Sunday, August 26, 2007
Gull Island, Witless Bay
Today we headed out of Witless Bay beach to Gull Island looking for whales. We had heard a number of whales had come into Witless Bay on the hunt for the last of the capelin. It seemed a worthwhile venture heading out to see if we could get a couple of photos. Launching from the beach and exiting out from under the bridge was a bit tricky as the swell resulted in quite a breaking surf, squeezed into a fairly narrow entry way.
There were no whales today but the bird show made up for the absence of the whales.
The paddle out to Gull Island is fairly quick - we enjoyed a well spaced but hefty swell. Amongst the rolling waves were scattered groups of puffins who seem to take turns heading back to guard their nests from predatory gulls. At one point their postures almost reminded me of mini penguins. Another photo at a low point on the cliff appeared to capture a Northern Fulmar.
We got close to the island but didn't attempt to land as that might be too disturbing for the birds and is not permitted as the island is a bird sanctuary.
Puffins were constantly taking off from the water often appearing too full from feeding, to take off very far off the surface.
On the return, the long cumulative waves provided a bit of an opportunity to practice for bracing skills.