I usually stay away from the beach on summer holidays because of the crowds and because of the difficulty finding a parking spot but Monday turned out to be a beautiful day and so after watching the Red Sox game (it was not pretty), I decided to go to the beach for the afternoon, trying my luck at this little stretch of beach not too far from my house. This is a beach that does not have a lifeguard and is usually pretty empty. Parking is along the side of the road only on the beach side.
It was my lucky day! I spotted one little open spot where I managed to squeeze in between two cars. After grabbing my chair, I scanned the beach for a good spot, and there he was. The cutest little Hawaiian monk seal hanging out on the beach. Well, not that little, but he was a just a baby, a 1-year old seal.
Of course all I brought with me was a book (my new Italian book that I am guessing is about at a 2nd grade reading level), some water, and my tiny point and shoot camera. I could have kicked myself for not packing my DSLR with my nice new long lens but my plan was to read and and hang out and not to take photos since I have taken photos at this beach many times before on days when the beach is not very crowded.
I set up my chair near the seal, settled in, read my book, watched the kids play in the ocean, and checked out the seal now and then. The sky looked pretty threatening to the right, but fortunately the clouds stayed just where they were all afternoon. At one point, about an hour after I arrived, the seal rolled onto his back and started to use his two flippers to rub his chin. That was it. He was just too cute. I could not sit there any longer. I had to go back home to grab my camera. I knew the seal wasn't going anywhere but I was a little worried that I might not be able to find another parking spot when I returned. I did take a few photos with my little camera but I wanted to take some close ups so I took the chance and headed back home to get my nicer camera.
When I returned to the beach, again luck was on my side. I saw one open spot and I grabbed it. There was a path right by my car that lead up to the beach where a bunch of tents were set up. I walked up the path and took a right, thinking that I had parked much closer to the other end of the beach. I started walking down the beach for about 10 minutes before realizing that the seal had to be down the other end of the beach because I was getting too close to the larger part of the beach at the end of the road. Have I mentioned before that I have no sense of direction?
The funny thing is that after walking back in the other direction and just around the bend by the tents where my car was parked, there was the seal, not more than 3 or 4 cars lengths away from where I originally parked. All I had to do was turn left instead of right and the seal was right there around the corner from my new parking spot! Well... a little walk on the beach never hurts anyone :)
The seal was back on his stomach when I returned so I never got any close ups of his cute tan little tummy. I did take a few photos though with my little camera before going back home to grab my DSLR.
Even though the sign is in the way, I love this photo of both the seal and a girl laying out getting a tan. I took this photo before going back home to get my nice camera. The tents in the top right side of the photo are right where the path was by my new parking spot.
When I returned to the beach with my DSLR camera, the seal was back on his stomach. This photo shows the seal while looking down the other end of the beach.
I hung out taking photos from every angle just on the outside of the ropes set up to protect the seal. The seal started out by not moving much at all. Eventually as the water kept coming up and splashing near his face, he would get aggravated and move just a little bit. Finally when the water started coming up more frequently as the tide came up, he turned his body around, flipped over a couple of times, and eventually swam away. Below are a bunch of photos I took from the time the seal was just hanging out snoozing to the time when he went back into the water.