Travel Photo Thursday: Seeing Seals by The Seashore

Travel Photo Thursday: Seeing Seals by The Seashore

Wpdms_usgs_photo_point_reyes_national_seashorePoint Reyes juts out into the Pacific Ocean along the west coast of the United States about thirty nautical miles north of San Francisco. (Wikipedia map.)

Since 1962, the Point has been within the boundaries of Point Reyes National Seashore, a federal reserve under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service.

In late winter and early fall, elephant seals are abundant along the ocean and in Drake’s Bay at the seashore. And those rescued at other areas of the California coast and rehabilitated by The Marine Mammal Center at its facility in the Marin Headlands section of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, are often released near Chimney Rock where Drake’s Bay meets the Pacific.

Every April, my Tuesday hiking group spends a day hiking along Drake’s Bay, and to and from the promontory that overlooks Chimney Rock.

Using a spotting scope and binoculars, we can eyeball elephant seals at a distance, as they lay hauled out under chalky cliffs that have been liked to those of Dover, England.

But we also see them “up close and personal” near the Life Saving Station farther up the bay.

Rain falling during the weeks prior to our visit often turns the hillsides bright with wildflowers.

But even though the rainy season is usually drawing to a close when we are at Chimney Rock, we maintain a lookout for storm clouds that can quickly rise high in the sky above us at any time.

(Click on an image to enlarge to full-size. Visit Budget Travelers Sandbox for more of this week’s Travel Photo Thursday shots.)

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13 Replies to “Travel Photo Thursday: Seeing Seals by The Seashore”

    1. Jackie, I held the lens of my digital point-and-shoot camera against the eyepiece of a spotting scope in order to get the round “frame” around the shot of the seals hauled out on the beach.

      Beside getting the “frame,” using the spotting scope allowed me to get a tighter shot of the seals than would have been possible with my camera’s modestly long zoom lens.

  1. What a coincidense…we have just had one lonely elephant seal come ashore to sunbathe on one of our beaches. It’s causing quite a fuss with a constant flow of people to see it. I didn’t realise they grew so big!

  2. Those seals are adorable and that scenery is just beautiful. I have always heard great things about Point Reyes and hope to make it there soon. The only elephant seal colony I’ve seen is at an area near Hearst Castle in San Simeon. It’s amazing to see so many of them. Beautiful photos!

  3. Loved your photos, and especially the one of the seals with the special effect. As it’s so hot in Western Australia right now your lovely shots of hikers in green vistas particularly resonated with me!

  4. I’ve seen the elephant seals at a park – whose name I can’t remember – south of San Francisco. It was a really interesting outing. Point Reyes looks like a beautiful spot to visit.

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