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“Great tour but stay away from Norton in Jonesport”

Machias Seal Island
Ranked #1 of 3 things to do in Jonesport
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Attraction details
Owner description: Protected habitat for many bird species.
Rockville, Maryland
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Great tour but stay away from Norton in Jonesport”
Reviewed October 12, 2010

I booked a trip to Seal island with Holly Davis of Norton Tours in Jonesport for July 16th. After driving to this tiny fishing hamlet and waiting on the pier at 6:30 for an hour I left. I could see their boat , Chief, tied up all day. After several attempts to contact Ms Davis, I finally got a return call. her language was from the gutter and said that she never heard of me nor ever received my check for $100 on which the memo indicated a July 16th tour. She ended the conversation, that she would see me in small claims court.

Some local people suggested that I try to book with Andy Patterson of Bold Coast in Cutler Harbor. Turns out my bad experience in Jonesport was a dream trip in Cutler. Price is same for both places but Capt ANDY is an articulate, well informed and very personable man. The ocean trip is 1/2 hour shorter each way and we stayed on the island over an hour longer, including a Q & A session with the lighthouse keepers and Graduate students. When leaving for Cutler, a couple staying in the same Inn received a call from Norton canceling their trip due to rough seas. The Cutler boat encountered no such seas. The blinds allows the visitor to be within a few feet of the Puffins, Razorbills and a couple of other types of sea birds. For some unknown reason terns didn't show up in any numbers this year.

Go to Seal island (there is a large seal colony) but go from Cutler.

Despite a complaint to the Maine Consumer Affairs organization, I am out the hundred bucks.

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26 Thank Bronx_boy_1937
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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28 reviews from our community

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  • English first
  • Any
English first
Carver, Minnesota
Level Contributor
177 reviews
32 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
“Machais Seal Island...Use Bold Coast Charter out of Cutler”
Reviewed September 25, 2010

Initially we had paid for a charter out of Jonesport, poor directions, trip canceled...fortunately Bold Coast had room for us. Capt. Andy has a wealth of knowledge and made our trip to the island wonderful. It was the highlight of our trip to Maine. No one can describe seeing these wonderful little birds up close, breath taking.
We brought friends with us and they had an excellent time as well.

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11 Thank jwfalk78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Michiganian
Level Contributor
28 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
“National Geographic Experience”
Reviewed March 22, 2009

Machias is a great place to see puffins. We took the trip out with Seawatch Tours from Grand Manan Island. You have to book for going onto the island (some people choose to watch from the boat). Once on the island you are divided into groups and placed into blinds so that you can watch and photograph without disturbing the birds. It was a wonderful experience. On the way back, we rounded North Rock where there was a huge colony of seals (hence the name I guess). That was a naturalist's dream experience too.

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9 Thank crimrunner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
“You can look like a National Geographic Photographer!”
Reviewed September 1, 2004

With a decent camera and cooperative weather you will come back with puffin pictures that will knock the socks off all your friends. You don't even need a powerful zoom. Make sure you take the trip that allows you to go onto the island. There are bird blinds there you can go into and you will be only a few feet away from these amazing birds! Not only that, it's pretty entertaining to hear them scrambling on top of your bird blind roof. There are approximately 3000 puffins (and other birds too) on this island during their mating season (May-August) so don't fret about not finding them. YOU WILL! I think there are two tour companies that take you there. We went with Barna Norton (check out their website - you can even hear their "cow" sound!) I highly recommend this trip. For the reasonable cost, it's well worth it!

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16 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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