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

To me this warm weather was most welcome, I had plans to go on my first whale watching boat tour of the year. Whales had been sighted in both Logy Bay and Bay Bulls so I was ready to take my chances in the local whale watching lottery.

I didn’t want the 11AM tour because it has back-lit Puffins on the first approach. The 2PM tour is a little better for watching the birds on Gull Island and later this year they’ll even go out at 5PM or something, those tours are much better as far is lighting is concerned.

Before it was 2PM though, I had lots of time to fill. Beaches Path was the obvious choice for a 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.

Breaking Beach - Beaches Path

Breaking Beach – 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; knowing this I now doubted if the tour would even go ahead.

Great Island emerging from the fog - Witless Bay Ecological Reserve

Great Island emerging from the fog – Witless Bay Ecological Reserve

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

At the halfway point there is a place called Baldhead, 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.

Northern Gannet - Beaches Path

Northern Gannet – Beaches Path

After Baldhead 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. Less than pleasurable were the hordes of Black Flies that were assaulting me, the warm weather really brought them out in the thousands. Oh well, it can’t be helped.

Forest boardwalk - Beaches Path

Forest boardwalk – Beaches Path

The trail ended a little bit further on Mobile beach, where I saw a couple of Seals swimming in the bay.

Curious Seal - Beaches Path

Curious Seal – Beaches Path

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