Well, today was some warm b’y? Right from the get-go it was 18° and rising, it’s a preview of things to come I guess.

To me this warm weather was most welcome, as I had plans to go on my first whale watching trip of the year. Whales had been seen in both Logy Bay and the Witless Bay Ecological Reserve so I was ready to take my chances in the local whale watching lottery.

Because the 11 AM tour has back-lit puffins on the first approach, I wanted to be on the 2 PM tour which is a little better for watching the birds on Gull Island. Later this year they’ll even have evening tours, much better as far as lighting on the islands is concerned.

Before it was 2 PM though, I had lots of time to fill, so I went on a hike:

Witless Bay trailhead – Beaches Path

Beaches Path was the obvious choice for this brief hike, it’s a trail that runs from Witless Bay to Mobile so it has excellent views of the islands in the Ecological Reserve, well, in theory:

Breaking Beach – Beaches Path

Fog on the bay – Beaches Path

Out on the trail I saw that most of the Reserve was hiding in the fog, islands were appearing and disappearing every few minutes; with this in mind I now doubted if the tour would even go ahead.

Gull island in the fog – Beaches Path

Great Island emerging from the fog – Witless Bay Ecological Reserve

Because I’ve seen quite a few tours cancelled due to fog, I decided not to return to the car but to continue with the hike instead. Beaches Path is an easy hike, half of it runs over headlands that have a view of many rocky beaches and the other half runs through the forest.

Little Bald Head in the fog – Beaches Path

At the halfway point there is a place called Little Bald Head, I stopped there to enjoy the view and saw many northern gannets fly over. They were coming in from all over the place, plunge diving into the water by the dozens.

Gannets feeding in the fog – Beaches Path

After Little Bald Head came the forest half of the trail, it was a real pleasure walking among all the unfurling crackerberry plants, I can’t wait for them to blossom:

Signs of spring – Beaches Path

Forest boardwalk – Beaches Path

Less than pleasurable were the hordes of black flies that were assaulting me, the warm weather really brought them out by the thousands. Oh well, it can’t be helped.

After I skipped a few side trails, the trail ended a little bit further down the line at Mobile beach, where I saw a couple of seals swimming in the bay:

Curious seal – Beaches Path

After the hike I walked back to Witless Bay over the highway. Back at the car I saw 2 tour boats on the water near Gull Island, they had gone out after all.