Sunday 11/20/22 - 52 seals hauled out, 36 degrees, W 15 to 30, clear, 9:30 We took our first seal walk of the season on Sunday morning, and there were over 50 seals hunkered down on the rocks in spite of the gusty west wind. When we first arrived the seals were napping soundly, with eyes closed to protect their eyeballs from stinging dry wind. We recognized several seals from last season that have returned to the rocks, most notably a seal with distinctive scars on its left shoulder that have healed nicely.
At 0940 a squadron of four military helicopters flew over Rome Point, and every seal present raised their head and scanned the area, looking for the source of the low frequency throbbing sound. After the helicopters passed over the seals were more unsettled, and at 9:55 the seals on the flat rock and right mound flushed as though they were terrified, but for no apparent reason. At 1025, the seals on the ridge rock departed as well and none of the swimming seals returned to the rocks, leaving about 24 seals remaining when we left.
Today was a day where the seal observation was nothing special, but the walk and the wind and the waves on the water served to transport us to our "happy place", once again reminding us of all the gifts that Rome Point, and other wild places have to share. The 2022-2023 seal season is off to a good start, and seal watching and the associated pleasures will be well worth the walk in the middle of the day through Thanksgiving day.