A Seal Haul-Out

Early this morning I shadowed and then interviewed coastal educator Jesse Mechling from the Center for Coastal Studies out of Provincetown. We went on a walk to find seals to observe their behavior on a haul-out. The Center for Coastal Studies engages in fascinating research on the humpback whale, seals, sharks, and other sea creatures.

I learned that Jesse and I both caught the “whale bug” early on in our childhoods. At similar ages—around 8 years old—adults in our lives took us on a whale watch; he calls whales the “gateway drug” to other marine creatures, which is true in my case. Ever since the whale watch off Provincetown all those years ago, I’ve been pretty addicted to learning more about the great wonders of the sea, especially since there’s more to discover down there, both about other species and about ourselves. I can only hope that I can inspire that same curiosity and wonder in my daughters Ella and Mara.

Basically, Jesse and I nerded out about plankton.

We also got some amazing views of seals, though we kept the legal distance from them. Please remember that when it comes to most types of wildlife, “a fed animal is a dead animal.” This became true yesterday in Provincetown when rangers had to go “destroy” a coyote after he bit a kid last night on the beach. Tourists have been feeding the resident coyotes on the beach. Coyotes return looking for food from human hands, and when it’s not there, they either bite or we humans suspect they have rabies.

Next stop? The Dolphin Fleet Whale ship tonight to get my annual “fix” for whales. I’m trying to nonchalantly find out how I can work the ships in the summer.

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