Exploring Newfoundland and Labrador has given us quite a number of sights, from rugged cliffs, unique rock formations, crashing waves and piercing blue waters, to puffins little auk birds, and several different whale sightings. The funniest thing about going on a whale watching boat tour, which is what we did this morning, is that it’s always a gamble on whether you will actually see a whale, but you kind of go just hoping for the best. And we saw not a single one today, but it didn’t really matter because we had already seen two or three by chance during other hikes and walks on this trip.
During our boat tour today, I learned that puffins are local to this area, and after having visited a free puffin viewing site a couple days ago, I realized how unique these tiny birds are. They have so much oil on their feathers that despite being able to regularly dive into water as deep as 100 feet, as soon as they get out of the water, they are 100 percent dry. Their signature orange-red tinge on their beaks is temporary; it’s only present when it is mating season and used to attract a mate. And the funniest part of the narration of the tour: I had noticed how much puffins had to flap their wings while flying in the air, but one of the guides said that here in Newfoundland, unlike in other areas of Canada such as Ontario, they really do not care about being politically correct here. So, they like to call puffins “PPFs” — “piss poor flyers.” They flap their wings while flying like there’s no tomorrow, as though if they didn’t flap 100 times that they’d fall out of the air.
And of course, Chris had to make comments wondering what a puffin would taste like. He is a true omnivore.