With bowling-pin-shaped bodies, big striped beaks, and markings of vivid orange, crisp white, and icy jet black, the Atlantic Puffin is adorable and unmistakable. Pemaquid Watershed Association invites the public to its annual Puffin Sunset Cruise with Hardy Boat Cruises on Friday, June 26, to sneak a peak at these natural beauties. The two-hour cruise will begin at 6:45 p.m., departing from Shaw’s Wharf in New Harbor. The planned route includes sailing to Eastern Egg Rock, circling the island for great views of puffins, and then passing by the Pemaquid Point lighthouse at sunset.
Eastern Egg Rock is a 7-acre granite island about 5 miles east of New Harbor that hosts more than 100 pairs of nesting puffins. In addition to puffins, passengers have an opportunity to view Maine’s largest colony of endangered Roseate Terns and lots of other seabirds, as well as porpoises and Minke Whales. Although the experienced Hardy Boat Cruise Captain often is able to bring guests quite close to puffins, binoculars are highly recommended, as puffins are relatively small birds, standing only ten inches tall. The tour will sail rain or shine, so it is important to bring appropriate attire, including a sweater, and a windbreaker or raincoat. Cruise participants should plan to arrive in New Harbor by 6:15 p.m. so that they can park at the ball field east of Shaw’s on Route 32 ($4.00 parking fee per vehicle), which is about a 5-minute walk to the dock. For directions, visit http://www.hardyboat.com/directions.htm.
There will be complimentary desserts by Damariscotta River Grill and a cash bar. Tickets are $35 each and are available by calling PWA at 207-563-2196 or via the PWA website. Proceeds from the event help fund PWA’s mission to conserve the natural resources of the Pemaquid Peninsula through land and water stewardship and education.