Yesterday we enjoyed a fabulous evening on a boat trip from Bay Bulls to the Witless Bay Ecological Reserve.

It was rather late in the day when we decided to go do something, so we we were on the 17:45 trip out of Bay Bulls. The weather was agreeable, the sun was shining and the temperature was close to 24°, a great evening out on a boat.

Last time we were on this boat there were much less people, the tourism season is really starting to pick up. Still, everybody was able to find a spot on either side of the boat when the captain announced something to see on either port or starboard side.

Our first ‘stop’ was Gull island, same as last time, and the show of Atlantic puffins was much better this time around. The island was filled with puzzled looking puffins, that seems to be their standard expression:

Puzzled puffin – Gull Island, Witless Bay Ecological Reserve

They were on the water and in the air as well, here’s one not too far from the boat:

Atlantic puffin – Near Gull Island, Witless Bay Ecological Reserve

When the puffins are flying, good luck following them, they’re pretty fast:

Atlantic puffin – Near Gull Island, Witless Bay Ecological Reserve

Of course there were many more birds on the island, there’s a big population of common murres, sometimes called foolish guillemots:

Common murres – Gull Island, Witless Bay Ecological Reserve

After Gull Island we headed further into the reserve, closer to Witless Bay, and we were treated to a stellar cetacean show for over an hour. Two humpback whales, a mother and calf, were feeding on capelin near Witless Bay.

The calf was playing in the water, making small jumps and flicking its tail whipping up lots of spray. At first the whales stayed at some distance but after 10 minutes or so they surfaced close to the boat, close enough to see them properly. After this they dove underneath the boat and we lost them again for a while.

Here’s a shot of the mother (left) and the calf:

Humpback whales – Witless Bay Ecological Reserve

Flashing a bit of fluke:

Humpback tail – Witless Bay Ecological Reserve

Just before we left, the whale waved us goodbye:

Humpback fin – Witless Bay Ecological Reserve

It was an awesome trip, and for Marije it was extra special because it was her first time seeing a whale from up close. I think it’s just great that we live in such a wonderful place where whales, icebergs and eagles are a part of our lives now.