Day two at Family Nature Summits in Bar Harbor, Maine.
Today I went on a pelagic bird and whale watching trip from Bar Harbor, Maine. Though most people came for the whales, I wanted to see puffins up close. I had seen them in Alaska far, far away through binoculars.
The most important thing I learned today is that there are at least three types of puffins in North America. The puffin in Maine is the Atlantic or common puffin.
The boat stopped in front of Petit Manan Island, now part of the Maine Coastal Island National Wildlife Refuge. Of course, we didn’t get off–imagine hundreds of people getting off a sightseeing boat and trying to get on again. But we stood still for a while and admired the birds. And I did see puffins, lots and lots in the water in front of the island. Maybe that is a new bird for me.
We also saw artic terns, black-backed gulls, Wilson’s Storm Petrel, greater shearwater, and razorbills. Those birds may be new to me. There were several other species but I didn’t put them down since I probably have seen them.
Then we got further out to sea for whales and seals. By that time, it was rainy and windy and most people went indoors. I spent the next couple of hours going up and down the stairs of the boat and in and out of the nasty weather. Yes, we saw several types of whales and some seals. By that time, most people were indoors eating, talking or playing with their phones. But the whales were impressive.
When I picked up Hannah at 3:30 pm, I also picked up Alexa. Those two are inseparable. The sun came out and we all went swimming in the pool. Then after an early dinner, I took the girls into Bar Harbor where they blew their spending money. Hannah and Alexa both got a bacon necklace–don’t ask. It may not last until we get home but I guess that it’s better than a rite that includes sharing blood.
We’re having a sleep-over in my room tonight. The room has standard two-double beds, so I couldn’t invite the army I had last year–just Alexa. But this will be an early bedtime. They have to appear at 8 am tomorrow, bright eyed and bushy-tailed.