of the year, for about two months.
At one point, the boat seemed to be moving between the waves and a thick canopy of puffins. Thousands of them! It is hard to describe the feeling, but it was awesome!!! Puffins are cute little dark birds with a striking rounded beak. Believe it or not, they are no flying experts. In fact, if one were to land in your backyard, you would have him for life because it would not be able to fly back up. Puffins live in colonies and mate for life. They take residence on the steep coastal slopes, where they lay a single beautiful blue egg. Both parents incubate the egg and feed the chick. Awww!
By the time we had lunch (I had cod tongues — a gelatinous part of the fish throat — which are considered a delicacy. To be tried once… which was enough for me) and a short nap, it was raining again!
Cod tongues delicacy.

Cod tongues delicacy.

Back on the road, we stopped at Brigus South for the scenery and many photo ops, despite the lousy weather (nobody is going to rain on our parade… literally speaking!).
At Ferryland, Charlie and Maxine Dunne were waiting for us. This B&B had a beautiful view of the sea. Our room was named “The Nunan room” in honour of John Nunan, the family’s great-great-grandfather who won a Land ownership case in the 1750 – the mid-1800s.
Dinner stop: The “One million dollars view” very friendly local restaurant. Comfort food was on the menu, and with the rain and evening fog, that was just what the doctor ordered…
Until tomorrow,

Ray’s Perspective…
As Anna said in her blog, today was a boat tour to see the puffins and whales.
Okay, I decided to post some of the pictures so that you have an idea of what whale watching is from the boat.
The captain was on the tower with a bird’s eye view and we were in the boat with a view just above the water.
What did we see? Well, the captain kept on saying, whales at 10 o’clock, whales at 2 o’clock, etc. What did he expect in this digital age that I was going to remember what some old needles were used for?
Anyway, from the gazillions bad pictures we took, I selected one. This was whale watching for us: nothing like national geographic where they spend 2 weeks shooting with huge lenses and then show 10 seconds of the best. I think expectations and reality, in this case, are very far apart from each other.
Same with the puffins on a huge rock. We are too far. Even with a long lens and the boat moving up and down, it is almost impossible to get a great shot, but we selected a few to illustrate what Anna was saying in her blog.
So, what are Cod tongues and what do they taste like? Well, it is not bad, but you need to forget what it is and simply eat it. No other comments from me.
Tomorrow, more of Ferry Land, if the weather cooperates.
I will put the alarm clock at 4 am (LOL) to watch the sunrise in front of our bedroom window. The view is very pretty.

Picture of the Day

Brigus south on the Irish Loop

Brigus south on the Irish Loop

One Comment on “Whales & puffins

  1. Good to have your sea legs for a day like that. Am wondering how many extra posts are needed each year in your photo of the day to hold up the shack?


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