Chasing Puffins Again

Some of you may remember that back in 2012 I went on a “Quest” to photograph those clowns of the sea, Puffins.


I went to Maine, joined a boat tour and headed off to Machias Seal Island. It was cold, the sea was rough and just about everyone on board (except me) got sea sick, but I did see Puffins. That trip showed me how hard getting that  “Nat Geo” picture was going to be.

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Those birds are small and the ocean is large and you can only get so close to an island with waves crashing against a rocky coast.

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Then I went to Alaska in 2013. That trip promised Puffins, eagles, bear, moose , caribou, otters, sea lions and on and on. Our timing was a bit off and although we saw some of these animals whales didn’t breach for us, the bears were in the distance, just waking from hibernation, and there were no Puffins or otters.

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Since then, wrapped up in a new job (career?) I’ve been really busy and not thinking about much wildlife photography. In spite of having a new camera and an awesome new lens, I haven’t been out roaming the woods much.

So now another opportunity has presented itself and I jumped at it. The Mass Audubon Society is planning a trip called Puffins and Peatlands in July 2016. As soon as I heard I called and made my reservation. This trip we are to actually to set foot on the island and there are blinds set up to allow close up photography. Be still my heart!


I’m really excited, then they sent me the itinerary. Oh Oh. I’ve been less than athletic since my fall off the airplane two years ago which started the downward spiral of health problems. Although I’m feeling much better these days my knees still hurt,my left hip is arthritic and my back still hurts occasionally.

Their first consideration. You must be able to walk on beaches and through spruce forest where exposed roots and rocks can provide difficult footing for 1/2 to 1 mile in length. I used to be able to do that but can I still? Some days walking to my car is a challenge.

But the 2nd consideration is the one that really strikes fear in my heart. “The landing onto Machias Seal Island can be difficult. Participates must be able to get in and out of a smaller boat. We may need to walk over rocks that are wet and slippery.” OH MY WORD! I nearly fell into the fake canal in Las Vegas getting in and out of the gondola. Will I be able to pull this off?


I remember when I quit smoking. I wanted to lean to scuba dive but no one would accept a smoker in the class so I quit. Cold turkey. I wanted to do something and I did what was necessary.

But how do I get my creaky, aching joints in shape? I’ve got 9 months. October – July.

I need some advice quickly!

Posted in animals, Birds, Maine, Photography, Travel and tagged , , , .