Bird & Whale Tours

A Tail to Tell

PuffinPuffin Boat Tours is owned and operated by Donelda MacAskill. For nearly 20 years Donelda fished lobsters with her husband John around St. Ann’s Bay and Bird Islands. About 10 years ago she decided to buy her own boat and do boat tours to the Bird Islands from Englishtown. Because of her knowledge of puffins, she is known to many as ‘the Puffin Lady’!

The Highland Lass

The Highland Lass is a partially enclosed 45 foot government inspected vessel licensed to carry 38 passengers. There are large tinted glass windows down both sides that will help to protect you from U.V. rays as well as the rain and wind. While sailing aboard the Highland Lass you can enjoy a drink from the licensed bar, a snack from the canteen, browse in our Puffin Gift Shop, or just sit back and enjoy the scenery. The captain, who is ‘Giant’ MacAskill’s grand nephew and crew are all certified in emergency training. The vessel is also equipped with a head on board.

You will board the Highland Lass at the Government wharf in Englishtown. After departing, you will be given a brief history of the small fishing port that you are in that dates back to 1597. Your tour guide will also be showing colour pictures of the birds that you will have a chance to see and given information on each, concentrating mainly on the Atlantic Puffin.

The sail to the Bird Islands takes about 45 minutes. The boat idles around the two islands and various species are pointed out. On the way back in, you will be told about a typical day in the life of a lobster fisherman and shown a real lobster trap. We specialize in quality service, with a tour guide devoted to narration and a fully certified captain.

What to Bring

Always make sure that you bring a warm sweater or jacket because even the warmest days can have a cool breeze on the ocean. Lots of film for the camera is a must. The boat goes in as close as possible (within fifty feet) but if you wish to see the detail on the birds then bring binoculars. Sunglasses, sun block and rubber soled shoes are also helpful.


  1. Amanda says

    How can one find out the times that this takes place? Is it required to book a place on the tour, if so how?

  2. says

    Amanda, the schedules change somewhat depending on size boat (zodiac or big steel boat), location (Ingonish or Pleasant Bay) and the weather. Give us a call we can help with schedules, info and booking(only thing out of control is the weather. telephone: 902 929 2584

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>