Thursday, March 20, 2008

Seal Walk

Well, we just got back from the seal walk with a group of homeschooling friends. The biggest hurdle was getting dressed! We all had to wear layers, which for some of us meant thermals, jeans, shirts, sweatshirts, coats, hats, scarves and gloves. For Emma it meant a pair of pjs under a sweater and jeans and then all the outerwear. We had to wear boots because Ben and Emma HATE sand in their shoes, so we had to argue with Emma about not wearing her Dora sneakers or sparkly party shoes.... The other thing was that we were supposed to wear muted colors so we didn't scare the seals. Julia's coat is red, so she wore a coat that will be Ben's in about 5 years (from my nephew) that's navy and way too big. Ben's coat has a lot of red, and the only thing I could find that would remotely fit him was a raincoat--not warm enough, so we put it over his regular coat. Also, bright aqua, so I turned it inside out to show the navy fleece lining.....

It was FREEZING! The kids hadn't quite believed me when I said it would be cold--after all, when we go to the beach it's always perfectly lovely! But the 50 degree day that we had, which seemed perfectly nice at home, was really windy and cold once we reached Westhampton and the ocean. (We live much closer to the LI Sound, and of course the bay between the two forks of Long Island--the Atlantic Ocean beaches are about a half hour away...) The naturalist talked to us about the seals and their habits for quite some time before we walked....this was the hardest part because of course little kids just want to walk and see the seals already! Finally we went on the move, and after a while of walking we finally reached where the seals were.

It was amazing. There they were--real live seals, bobbing in the water. On a beach that we go to in the summer, and there's never a seal in sight. I had never even stopped to think about what was on the beach in the winter months. These seals migrate and they winter from Maine to New York (perhaps a bit farther south, too)--they have been here every winter and I just never thought about it. Harbor seals, gray seals and hooded seals. There was a sand bar rather far out, and they were on that as well as swimming in the water. The kids were enthralled and frankly I was too. It practically makes me want to trek out to the beach to see them every month or so from November to May....almost. But not quite.

The drive home was really nice--and warm!

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