Witless Bay and Cape Spear
The Atlantic Puffin is Newfoundland’s official bird, so, together with friends from St. John’s, we took a boat down near Witless Bay to do some whale and puffin watching. Turns out the whales were so numerous — cavorting for an hour or so beside the catamaran — that the captain ran out of time, and we passed by the island where the puffins breed and raise their young in some haste to return to port. So the harvest of puffin photographs is meagre. Nevertheless, I managed to capture a few in various stages of flight, as well as some whales and a few thousand common murres. (I had done much better with puffins last summer on the sanctuary of Machias Island off the coast of New Brunswick where, unlike here at the Witless Bay Ecological Reserve, one can make landing and walk on the island. I’ll cheat slightly and offer up one photograph from that trip.)
Running out of Canada
Cape Spear is the most easterly point in Canada. So, after three weeks on the road, standing on this spot, I’ve finally run out of Newfoundland, run out of Canada, run out of North America, and run out of the Western Hemisphere. Since, as one wag put it, “The road to Ireland looks a wee bit flooded”, there is only one option: turn back westward. The coast here is steeped in history and lore, beginning 8,000 years or so with the first humans, to the arrival of the Europeans in the 16th century, on through the time of the German U-Boats which plied these waters in great numbers, to the resource-rich present.
(Blog Covers July 22, 2013)
Although I’ve already arrived back in Ottawa, I owe you one last blog post: The trip to the Cape St. Mary’s Ecological Reserve July 23 and the huge colony of Northern Gannets down there. I’ll post it in a day or two.
To be continued . . .