As part of our New Brunswick staycation in 2020, Ben and I were fortunate enough to get seats on a tour boat to Machias Seal Island - home to a lone lighthouse keeper, and several types of migratory birds, including 5000 pairs of Atlantic puffins!
In addition to being highly knowledgeable and experienced, Sea Watch Tours were also good at keeping us safe - e.g., mandatory masks onboard, hand sanitizer. Our small group also took turns in the blinds, so we only were in a blind with other members of our household bubble. While this may have meant less time overall in a blind, I'm not sure how many more photos I could have taken.
Speaking of the blinds, they are completely covered in puffins, who clearly think they are just another rock. As we looked through the windows, we could not stop laughing at the constant stamping of tiny webbed feet above our heads and their strange calls.
Being so close, I was surprised to learn that they were easily captured using a phone camera. While all my pictures here were taken with my Canon 7D and 85mm f1.4 lens, I have great shots and video with my phone.
After our time in the blinds, we waited on the pier for the other group to have their turn. We were able to get great fishing shots of the hungry puffins, circling back from their trips to the water back to their nests.
Once back on the boat, the crew took us to a nearby island covered in hundreds of harbour and grey seals. A longer lens would have been good here, but luckily a few seals were rather inquisitive.
It's an amazing day adventure, and I'd highly recommend it. Sea Watch Tours was excellent; in addition to the points above, they were extremely good at keeping us up-to-date on plans, and rescheduling when our initial booking was cancelled due to wind and fog.