First the history of Machais Seal Island, it is located in the Gulf of Maine approximately 10 miles southeast from Cutler Maine and its sovereignty is disputed both by Cantor and the United States since both claim ownership. This difficulty ranges back to the Revolutionary War and the Treaty of Paris, where they tried to establish the boundaries between United States and British North America.
|Machais Seal Island Lighthouse (taken last year)|
|Cutler harbor -low tide|
|On the boat leaving the harbor|
Landing on the island has the passengers transferring from the tour vessel into a large outboard powered skiff which is navigated to a designated landing area on the rocky shoreline. Conditions are slippery, and a degree of physical mobility and surefootedness is required. Please note that landings on Machais Seal Island can be hazardous, and while every effort is made to insure safety, participation in such activity is at your own risk.
We left Cutler in the fog and on basically smooth seas and were able to land on the island. On the island we were segregated into groups of four and then we were taken out to the blinds, once we were placed into the blinds we had to stay until the people came to let us out, because if we left sooner we could not return. This is to keep the disturbances of the colony down to a minimum.. We were then able to observe and photograph all the birdlife around us. Normally, you are allowed up to an hour and a half in the blind, but our visit was shortened to only one hour because the seas were increasing in intensity and which could make it more hazardous for us trying to leave the island.
|Atlantic Puffin with Fish|
|Common Murre the one on the right is the "bridled" form|
A great morning was had by all.