Whale Watching and Puffin Love in Newfoundland

I just returned from a week-long trip to Newfoundland. My favorite province! You know what that means, right? I am going to inflict you with pictures. But first, a bit of news. While there, I found out that my story Hackers’ Faire published by Cast of Wonders last year has been shortlisted for the Sunburst Award in the short fiction category. Such an honor! And such fantastic company to find myself in. The story is free to read or to listen on the Cast of Wonders site.

Okay, enough tooting my own horn. I lived in Newfoundland for a year a while ago, and it remains a very special place for me. Unique for its geology, history, and biodiversity, it is well worth a trip for those who want something different from their vacation. There are youth hostels you can stay in, if you book in advance, and the people are lovely (minus a racist bigot loser I ran into in St John’s, but he’s an exception).

St John’s is a relaxed and friendly city, but you need to leave it to truly appreciate the stunning landscape. I traveled all over the island in my year there, but on this trip, I went to the Witless Bay Ecological Reserve. I took a tour out on the ocean and saw a humpback whale! Well, mostly the tail of the whale, but it did breach once, which was amazing. Such a majestic and elegant creature. No, I didn’t get any pictures. I was too busy staring. I did get a lot of pictures of Gull Island, though, which has the largest number of Atlantic Puffin breeding pairs in the North Atlantic. I love puffins. Honestly, can anyone not love these ridiculous birds? Poor fliers and excellent swimmers, they sort of skim the surface of the water, flapping their little wings, trying to take off. Sadly, the population of Atlantic Puffins is declining rapidly in Europe. Places like Gull Island become all the more precious when you realize how threatened seabirds are elsewhere.

St John’s: The view from Signal Hill

Quidi Vidi Fishing Village

Portugal Cove

Bell Island

Bell Island

Gull Island is home to over a million birds in summer!

Kittiwakes, common mures, razorbills and puffins galore.

Common mures kissing?


About Rati Mehrotra

Science fiction and fantasy writer. I blog at: ratiwrites.com Thanks for dropping by!
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