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Wildlife Spotlight: Harbor Seal

Harbor Seal hauled out on an iceberg
The harbor seal might actually be my favorite marine mammal. Don't get me wrong, nothing beats being on the water in the presence of a breaching whale, but there is just something adorable about a harbor seal checking you out as you paddle by.
Harbor seals are a common sighting on all our trips and are a very shy, yet curious bunch. If you come upon a harbor seal, you will notice the top of its head barely sticking out above the surface of the water so it can see you. This is called spy hopping. You will never hear it make a noise as it prefers to stay in stealth mode. It will then quietly dip beneath the surface of the water and follow you as you kayak down the shore. Curious as to what we are, but not wanting to be seen, the harbor seal will sometimes trail a kayak for several minutes even looking away if you try to make eye contact. Maybe it thinks if it looks away then we can't see it! I have no scientific proof of that, but those are my observational conclusions :-)

~ Danny

Spy hopping harbor seal