Eleonore and Bruce, the friends I stayed with in the Netherlands, are back to Nova Scotia on vacation. Eleonore wants to go to Grand Manan, an island in the Bay of Fundy (world’s highest tides, a 40-foot vertical rise and fall).
Sounds like a great idea to me, so off we go. And again, the weather gods smile on us.
We kayak, watching the fishermen empty the sardine weirs (nets set up in a heart shape just offshore).
We take a whale boat to Machias Seal Island, a 90-minute trip, then transfer (carefully) to a much smaller boat and land on the island.
Why are we here? Because 6000 pairs of puffins breed here every summer.
Only 15 people are allowed to land at a time, and we’re marched straight to blinds, little sheds with windows.
The puffins are about four feet away. They look to me like Parisian models on a catwalk – sleek and elegant, but totally improbable.
They sound like lawn mowers.
We also see lots of razorbills. They growl like dogs.
Early in August, all the juvenile puffins, in the middle of the night, crawl from their burrows, head straight for the sea, and all the puffins disperse.