Sea Watch Tours (established 1969, Canadian Coast Guard approved)
Puffins & Machias Seal Island
Machais Seal Island is located in the lower Bay of Fundy, approximately ten
miles west of Grand Manan Island. The island is barely a mile long at low
tide, and a few hundred feet wide. A lighthouse is located there and in the
non-nesting season the only occupants on the island are the two lighthouse
keepers. The lighthouse has been maintained by the Canadian Coast Guard for
over 100 years.
It has been described as a very unique place to visit, and to the avid bird
watcher, it is heaven. During the nesting season it becomes home to
thousands of pelagic birds.The most noted species is the Atlantic Puffin,
but other species such as the Razorbill Auk , and Common and Arctic Terns
add to the viewing enjoyment. No matter where you stand on the island, you
will see thousands of birds flying by. There are approx. 1000 pairs
of puffins, 2500 pairs of arctic terns, 100 pairs of common terns, 150-200
pairs of razorbill auks. Other birds which may be seen on the trip out to
the island are Shearwaters ( greater, sooty, manx ), Wilson Storm Petrels,
Phalaropes, Jeagers ( pomarine, parasitic ) Northern Gannet, Black
Guillemots and Eider Ducks.
Access to the island is very limited. Sea Watch Tours is permitted to land
13 people a day, six days a week. Sea Watch Tours is the only company in
Canada with access to Machais Seal Island. Those who land on the island
are met by a warden of the Canadian Wildlife Service, who will familiarize
you with a history of the bird life, and explain to you the rules and
regulations of the sanctuary. The warden will be your guide while you visit
the island. He will escort you to enclosed blinds where you can view the
birds close up, the puffins will come within 3 -6 feet from your blind,
lots of chances for great photographs.
The puffins can also be viewed from our dory. This is a 16' outboard
motor boat which is used to shuttle people shore. We'll take you around
Machias Seal Island and call the puffins for you. After many years of
dedicated observation, Captain Wilcox has learned to call puffins.
Don't be surprised if one wants to join you in the dory! Seals, being
curious in nature, will make their presence known as well. After leaving
the island, we'll visit a nearby seal colony for more great pictures!
Note: landing on Machias Seal Island requires some physical agility as it
involves transfer from our large vessel, "Sea Watcher" into our 16' dory,
and once ashore, walking across some seaweed covered rocks.
For more information, contact us at;
Sea Watch Tours
P.O. Box 505, Seal Cove
Grand Manan, NB, Canada
Tel: 506-662-8552 * Fax: 506-662-1081
or E-mail us: