Monday, June 26, 2006

Gannets Galore!

I had no idea that there were gannet colonies on Bonaventure Island which is a few kms offshore from the town of Perce Rock here in the Gaspe. This morning, at 8:30 under overcast skies I headed out from a small town about 9 kms south of Bonaventure and circled the island. I chose thisa town as Perce itself has no easy water access, there being high cement sea walls of cliffs everywhere. Once I was under the colonies of birds, I was astounded at the racket and the skies and cliffs full of gannets and mures and a couple of other species I don't know! I have never seen anything like it from the sea before. The seas being reasonably calm, I was able to go right in under the cliffs, just me and a number of seals to see the birds. Dropping started to become a serious issue!
As I rounded the island and began to see Perce Rock again, the wind started blowing, fortunately at my back. I decided not to paddle beneath the famous rock, but instead took advantage of the wind to surf back the way I had come.
After winding my way through the fisherman's floats for a about an hour and a half, I was back where my paddle had begun. It was 12:30, time for lunch! What a great morning's paddle. I estimate distance paddled there and back and around the island was around 30 kms. That's enough to warrant beer with lunch, for sure!

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