It’s not every day that a Rumsonite takes a typical beach stroll and bumps, not so literally, into a couple of seals. It’s only a pandemic day in May.
Seals are known for beaching themselves on a little swath of sand off Sandy Hook, dubbed Skeleton Island, for a bit of sunbathing from December through March, but no one has ever found them lounging on Sea Bright Public Beach in May, no less — until now.
The sparseness and solitude in COVID-19 quarantine times has brought a lot of animals out of hiding from humans to explore. Herds of deer have been seen roaming streets and frolicking on beaches. Red foxes have been out. And, on Wednesday, seals were seen up pretty close — but at a safe, peaceful distance — on the beach, against a clear-day NY skyline backdrop.
It seems these two found their own new little haven just as beaches and boardwalks opened back up for humans. The usual for seals is that they, harbor seals, or pinnipeds, do live in the water, but surface to molt, give birth, raise their young and to just surface, breathe and bask. They can actually sleep in the water, but need those surfacing times, referred to as haul-outs. They like to sunbathe.
On this Sea Bright beach Wednesday, Rumsonite Sue Hill-Spakowski got a good glimpse of what appeared to be a mama seal hauling out and raising her baby, coincidentally a few days after Mother’s Day. She respected the pair’s privacy, but got in a couple of good snapshots.
Call it sealed with a special glimpse of pandemic nature.
Park rangers at Sandy Hook have advised that if you encounter seals on a beach, get a glimpse from a distance. Do not approach them or move in too close.