Rome Point Seals

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*Recent Observations and Reflections*

February 28, 2015 -  This weekend would normally be excellent for morning seal watching, but this winter has been anything but normal.  We have not visited Rome Point since Feb. 7, and are uncertain whether or how much the bay may be frozen over in the vicinity of the haul out rocks.  If the rocks are surrounded by ice, the seals are denied access to their customary haul out location and will haul out directly on the ice at other locations that are adjacent to open water.  These temporary haul outs may be very far from shore, making seal observation more challenging until such time as the ice recedes from that resting rocks.  We have no free time available to visit Rome Point until later this week, so if anyone could let us know what the bay conditions are like out there, we would greatly appreciate an update.  Contact Romepointseals

Winter storms and frigid winds may make for slippery trail conditions for the foreseeable future, and trail conditions are often highly variable during the day depending on precipitation type, temperature, sun on the trails, and  thaw/freeze cycles. When the trail gets slippery, we often prefer to straight for the shore and then hike along the shore below the tide line to secure better traction. Ski poles, a hiking staff, or some sort of crampons are recommended on some days. If the path is too slick, it may be a good idea to cancel the outing and return on a better day, rather than risk an injury from a painful fall on the icy trail.    

Seal seekers should check in here regularly; we have a busy schedule this week, but soon we will resume our seal observations on a regular basis, just in time for the best seal watching of the season.  The Recent Observations link will dish the latest details about what the seals are up to, so be sure to check that page when you visit the website.  See you on the beach soon!  

 Some of our seal watching friends have shown an interest in sharks; we found this website dedicated to tracking great white sharks that have been tagged with GPS satellite transponders. Ocearch Shark Tracker  Our favorite shark is the legendary Mary Lee, she's a 16 foot, 3500 pound beauty that was tagged off Cape Cod in 2012.

We have posted some short seal videos to Youtube for your seal watching amusement.  Seal Pup Follies was recorded in Maine in June 2012 and contains several interesting interactions between seal pups and adult seals.  Linebelly Rising is a short clip showing the Rome Point kingpin climbing to the top of his favorite pointy rock. 
Video Links:
Seal Action March 2013
Linebelly Rising   
Big Seal Day 2011 
Seal Pup Follies  
Rome Point Seals 2011 

    Welcome to the Internet home of the Rome Point harbor seal colony in Rhode Island's Narragansett Bay.  This web site is the place to learn where, when, and how to observe harbor seals from the shore of the John H.Chafee Nature Preserve at Rome Point, located in North Kingstown, RI.  Rome Point is the best place in southern New England to observe large numbers of wintering harbor seals from shore. Since 1999, I have had the pleasure of enjoying more than 500 seal walks and sharing close-up views of the seals through my spotting scope with at least 7000 friends, neighbors, and seal seekers from all over the world.  Rome Point is one of Rhode Island's most spectacular natural treasures; on a good day the seal watching experience rivals any wildlife sightings you are likely to observe in most US National Parks.  

   This web site is a guide to having a successful and fun seal watching hike at Rome Point.  The information presented here will enable you to locate and responsibly observe the seals.  This site is published as a public service by amateur naturalists on a volunteer basis.  Thanks for visiting!