Friday, June 26
Strange, but tragic news this morning – not only did Farah Fawcette succumb to her cancer, but there was news that Michael Jackson had died suddenly. Add in the death earlier this week of Ed McMahon, and the celebrity death trio is now complete.
Yesterday’s puffin cruise had been canceled because of fog. Today didn’t look much better. We were afraid to commit ourselves to one direction with the possibility of another cancellation, but did so anyway, heading south. Before we got too far along the way I called the boat company, and they said that they planned to sail. We guessed that things must be better down near the coast.
Port Clyde is on the peninsula just south of Rockland. It serves and the main ferry route out to Monhegin Island, a couple of miles further south. It’s a tiny place with the dock, and few fishing vessels, a general store, and a few art galleries making up the businesses.
Since we were a bit early, we made a side trip over to the Marshal Point Lighthouse, adding yet another to our ever-growing list. As with the Ram’s Island light we saw yesterday, a long ramp led the way from the keeper’s house to the light tower. We were able to walk out the ramp, but were not able to enter the light or the keeper’s house. I took a few pictures, then we headed out on our way.
The boat we were sailing on today was the Laura B. It was much smaller than yesterday’s boat, and much more crowded. Several picnic tables had been set up on the deck of this working boat, wedged in among hoists, pulleys, and other nautical gear. It was obvious that this would be a very different trip.
As with yesterday’s trip, we pulled in a lobster cage along the way. However, this time our naturalist, Pete, went into much more detail describing the process of lobstering. He kept a few of what we found, but threw most back.
Our route took us out of the port and past the Marshal Point Light we had just seen. From there we headed straight out into the ocean. We passed a couple of seals out in the water, and paused to look at several other shore birds, including petrals and various types of gulls.
Eventually we reached our destination at Egg Rock Island. This is a low, treeless island about a mile out from the port. It’s also home to the southernmost puffin rookery in the Atlantic. The only human inhabitants are researchers who live here in tents for the summer, and who also try to keep predatory gulls away from the puffin chicks.
The puffins were out in force, and we took two turns around the island, watching them in the water, in flight, and on the rocks. They certainly are unusual looking.
From the puffin island we paused at another set of rocks to look at more seals, then continued on to Allen Island, where we spotted goats a couple of immature eagles. On the north end of the island we came to the home and art museum of Jamie Wyeth. Across the channel on Emmaus Island was the compound that served as home to artist Andrew Wyeth until his recent death. His wife, Betsy, still lives in the compound.
After three hours out on the water I was ready to return. It had been a good trip, and we had seen lots of wildlife.
We had a leisurely late lunch at Applebees – a known quantity and comfort food after all of the lobster and seafood. We were also able to enjoy watching CNN, where there were endless tributes to the late Michael Jackson, as well as speculations as to cause of death, etc. etc. As tragic as this story is, I’m betting that Mark Sanford is happen for the distraction from his woes.
Back in the car we punched up the GPS and saw that Owl’s Head Lighthouse wasn’t too far away, so we decided to make it our last stop on our explorations. There was a state park with a beach, and a path that led to the light. At this one, a long staircase leads from the keepers house up a hill to the relatively short tower. From here we could also see the Rockland Breakwater Light across the way.
As we were walking back we heard a commotion up in the trees, and paused to watch a set of ravens almost ready to fledge.
We made our way back to Belfast, and decided to have dinner locally. We grabbed the basket of menus at the inn, and decided to try Rollie’s over on Main Street.
Rollie’s turned out to be a local watering hole, and it was hopping on a Friday night. Apparently the local team was the Boston Red Sox, and a Boston-Atlanta game could be seen on every TV. It was loud, but fun, and the food was good. Even so, it was good to get back to a quiet inn.
One thought on “Puffins, Puffins, Puffins”
great puffins pics.
I tried to get a good photo of the cute little fellows when I was in Alaska a few weeks ago, but did not have your success.