Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Harbor Seal in Yonkers

I usually kayak back across the river from Beczak’s beach, but last Wednesday night I had my street shoes on, so to avoid getting my feet wet I left from the dock at Yonkers Paddling and Rowing Club.

There, lying on its back on the icy dock, I saw a beautiful black seal.

Under the full moon and street lamps I could see it clearly. It looked healthy, a good sized harbor seal, perhaps 70 lbs. It slid off the dock and into the water, then swam back and forth while I talked to it, observing me interestedly with the top half of its body standing straight up out of the water, before dipping around the edge of the sea wall and out of sight.

I wondered why it wasn't more afraid—perhaps the seal-like black balaclava on my head reassured it. It didn't seem to notice or care about the yellow kayak on my shoulder.

I have been checking every night since then, but haven't seen the seal again.

Richard Scott

Richard Scott is the intrepid commuter who crosses the Hudson River by kayak! Read his earlier blog here.

NOTE: Richard didn’t have a camera with him when he saw the seal in Yonkers, but two days later, on January 21, LoHud’s Vincent DiSalvio took this photo of a harbor seal near the Haverstraw Ferry launch.