09 January 2011

Seal you later

OK.  I may have briefly mentioned that I got to see a seal colony while out on the coast.  Just to flesh out some more of the story, after we hit town Tuesday afternoon, we had time to kill before dinner.  It was either sit in the hotel and watch TV, answer my e-mails, go work out in the gym, or go for a run.  Since I had time, I chose to take a long run just limber up and get ready for the 1/2 marathon.  I lit out from the hotel trying to put in an hour or so on the local trails.  I had scoped out the local area beforehand and had noted that Carpinteria has a nice bike/hike trail that runs along the coast for 6-7 miles.  Figured I could knock out a few miles and see some nice scenery.  The trail was gorgeous - mostly running along the cliff overlooking the ocean.  Lots of joggers/walkers/dogs.  

Around dusk, while on the backside of the run, I came across a nice bench atop a bluff that overlooked the beach and a pier that jutted out in to the ocean.  Nice view, but not something I would have normally stopped for.  What caught my eye was the hand held STOP sign and a clipboard on the bench with nobody around to claim them.  Curiosity got the better of me and I had to stop and see what was the situation.  Didn't see anybody but I did note that the trail down to the beach was roped off with a "Do Not Enter" sign posted and a warning sign to not disturb the Seal Colony.  THAT got my attention.  I tried to see if I could spot any seals but the fading light (and my sunglasses) made it difficult to spot them at first.  What I thought were rocks was actually an entire colony of harbour seals on the beach.  A woman came up to claim her clipboard and it turns out she is one of the volunteers that monitors the colony.  This is a colony of ~100 harbour seals that has taken up a permanent home on the Carpinteria beach as part of the Carpinteria Seal rookery.  The female seals were pregnant and come back to this beach annually to deliver their cubs.  They have closed the beach access and the seals are expected to give birth anytime between now and May. 

Nice clip of the colony

Sometimes, when traveling down the busy road of life, we can find the most interesting things if we just simply take time to stop and look. 


terri said...


I think one of the things I most loved about running outdoors was the things I would see that I normally wouldn't have noticed. Of course, I would never have seen a seal colony, so thank you for sharing your view with us!

meleah rebeccah said...

Holy WOW. I can't believe all those seals!

Rock Chef said...

Love it!

I have recently become aware that there is now a colony of grey seals a few miles along the coast from where I live. They seem to be getting more and more common in my area these days. Must pop along and have a look some time!