Grand Manan New Brunswick: A Nature Lover or Birding Enthusiasts Heaven!
Picture this…we scheduled a week to do the Fundy Isles. Two days for Grand Manan New Brunswick, and two days for Campobello and Deere Island.
They are all small islands so I thought I was being generous with the time allotted.
We arrived on the Island of Grand Manan New Brunswick on a Sunday afternoon after a ninety minute ferry ride from the mainland. Four days later we left exhausted, without seeing all of it!
Check the Grand Manan Ferry Schedule to determine your best time to visit.
We never stopped!
We explored and walked beaches and found loads of Beach Glass, climbed rocky cliffs, watched seals playing in the harbor, photographed lighthouses, and best of all we went whale watching. We were having a great time on Grand Manan New Brunswick and decided to forgo the other two islands at least for now.
You see...on Grand Manan Island, there are no bear, moose, coyotes, skunks, porcupines, or poisonous snakes. You can enjoy nature without being in danger.
The Icing on the cake for us was the Whale Watching tour called “Sea Watch Tours”.
They guarantee whales!! Or you don't pay!
Not just the little Minke Whales
We saw Humpback, Finback, and the endangered North Atlantic Right Whale.
There were whales everywhere…you could literally see hundreds of them in the distance!
I was able to get video of some of them with my EasyShare camera. At times there were up to seven or eight of them fairly close to the boat. The staff on board "Sea Watch Tours" were very informative and explained the differences between each whale species as we saw them. Along with whales, they also pointed out numerous bird species, including puffins.
I would definitely do another whale watching tour with this operator. Next time I would take a better camera and some binoculars to see some of the bird species they were pointing out.
White Head Island is the only island just off the coast of Grand Manan that is inhabited by people. With a population of 180, most of which are fisherman, it is a life style completely different from anything I have ever seen before. We had planned to just take our bikes to the island and bike it, but we were running out of time and energy, so we decided to just take our vehicle.
We arrived mid-morning on the nine o’clock ferry and drove around the island hoping to catch the next ferry back to Grand Manan New Brunswick. Being number ten in a line up of cars for an eight-vehicle ferry, we were left behind to catch the next ferry, which was two hours away! What do we do now, while stranded on a little island you can drive from one end to the other in fifteen minutes?
Well we didn’t make it too far! Across the road from the only store on the island was this old shed. Inside it was a lobster fisherman fixing his buoys for the next season, so we stopped to talk to him for a few minutes. Over an hour later we decided it was time to grab some lunch and get into our vehicle for the ferry crossing.
The people on Grand Manan and White Head Island are so kind and generous!
The lady who ran the store, and probably owned it too, offered her vehicle to hold our spot in the ferry line-up so we could explore with our vehicle instead of walking around for two hours. What nice people!!
Machias Seal Island is another small Island off the coast of Grand Manan New Brunswick that is protected by the Canadian Wildlife Services because it is a bird sanctuary for many birds including the Atlantic Puffin. Sea Watch Tours is the only Canadian vessel with permission to visit Machias Seal Island to view the birds that call this place home. I wanted to do the puffin tour but I was about a week too late. The birds nesting period is over and their pretty colors are starting to be shed.
There is one lone lighthouse located on Machias Seal Island and in the non-nesting season the only occupants of the island are the two lighthouse keepers. When the spring arrives, so do ten thousand birds of different species. For the puffin, this is their nesting grounds for life and will return to this area year after year.
Sea Watch Tours is the only Canadian vessel with permission to land 15 people a day, six days a week on Machias Seal Island to view the puffins.
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