Sunrise Seal: 20 Days Old

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Sunrise Seal: 20 Days Old

Posted by: Kim Steutermann Rogers
Destination: Kauai
Apr 16, 2009

Here we’re near the full moon, and as you can see, the tide on this north shore beach on Kaua’i is low.  With all the exposed reef and naturally-formed swimming holes, our Hawaiian monk seal pup couldn’t stray too far from mom.  Or me.  There was one other person on the beach today–a man on a two-week vacation here in Hawaii.  He hauled in an extreme telephoto lens on his Canon 20D.  I asked if he had heard there was a seal pup on the beach.  He said no.  “Then, this is your lucky day, isn’t it?” I said.  He stayed with me for three hours, tucked up in the treeline.  I never got his name.  Other than answering his few questions about the seals, I didn’t say much.  Neither did he.  But we shared a special experience, I could tell, because our camera shutters clicked away in unison like an orchestra.

On this cloudy morning, pup spent a couple hours exploring one a narrow area of water.  Maybe she was investigating a sea cucumber or other marine creature just below the surface. The calm and shallow water made it easy for pup to hold her breath and explore.  I counted 41 seconds as her longest breath-hold.  Pup is spending less time on land, less time sleeping, less time nursing and more time doing what she will one day soon do best:  Swimming.

 

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