Dave and I left our place at 6:30 AM (ugh!). . .
notice I said, left. . .which means we were up way before that. . .crazy I tell ya. . .
because we had a Puffin Cruise scheduled
in Boothbay Harbor. . .two hours away. . .
our RV park is a bit inland, so it was pretty clear when we left.
About thirty minutes into the trip, as we crossed over onto
one of the islands. . .this was the view. . .uh oh. . .
not looking so promising for a day on the water. . .
and not long after that, the prospects for a good day dimmed even further. . .
not to mention that our lovely GPS decided there was a “shortcut” we could take,
over hill and dell. . .and around by grandmother’s house we go. . .aii yaiii yaiii. . .
but alas. . .we finally made it. . .
Boothbay Harbor View. . .seriously. . .even the sea mist can’t diminish the beauty of this. . .
and it seems to be clearing a little bit. . .there’s our tour boat in the background. . .
this was an Audubon sponsored tour. . .so we had an Audubon representative on board,
who explained how the puffin program in Maine got started. . .
reason #1. . .as a way to make money. . .
folks would go out to the islands and take
the bird eggs to sell in town. . .this is a laughing gull egg. . .
but they also collected whatever eggs were available.
Laughing gulls only produce three eggs,
arctic terns produce two eggs,
and puffins produce one egg per nesting season. . .
so you can see how quickly this would decimate nesting populations. . .
in addition. . .having an entire bird displayed
on your hat was all the rage internationally at the time. . .yuck!
therefore, the Audubon Society became involved
in providing a human presence on the islands during nesting season. . .
Currently, they provide a human presence during nesting season
for scientific and tracking reasons. . .
and also to deter natural predators from decimating the puffin population. . .
Our guide was telling us that as soon as the interns pack up and leave an
island, it becomes overran with eagles. The interns stay in place
until the puffin nesting season is over, the chicks have left the burrows,
have taken to the sea, and are basically able to fend for themselves. . .
this is approximately a three month period from beginning to end. . .
and finally. . .the payoff. . .this is considered a raft of puffins. . .
a puffin shimmy. . . (I made that up!)
aren’t they purty little things?
My camera isn’t fast enough to get them in flight (40 to 50 miles per hour)
and Dave is having problems with his camera,
since he dropped it the other day when he fell at the Schoodic Peninsula
so this was the best we could do. . .
it was cold out on the water. . .so my mailman trick for staying warm worked beautifully. . .
a rain suit on over everything outs block the wind perfectly. . .
not a fashion statement. . .but hey. . .everyone else headed downstairs. . .
Ram Island Lighthouse
Burnt Island Lighthouse
by the time we made it back into harbor the mist was really beginning to clear. . .
our choice for lunch. . .the Lobster Dock,
where the view from the patio was great. . .
and the fried whole belly clams and chowda were really great. . .
the best meal yet. . .beats lobster hands down!
on to the next adventure after lunch, we saw this church steeple. . .
don’t you know during leaf peeping season next month
this will be one of the most photographed spots in Sheepscot Harbor?
Wish I were still going to be here then. . .
and our last agenda item of the day. . .
to photograph the beautiful Maine State House in Augusta. . .
a quick trip by Sam’s Club. . .gotta stay stocked up on coffee. . .
and finally. . .twelve hours later. . .home!
YES. . .
‘til next time. . .
Janice and Dave