Acadia Birding Festival: Pelagic Cruise
On the weekend of June 5, I had the chance to attend the Acadia Birding Festival (link here) with my family. Hosted annually in and near Bar Harbor, it is known to attract bird watchers from across the country. It was my first year and I plan to go next year as well. I highly recommend the experience!
The first activity I signed up for was the Pelagic Cruise, which most festival-goers attend. It costs $ 100 per person this year, which may influence your decision whether or not to take this trip. One of the things I learned on the trip was how to pronounce pelagic (pəˈlajik) correctly, which I had not done. The cruise departs from the pier in the city of Bar Harbor and takes about four hours (although this year it was a bit long). The large boat, named Friendship V, takes you up to 25 miles offshore, although this depends on the weather. Some of the more regular birds include Atlantic Puffins, Common Murres, Razorbills, Northern Gannets, Common and Arctic Terns, Bald Eagles, and Common Eiders, among many other possibilities. I got to see all of the above birds this year which was very lucky.
If you are seasick, this trip may not be for you. Personally, I got sick a few times on this boat ride, but most people were fine and could bird watch with no worries. The crew are very nice if you are feeling down and have lots of options to help you feel better. As part of the crew there are also bird experts on board who provide commentary and help you see any birds of interest.
Overall it was a great experience and I would recommend doing it to anyone interested. Good bird watching!