12:00 AM EDT, March 31, 2011
If you missed seal season in Connecticut, don't worry! There's still a chance to see these amazing creatures in one of our neighboring states! While the harbor seals which visit us every winter have pretty much left by now, many have moved north to Rhode Island for a month or so before their long springtime journey to Maine.
"Save the Bay" is a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of Narragansett Bay. Along with the Rose Island Lighthouse Foundation, it has been offering seal cruises of Newport Harbor for ten years now. From November through April, boats leave historic Bowen's Wharf for tours during the weekends to see these incredible marine mammals. "They only go out on those exposed rocks," explains Captain Eric Pfirrmann who leads these excursions during the hours of low tide. Visitors are not onboard the Alletta Morris for long, when they spy the beautiful seals lounging on the rocks under the towering Newport Bridge. "It gives people an awareness of how important the habitat is out her," says 14 year old Artym Hayda. "You might not think it!"
Harbor seals are the most common seal to spy in this area. They are about five feet long and 200 pounds. Reada Evans of the Rose Lighthouse Foundation says children are simply spellbound: "They get so excited!" The seals strike a banana pose and peer back at the humans with curiosity. Some even swim and bob around the boat.
"I thought it was pretty awesome to see them where they belong and not caged somewhere," says Hayda.
Tours take place weekends and school vacations through the end of April. The boat departs from Bowen's Ferry Landing in Newport. The cruise lasts about one hour and costs $20.00 for adults, $15.00 for seniors and children ages 5 to 12. For tickets, call (401)324-6020 or visit http://www.savebay.org/seals
Have fun and be warm!