Much ado about puffins

I know, right? You’re all thinking, “Damn, girl, just skip the talk and show pics.” Well, cool your jets. Plenty of almost good pics to come.

So there are two puffin tour outfitters on Cape Breton (that I’m aware of). I opted for the one that has a little puffin wearing a captain’s hat on the logo a few years ago. I honestly pulled up and was ushered onto the boat. My timing could not have been better. And so I returned.

Bird Island Boat Tours is a third-generation family business. Captain Vince (second generation) is no joke. I’m fascinated by him. Direct, a little gruff, but clearly passionate. I looked forward to seeing him on this return visit.

So if you go to CB, drive out to Big Bras d’Or and take this tour. Stay in their cabins or camp on their land. These people are great.

Okay, okay. Puffins. Last time I did this, I had a point and shoot. And then I think I blogged using stock photos because I had no idea that puffins are tiny, fast and wily. My puffin pictures looked like pepper sprinkled onto a paper plate. As Kirk was packing up, I told him not to bring anything but the telephoto lens. I don’t think he fully believed me. He does now. And I’m entirely proud of the blurry photos I’m about to show you because they aren’t horrible. It’s that simple.

Exhibit A

^telephoto is necessary

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Getting an action shot is impossible with my gear. Kirk has fancy equipment, and would hold his finger on the shutter button and move his camera through the air, sounding like he was fighting the Luftwaffe–tat tat tat tat tat tat tat tat tat tat tat. He calls it the “spray and pray.” His pictures are great. I got fuzzy, awkward stuff like this.

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Ah well.

I remember the first time on this tour being the pivotal moment when I began to think eagles are assholes. While Captain Vince has never seen an eagle eating a puffin or attacking a puffin, they’re there. Waiting. And eating other stuff.

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There are seals and herons and other birds on the island.

But let’s be real. It’s about the little guys.

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And I’m pretty sure I’ll get back some day to do a third tour.

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