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Amoeba Sailing Tours takes you out to view bald eagles and the Bell Estate aboard a sleek schooner (C$25). Baddeck, NS. 902/295-2481. www.amoebasailingtours.com.
The Bird Islands, 2 km (1 mi) off the entrance to the Bras d'Or Lake, are the breeding grounds for Atlantic puffins, as well as other seabirds and gray seals. To see them, sign on with Donelda's Puffin Boat Tours, which offers narrated nature cruises ($34.50) daily from mid-May to October. Boats depart about 20 minutes east of Baddeck. 1099 Hwy. 312, just before the Englishtown Ferry, Englishtown, NS, B0C 1H0. 902/929-2563 or 877/278-3346. www.puffinboattours.com.
Paddle Dog operates easy 90-minute kayak tours in July and August (C$44). Baddeck, NS. 902/929-2628 or 888/865-2925. www.paddledog.ca.
Iona, 77 km (48 mi) south of Baddeck, is admittedly off the beaten path. To reach Iona from Baddeck, follow Highway 105 to Exit 6, which leads to Little Narrows, then board a cable ferry for the two-minute ride to the Iona Peninsula (C$5; 24 hours a day, year-round). If you're big on Gaelic culture, a visit to the living history museum there will be ample reward.
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