Date: 7/23/17 4:05 pm From: Carol Riddell <cariddellwa...> Subject: [Tweeters] Quest for the Horned Puffin (Ahoy Matey)
At least ten or so birders were able to see the Neah Bay Horned Puffin this morning. There were good scope views to be had, but at a distance that precluded photos. As the tide rose, the auklets and puffin continued to stay far out. We started talking about going to the puffin if the puffin would not come to us.
Several of us went to the marina and talked to a couple of boaters. We could not quickly find anyone willing to take us out, but they suggested we go to the Makah Marina office. We did so and learned that we could rent a 15 foot skiff for $10 an hour. That was a flat boat rental fee, not a per person fee. The boat came with a 25 horse Merc outboard and gas. PFDs were available for all. Bob Bagwell (Sequim) skippered the boat. John Gatchet (Gardiner), Grace and Ollie Oliver (now of Poulsbo), Chuck Jensen (Renton), and I were passengers. We motored out to where the birds were, enjoyed good views of the puffin, and shot off lots of photos. We had no mishaps with cameras, keys, or bodies. Our rental fee was $20 total and well worth it. We all expect to have good/great photos for our checklists.
If the puffin lingers for more viewing days, but remains too far out in the bay for satisfactory views, we recommend renting the boat through the marina office. The Merc was well tuned and easy to handle.