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Are the seals back on the Cape yet?


Bmach

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I read somewhere that (hope I have it correct) - that there are two species of seals - one is gray seals, which are there all year round, and harbor seals migrate up to Maine in the summer and then migrate back.

There's a large herd of gray seals that's around all year. The highest concentration is on the inside part of South Nauset Beach, near the point where it's joining up with South Monomoy Island.

Don't know about the harbor seals or their migration. (not an expert here...)

Also, some folks say that great white sharks are attracted by the seal population. Stands to figure. Hope they know the difference between seals and kayaks.

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> ... great white sharks are attracted by the seal population.

> Stands to figure. Hope they know the difference between seals and kayaks.

I think the problem is that the seals don't always know the difference between sharks and kayaks. That's why seals are so skittish and watchful around us.

--David

Aquanaut white/white (not unlike a white shark?)

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>> ... great white sharks are attracted by the seal population.

>> Stands to figure. Hope they know the difference between seals and kayaks.

>

>I think the problem is that the seals don't always know the

>difference between sharks and kayaks. That's why seals are

>so skittish and watchful around us.

>

The book Deep Trouble tells of an encounter between two kayakers and a great white, remarkably noone was hurt but the kayak held onto to a few of the shark's teeth.

Seals are alternately afraid and curious of kayaks. Paddling backwards is a popular means to get the seals to follow "behind" you and get a good look. I remember they were particularly curious about a skin-on-frame boat, perhaps because of the light that passed through it into the water.

I usually distinguish grey seals from harbour seals by the large heads and pointed snouts.

For further reading (Google pinniped):

http://www.imma.org/pinnipeds/

http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/species/mammals/pinnipeds/

etc.

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You could always try slipping in the water with mask, snorkel, and fins and see if they will interact with you. The seals at Duck Island, Isles of Shoals regularly see divers. They are tend to be very shy (unlike sea lions) but some like to sneak up behind you.

Miriam and I had our best seal dive ever this summer with Captain Rob's (http://www.captainrobs.com/index.htm). Low tide is the best time to go and you must appear non-threatening for them to come anywhere near you.

If anyone wants more info just ask.

Ralph Cohn

Elaho DS, blue & white with yellow trim

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>...large heads...pointed snouts...

Grey Seals...males average about 2m in length and weigh 170-310kg; females average 1.8 m and 103-180 kg...Male grey seals are characterized by the long, arched, horse-like, or "Roman", nose, heavy shoulders and thick, folded skin of the neck region. The female’s nose is similar but shorter and narrower.

Harbour Seals...Males range from 1.4-1.9 m, and weigh from 70-130 kg; females are slightly smaller...

Male Grey Seals are then ~2.5 the size of male Harbour Seals and feature the elongated nose.

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