Friday, December 5, 2014

Seals Abound in Herring Cove

Dress for a chilly breeze along Herring Cove Beach, where a nice hike might show you seals in the bay.
Race Point Light, and the old lighthouse keeper's cottage, make a great scenic backdrop for your stroll.
I've spent a good bit of time at Herring Cove Beach of late, watching the seals that have been swimming down the shoreline every time I've been there recently. They're tough to get on camera, since they often pop up for just a brief moment to get a breath of air, then dive again, swimming underwater in pursuit of a fat fish or other provender they may find beneath the surface. They may swim just a short distance, or a hundred yards before they bob up for another breath, so it's hard to guess where they'll pop up, and then get the camera zoomed in and focused before they dive again.
That tiny black oval in the center of this photo is the head of a huge seal traversing the length of the beach between Race Point and Wood End lighthouses with a couple of his buddies, who are under water just at this moment. The two companions strolling on the beach haven't seen the seals, but they are likely to spot them when these burly sea mammals surface again and again, looking rather well fed, as they swim toward Wood End on a quest for their supper. Every time I've seen the seals over the last several weeks, they've been swimming in that direction, popping up here and there along the way, sometimes less than 30 feet from shore.
So dress warmly for a walk on the beach, or watch from your car at Herring Cove if the wind chill proves to be too much for comfort. Take your binoculars along with you, and your camera if you're feeling lucky, and behold the seals that seem to be in appreciable abundance as the Provincetown winter draws near.

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