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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
E5G 4M5
Tel: 506-662-8552 * Fax: 506-662-1081
Toll-free: 1-877-662-8552
or E-mail us:

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This page designed by - Miramichi NB Canada - 506-773-7963

Revised Dec 1 1999