Machias Seal Island ~ a place I’d love to see [71/365]

Screen Shot 2016-03-11 at 08.42.52Machias Seal Island is a tiny island in the Gulf of Maine. It’s a disputed island — both Canada and the United States claim sovereignty. It’s a long and complicated story … I just read parts of it in Wikipedia.

MSI-from-SkiffAs things stand now, the lighthouse is manned by Canada … two lightkeepers are flown in by helicopter from Saint John every four weeks, to replace the two existing ones. These Coast Guard employees also assist the Canadian Wildlife Service in maintaining the Migratory Bird Sanctuary, as well as helping any wildlife researchers who may stay on the island for a period of time.

Regardless of the dispute, the reason I want to go there is this:

By Thomas O’Neil, Tgo2002 at English WikipediaSelf-photographed.

The Atlantic Puffin … I hope to, at least once in my life, see puffins and even take pictures of my own. The above is borrowed from Wikipedia, obviously. I love puffins. Who doesn’t?! Project Puffin lives in Rockland, Maine. We’ve been to Rockland, but unfortunately it was closed when we were there.

There are tours, out of Grand Manan, out to Machias Seal Island. The boat trip takes a number of hours, you have to be dressed accordingly, in rubber boots, and be able to climb the rock when you arrive on the island. Then you get two hours to spend with your camera, in a small ‘booth’, and shoot pictures to your heart’s content.

The puffin population is on the decline, which saddens me to no end.

20 Replies to “Machias Seal Island ~ a place I’d love to see [71/365]”

  1. There has been a lot of press over here about the puffins. Iceland has seen an enormous decrease – and there is a fear that the problem will move to Scotland. I’ve seen them in Wales – very perky birds and a joy to watch. I hope you get your wish very soon.

  2. The ocean was once thought of as a huge garbage dump – out of sight, out of mind – and I think we’re starting to pay the price for that stupid way of thinking.

    1. Pollution … their food sources becoming scarce … stuff like that, I guess. They’re not [yet] on the threatened species list, but they’re listed as ‘vulnerable’.

  3. I finally got a chance to see puffins last year when we were in Iceland. They really are the cutest little things and we laughed out loud every time one would run along the top of the water.
    It’s a shame to hear their numbers are declining 😦

    1. That must have been marvellous! I’ve been in Iceland many times, but only their airport. Spent a few hours in Reykjavik once, between flights.

      1. We did a 3 day layover in Reykjavik, rented a car and spent the 3 days on the road. I saw just enough to know it is a place unlike anywhere I’ve ever been before. I would like to experience more … preferably as a hiker, or on horseback.

  4. Oh I would love to see Atlantic Puffins for myself!!! There is something s-o adorable about these little birds! I hope you get to visit Machias Seal Island one day soon…..

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