Exploring Englishtown and the Bird Islands

Chain ferry from the dock at Englishtown

In calm weather and good clear visibility the ship moved slowly northwards through the night back along the same track we had sailed.

We anchored of Englishtown in St Ann’s Bay also known on some charts as South Gut.

At the entrance to the bay the islands of Hertford and Ciboux, are collectively called the Bird Islands

Located between the end of the Cabot Trail and North Sydney on Cape Breton Island (Nova Scotia) they rise from the sea like isolated rocky pillars and are a fascinating place to visit by tender.

Birds nesting on Bird Island

These islands are the nesting grounds for thousands of seabirds including razorbills, kittiwakes, guillemots, bald eagles, and more than 300 pairs of Atlantic puffins. The area supports the largest colony of Great Cormorants in North America and a key reason for bird lovers come to visit.

A sizable population of grey and harbour seals also inhabit the islands.

Ashore at Englishtown there is little to see but the safe anchorage is an ideal base for those who seek to go ashore with a plan to visit either the Alexander Grahame Bell Museum or the world famous St Ann’s Gaelic College

We are grateful to Destination Canada, Air Canada and ship operators One Ocean Expeditions for kindly hosting us on this trip