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“Don't miss this trip.....wonderful”

Bold Coast Charter Company
Ranked #1 of 2 things to do in Cutler
Certificate of Excellence
Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, United States
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Don't miss this trip.....wonderful”
Reviewed July 30, 2013

Great tour, knowledgeable owners/operators/captain. This is beyond words. Can't say enough. We were able to fill in for a cancellation. It was an amazing trip.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Richard G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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89 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Palm Harbor, Florida
Level Contributor
104 reviews
44 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
“Puffins, murres and razor-bills - oh my!”
Reviewed July 29, 2013

If you visit Acadia National Park, do yourself a favor and book a landing cruise from Capt. Andy at the Bold Coast Charter company! Listening to Capt. Andy talk about the area and the island is worth the trip all by itself!
Although the price for the cruise and for the island landing is the same, keep in mind that bad weather or rough seas could make it unsafe for a landing. Therefore I recommend you book two days, and be sure to book months in advance as the number of people allowed on the island is limited and there is another charter company out of New Brunswick as well.
We were fortunate as the seas were calm, the skies were cloudy bright (perfect for photography!) and the puffins were plenty. We even spotted a couple of northern gannets on the island.
Bring your camera, but you don't need long lenses - a 200 to 400mm lens is plenty long enough. Also, leave your tripod behind as the four blinds are small (about 4 x 8 x 10 feet) and you will likely share the space with up to 3 other people. After a brief talk from the Canadians that run the lighthouse and tend the island (Machias Seal Island sovereignty is disputed between the US and Canada, but Canada built a tended lighthouse there), you will be escorted to the blinds where you will get around 90 minutes. The puffins well be quite close and you will ever hear them on the top of the blind! Also, I don't know if this is always the case, but I was in the right most blind and we saw lots of feeding behavior, but the other blinds didn't witness this at all.
After leaving the blinds, Capt. Andy will circle the island where you are likely to see seals lounging on the rocks.
Highly recommended!

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
Thank The_fotobug
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Great tour and puffin watching despite rainy weather!”
Reviewed July 28, 2013

I booked our trip several months in advance, and of course I chose the only day of the week that ended up rainy. Weather is the only thing that the captain of this tour can't control, but he and his ship made went out of the way to make sure that everything else was great. The sailing was as smooth as it could be in those conditions. The boat is relatively small (compared to the corporate whale watch tour boats), but the cabin was heated and protected from the wind. Both the captain and his helper are knowledgeable, not only about puffins but other sea life as well. We were able to land and visit the bird blinds on the island for about an hour, which was all we really needed. The bird blinds hold 3-4 people (we felt crowded with 4 people in ours). But in the end, that's all nitpicking. Once you approach the island and see the puffins swimming all around the boat at a spitting distance, all other concerns evaporate. On the island, in the bird blinds, with the birds literally just a yard away from you, nothing else matters. This trip is truly a small adventure, and I heartily recommend it!

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Oleg G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Burlington, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
24 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Amazing Puffins and Razorbills and Murres”
Reviewed July 27, 2013

The boat is typical working Maine boat. Andy and Alan did everything to keep us warm and happy as we had a very typical foggy day. That turns out to be great for bird activity on Seal Island inches from the blinds. After a quick boardwalk to a blind, another couple and we stayed in the blind for about an hour watching and snapping photos. A truly awesome experience. You need to book early as only 15 are allowed on the island a day from the u.s. Andy also kept a non landing family with young kids happy spotting seals in his skip while we were on the island. Hope for a not too hot day and no rain. They will land if at all possible. But not in rough seas. quite the foggy adventurous ride back. They skip broke loose and they skillfully fetched it back!

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
Thank dbldidit
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
150 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 126 helpful votes
“Smooth Sailing, Fabulous Trip”
Reviewed July 21, 2013

My friends and I were really looking forward to this trip and although I had been to Machias Seal Island in the early '90's I was still very excited about seeing the Puffins again and the other species that nest here in the summer. The weather was gray when we started for Cutler but no sign of rain and when we got to Cutler it was very easy to find the area where we were to take a small boat out to the Barbara Frost which takes the passengers out to Machias. There were about 20-24 of us along with Capt Patterson and a crewman and once we were all on board we set sail. Out of Cutler harbor, past the Little River Lighthouse and then we were in open ocean. It took about 45 minutes to get close to Machias where we taken off by boat and landed at the jetty and walked up to the Island and the Researchers where we waited till everyone had landed.

We then walked a short distance close to a "staging" area and were briefed by the researchers on how essential it is to be quiet even when we are in the blinds so as not to disturb the birds, we were divided into groups of 4 each and walked to our respective blinds where we stayed for about 1 hour taking photographs and watching the Puffins, Razorbills and Murres who flew past us, walked just in front of us, sat and preened. It was wonderful to watch the behavior of each of them, sometimes it was hard to know where to look since there was so much going on. They were so close in many cases that you almost felt you could reach out the little window in the blind and touch them.

When it was time to leave, even though everyone had taken so many photos, it was with reluctance that we did pack up and head back to the Barbara Frost.

Once on board, Capt Patterson did a circumnavigation of Machias and also another smaller island close by so we could see the many seals lounging close to the water. Also from the boat we could see quite a few Eider Ducks, both male and female, which wasn't possible to see from the blind.

All in all a very successful and memorable day and one of the highlights of my vacation.

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank judytraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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