Flight Of The Puffins

I saw my first puffin in Iceland in 2007 and immediately fell in love with these quirky little birds. At the end of 2007, I adopted my first puffin through Project Puffin, an organisation that helps restore puffins and other seabird colonies to islands in the Gulf of Maine.

Every year I receive an update of what my puffin got up to on Eastern Egg Rock Island over the past summer. Sometimes the news is happy and sometimes sad. I celebrate when my puffin’s chicks fledge, and cry when they don’t. The worst updates are the ones informing me my puffin didn’t return to the island. EN 53 was my first puffin, followed by the intriguingly named Q. Sadly, neither of these puffins have returned to the island. My current puffin is MR 795.

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Since adopting my first puffin, it has been a dream of mine to travel to Maine and visit Eastern Egg Rock Island. Ten years after I adopted my first puffin, I fulfilled that dream. The best way to see the puffins and Eastern Egg Rock Island is on a puffin cruise. As I had traveled a long way to get there, I treated myself to a morning and evening cruise.

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My first puffin trip was Cap’n Fish’s morning cruise which left from Boothbay Harbor. A Project Puffin staff member joined us for the trip and gave an informative talk. As we made our way to Eastern Egg Rock Island, puffins were spotted in the water. I leaned over the side of the boat and saw a group of puffins bobbing in the waves. They were so close! I watched as their orange feet paddled under the water and marvelled at the way they launched their black and white bodies into the sky. The closer we got, the more puffins we saw. There were puffins flying across the skyline, some with beaks filled with fish. We watched as they flew to the island and landed on the craggy rocks. We spent a good amount of time circling the island and watching the puffins go about their daily business before returning to Boothbay Harbor.

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My second puffin trip was an evening cruise with Hardy Boat Cruises in New Harbor. We departed around sunset, so although the trip was similar to the morning one, it had a very different feel. Watching puffins fly across the sky at dusk was magical. Again we saw puffins bobbing in the waves close to our boat. When we we arrived at Eastern Egg Rock Island, we actually picked someone up from the island. We watched as a Project Puffin staff member was rowed to our boat, boarded, and then watched as the rower returned to the island. This was an unexpected surprise. I’m so glad I did both trips.

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When I received my latest puffin adoption update I was happy to discover that MR 795 was at the island when I visited and successfully fledged a chick called A4 and adorably nicknamed “McFluffin.” I’ve already asked if I can adopt McFluffin if she/he ever becomes available 🙂

16 comments

      1. Yes, that was a cool show! I have cousins living in Alaska, and my mother was crazy about the place. My mother actually LOVED puffins, she had a puffin collection with tapestries and figurines, which I inherited when she passed away. So, you can see how your Puffin article really hit me in the heart! My mom would even go up to Alaska for the dark winter when they get practically no sunlight! She loved it, hehe 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Wow! I thought I was the only one crazy about puffins! Your mum’s collection sounds wonderful. I’ve got a small but growing collection of puffin stuff and a number of puffin tattoos 🙂 Alaska in winter would be awesome. I want to see the Northern Lights somewhere so Alaska might be the place.

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      3. Ah, Vicky! It is just like you to have puffin tatts! If my mother had been from a different era, she would also have been that sort of bad-ass! (She, like you, also loved bears, but the Grizzly and Polar were her favorites.) She did see the Northern Lights several times, going up there in winter. My mom had a love affair with Alaska! She finally took me, but we went at the height of summer when they get about 22 hours of daylight, which I loved!

        I am so glad to have this little chat with you, it is like bringing a piece of my mom back to life. Thanks Vicky 🙂 Keep building the puffin collection 🙂

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      4. It’s amazing the relationships we can build via the internet. Since we started chatting I’ve felt connected to you and now I feel connected to your mother. I think I would have liked her a lot! I’m sure we would have gotten tattooed together 🙂

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      5. Exactly so! It is quite amazing. You have actually reminded me of my mother — from since when we started talking about your love of winter darkness and my love of summer light — because that was my relationship with my mother. It is like she was Persephone and I was Demeter. I know that is reversed, but you know — stuff gets reversed in the Cosmic soup! So you reminded me of that. I was so sorry when you lost your own mother, too, as I know that pain. It was my mother who kind of got me into Pagan faith as well. (Although she herself sort of reluctantly raised me Catholic, but always with many “caveats” regarding the Church.) Mom and I did “witch “things together and she even called us “the witches”.

        Oh, you have loved her! You two would have been BUDDIES of the highest order.

        Thank you for your friendship 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      6. I love that I remind you of your mother and I love that she was Persephone and you Demeter. My mother also got me interested in the esoteric realm. Although she was a Christian, she loved exploring astrology, numerology, dream interpretation and various other esoteric philosophies. But she drew the line at tarot! She thought of herself as Endora and me as Samantha. I think we are lucky to have had such close relationships with our mothers and that we miss them now they are gone.

        Thank you for your friendship. I always look forward to a post or comment from you 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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