The stench arrives miles before you even spot them. Sailing to the Gaspe Peninsula's Bonaventure Island involves gliding by surreal scenery and the unforgettable experience of viewing the world's second largest gannet breeding colony. The noxious fumes from pounds and pounds of bird poop accosts you but the wonder of the spectacle of hundreds of thousands of birds helps you forget the smell.
Gazing at them from a distance, they don't even look like birds. They look more like fluffy white blankets covering mounds of rock. A closer look reveals thousands of wings, beaks and feathers, roaming and flying around the island. After 20 minutes of watching them, I received concrete evidence in the form of sticky bird poop dropped on my shoulder from the 250 foot nesting cliffs. After reaching the island, I hiked through the pretty fields and trails until I was surrounded by flapping, squawking birds, every where I turned. There are 293 species of birds on the island but the gannets are the most visible. It was an overwhelming experience being encircled by birds and it's one that I'll never forget.