On Tuesday, Good Man and I drove from St John’s to Witless Bay by way of Cupids and Butter Pot Park. On Wednesday, we went out on a whale watching and puffin sighting tour offered through Mullowney’s. (We booked a package through out hotel, Bear’s Cove Inn. Ended up saving more than $30 that way, and we still got to choose the date and time that we went out.)
The tour was supposed to be a two-hour tour around Witless Bay but we were actually out for about two hours and twenty minutes, which was a really nice surprise. We had two tour guides who were friendly, knowledgeable, and who didn’t try to joke or be cute or babble on too much. They were really good.
While we were out, we passed another company’s boat. Their boat was packed with people. Meanwhile, our boat only had about ten people. I was glad that we were able to move around! (Also, Other Company’s ride is 30 minutes shorter and $5 more. Interesting.)
There was one really scary moment where the boat scraped against some rocks and it felt like we were going to tip over, but everything was fine and we’re not dead. So, moving on…
On the Shore
The boat tour went out to Witless Bay Ecological Reserve. The Reserve is made up of four islands and very few people (researchers) are allowed on the islands. The islands host thousands of sea birds. It was like The Birds. With puffins.
If you plan on going to Newfoundland, do not be impressed by guarantees of puffin sightings. You’d have to be in a coma to miss them.
Puffins fly sort of like off-balance footballs. We were told this is because their wings are better suited for diving.
Several different birds live at the Reserve, including the bad-ass of seabirds, the black-backed gull shown at the bottom of the photo above. This gull grows to about 4 pounds and will snatch puffins out of the air to chow down on them. (I think the birds above the gull are kittiwakes.)
Below you see hundreds of murres.
Witless Bay Ecological Reserve
When we headed out, it was cloudy. Then it was briefly sunny. Then it was cloudy and foggy. I was glad we’d worn layers!
We did see a few whales (minkes) while we were out there, but they came and went so quickly that I didn’t get any photos. Honestly, I thought the birds were more interesting to watch!
The Atlantic Ocean
At the Harbor