Do you know the Puffin Man?

The Attendant in Pemaquid Lighthouse Park was full of suggestions for possible cruises so with her directions and brochures in hand I was off to locate New Harbor, Maine.

I wasn’t able to find out much about New Harbor, ME. Wikipedia has only a few lines. It’s home to Pemaquid Lighthouse and Fort William Henry. I saw that sign for Fort William Henry and wanted to detour to check it out. I grew up near a Fort William Henry but that was in New York. I guess if there can be 2 Fort Knox then there can be 2 Fort William Henry. Unfortunately I wouldn’t have time if I wanted to catch the lighthouse Cruise so I passed it by and continued on toward the little village.

Wikipedia goes on to say “The town’s lobster fisherman and “Back Cove” were featured on an episode of the Discovery Channel’s “Sunrise Earth”.

I love that show. It’s one hour of natural sounds and sights, no background music, no talking, just ambient noise. The photography is outstanding. I like to lower the lights and use it as “quiet time”. It’s hard to find the show. Even Rocky and Smokey like to watch it. It seems to move around in the schedule and I haven’t seen it for a while now so I don’t know if it’s still on, but nature lovers, if you can find it, definitely tune in.

As I rounded a corner I saw a big sign…Parking for Hardy Boat Cruises. There was a parking attendant kiosk and a port-a-potty and an open field. Parking was $3.00 and you had to walk the rest of the way to the docks. It seems there was a restaurant on the docks that had cars towed if you were not a patron of the restaurant.

When I arrived at the ticket booth another older woman was arguing that being forced to park so far away was a hardship for her but her arguments were futile. There was no bending the rules. I bet someone could run a golf cart back and forth and make a bunch of money.

Anyway, it was my turn at the window and Maine quirkiness was in evidence once again. I asked for tickets on the lighthouse cruise and was told it had been moved to 11:30am. Well it was after 11:30 now so I guess I missed it. I showed the girl the brochure and she shrugged and said “I guess they changed it”. It wasn’t an old brochure . I really had to laugh then. So since I was there I asked her what cruises were available. She suggested the “Puffin Tour”. Now that got my attention. I remember that on the Puffin Tour in Bar Harbor they said that was the southernmost part of the Puffin’s range. When I mentioned that she said “Be sure to tell the naturalist. He’d want to know that.”

So here I am on another Puffin Cruise and without my seasick meds. Here’s hoping it won’t be too rough.

I took a seat on the upper deck. And soon we were heading out into the harbor.

The naturalist said he “hoped” we’d see puffins but that he couldn’t promise. We were heading to a chunk of rock called Eastern Egg Rock. Seems like every harbor has an “Egg Rock” and the story as to how it got its name sounded really familiar too. Early settlers used to go out to the island to collect the eggs to eat. Yup heard that before.

When we reached the island we could see lots of birds on the island but they weren’t all Puffins.

There were laughing gulls, the only kind Puffins will co-exist with, and guillemots.

Guillemot colony at Egg Rock

There were more guillemots than puffins but according to the naturalist the guillemots were far more rare than the puffins.

No one was seasick on this trip and we saw puffins, not as many as on the Bar Harbor trip but there was still plenty to see.

As we turned back toward New Harbor the day was coming to an end giving us a front row seat for the setting sun.

Tomorrow my trip is done. I’ll be heading back to “real life” . I was pleased with quite a few of my pictures but still haven’t got the shot I envisioned for the Pemaquid Light. I may have to return.

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If you are in New Harbor, Maine and want to have a nice tour, check out the offerings from the Hardy Boats:

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