Thursday, July 30, 2015

Bauline East, Newfoundland (south of St. Johns)– part 1

In early July, I was excited about my campground in Bauline East due to how close it is to the Witless Bay Ecological Reserve.  The advertisement I saw said you could see some of the islands in the Reserve and puffins and whales.nl_be_witless_bayacross_from_rv2The picture above was taken with my camera at its full zoom, both digitally and optically.  I know you should not use digital zoom on a camera, but it was the only way that I could see the puffins and their burrows.  Yes, those white dots are puffins.  You could expand the picture and see there orange feet, but there will be plenty of puffin pictures later in this and other blogs!

I ended up taking several boat tours.  The first was on one of the larger boat tours out of Bay Bulls.  It wasn’t really my thing – too crowded and it was geared more toward entertainment rather than searching for whales and birds.  Then I discovered Molly Bawn Tours.  It is a much smaller boat, I believe they will only take up to 12 people.  I enjoyed my first trip so much that I stayed on board for the next trip.  A couple of days later I went back for another tour.  Then again several days later I went back for another.  On the last trip I was the only person signed up for the trip and they don’t go unless they have 2 paying customers so I was prepared to have to wait.  But it had been a slow day for them and they decided to go anyway.  I was so glad they did and we ended up staying out for almost 2.5 hours rather than the 1 – 1.5 hours we were supposed to.  That day we saw a Minke and stayed with him for 5 minutes or so, but then we moved on searching for Humpbacks.  Way off in a distance we saw a huge splash – a whale breaching.  He did that several times but as we got closer he quit.  But he had lead us to a great area as we ended up having 4 – 6 whales around us for a good hour or so!!

The first picture below is a whale slapping his tail.  In a couple of the pictures, we were close enough that you see some green, which is really the white on their flukes when they are underwater. 



In the next 2 pictures there are 2 whales.  In the first you can see the back of one and the green/white flukes underwater of the other.  nl_be_mb_humpbacks98nl_be_mb_humpbacks99

As I have previously mentioned I do get sea sick.  But in all my boat trips these past few weeks, I have taken Less Drowsy Dramimine, made sure that I had eaten a non-greasy breakfast and I chewed gum (don’t know if this really helps, but I read it might so I did!).  I never got sick and actually felt good even though the boat was definitely rocking!  Some examples of bad pictures due to waves and the rocking boat(the second one you can just see the tips of the whales tail) --


One time one of the humpbacks came very close to the boat.  We were really hoping that he would surface, but he never did.  Below is a shot of him underwater probably 15 feet or so from our boat.


We also saw birds on the boat tours.  I will post about these  in part 2 of Bauline East, NL. 

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