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We are off to Newfoundland so tag-along with us.

Puffins and more Whales

Thursday, July 21, 2011

We were moving up to Bonavista today a whole 44 kms.  It had rained through the night and was still drizzling when we got up.  That doesn’t surprise us one little bit.  We almost feel like we are in Ketchican Alaska where it rains 320 days a year.  We head out about 10:00 with temperatures around 9 degrees, hoping it is going to warm up a bit.  We pulled into Paradise Farms campground where there is a caravan of about 25 huge buses and 5th wheels.  Boy does Hemi and Elbroko look small among them.  Our camping is $18 for an unserviced site, which is fine with us.  Doug found out from the campground owner that the whales were breaching in Elliston yesterday at the puffin site, so we can’t get there fast enough.  Maybe we will be in luck and see one breach today.  Elliston is the rootcellar capital of the world.
Everywhere you look there are rootcellars and it appears that many of them are still in use.  We meander through the streets trying to find our way out to the puffin site.  It is a short hike back to the cliffs and OMG there are a bunch of them sitting on the cliffs only 4 or 5 feet away from people.  It was so amazing!  I was expecting the puffins to be more of a penquin size but they are actually quite small.  Larger than a pigeon but smaller than a seagull.  Beautiful little birds with their orange beaks and feet.  What fun it was watching them.  They seemed to be very inquisitive and would sit right on the edge of the cliff watching you and would run back and forth from ledge to ledge. Most of the puffins were actually all on an island just across from the mainland.  They have nests burrowed into the ground.

What a day we were having not only were there puffins put there were lots of whales in the bay feeding on the capelin. Some of them were quite close to shore and we did manage to see a few breach.  What a site that is!  It is almost impossible to get a picture of a breaching whale, you must have the camera pointed in the right direction at the right time.  We did manage to get a big splash, which will remind us of that magnificent sight.  After a couple of hours of watching whales and puffins we drive over to Bonavista to check out the neat lighthouse they have there. It has turned out to be a gorgeous day, the temperature is around 19 degrees.  A whole lot cooler than the record temperatures they were setting yesterday at home in Baden. 

We are totally distracted from the lighthouse as there are a whole lot more whales, and just off shore.  The whales are fascinating to watch, we all love it.  They were breaching here as well and Amanda did manage to get a really awesome picture.

There is something magnetic about the whales, Doug and Amanda could not stop watching them.  I did however, manage to walk around the lighthouse and see what we actually drove out here for. 

I wanted to stop at the Dungeon Provincial park which is a 2 km drive down a gravel road filled with potholes.  But it was still kind of cool to see. Sea caves 300 ft across and 15 meters deep which allows the sea water to roar through into the Dungeon. Tidal action has created a small natural beach. On the drive out we saw several whales breaching.  OMG we’ll never get out of here.  We stop in town for a refreshment at the local pub and we are in luck there is some entertainment today.  The first group was two local young fellas that did a great job of singing and entertaining.  At 10:00 the Irish Descendants where going to be playing, apparently, a very popular Newfoundland group.  Wow, it sure was popular, the place was packed, and they didn’t start coming until it is past my bed time.  We had a great evening and Amanda was able to experience the local pub, one of the things to see on her list.

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