Thank you to everyone who joined us for the 2021/2022 Seal Watching Season!

 

Harbor Seal on Buoy

Are you Looking for things to do on Long Island this winter/spring?
Join us as we set sail from 111 Woodcleft Avenue in Freeport, Long Island, aboard The Captain Lou Fleet to view winter harbor seal populations throughout Hempstead Bay.
A naturalist will be on board to discuss the biology and behavior of seals and other marine life encountered. While it may be cold outside, we do have a heated cabin where you can warm up. The Captain Lou Fleet has been a massive part of New York and Long Island tourism, and at our affordable rates, we are an excellent activity for kids and families!
Please dress warmly in the winter months. A coat, hat, gloves, scarf, etc., are suggested when viewing the seals outside. You will be able to take off your winter accessories while in the heated cabin.
Snack bar on board for food & beverage purchases: coffee & hot chocolate available. The snack bar is cash only.

Seals of Long Islands Coastal Waters

Did you know that Long Island has five different species of seals that can be seen in our coastal waters? Seals are a member of the pinniped family which also includes sea lions and walruses. They do not live here all year round however, they typically migrate here from the north when our weather begins to get colder during during the months of November through May which is when they can typically be spotted.

Harbor Seal (Phoca vitulina) on rock

Harbor Seal, Phoca vitulina

Observed: November-May
Adults: 4-6 ft. 250-300 lbs.
Juveniles: 2.5-3 ft. 25-50 lbs.
Pups: 2-2.5 ft. 15-25 lbs.

Silver, tan or black in color with speckling. Often found hauled out on rocks, jetties, docks, beaches or sand bars.

Harp Seal (Pagophilus groenlandicus) on ice

Harp Seal, Pagophilus groenlandicus

Observed: November-May
Adults: 5.6-6.3 ft. 300-350 lbs.
Juveniles: 3-3.5 ft. 25-50 lbs.

Adults are silver-gray with a black harp on back. Juveniles are silver or beige with black spots over body.

Hooded Seal (Cystophora cristata) laying on side

Hooded Seal, Cystophora cristata

Observed: November-May
Adults: 6.5-9 ft. 600-850 lbs.
Juveniles: 3-3.5 ft. 45-100 lbs.

Blue gray with dark blotches and light belly. Juveniles have blue-gray back with light bellies.

Gray Seal (Halichoerus grypus) on beach

Gray Seal, Halichoerus grypus

Observed: November-May
Adults: 6.6-7.5 ft. 400-740 lbs.
Juveniles: 2.5-3 ft. 25-50 lbs.

Horse like head. Black, tan, silver and white coloration. Males dark with light patches; females light with dark patches

Ringed seal (Pusa hispida) on ice

Ringed Seal, Pusa hispida

Observed: November-May
Adults: up to 5 ft. 240 lbs.

Small, plump body, and their pelage, which is light on their bellies and dark on their back, with scattered irregular rings throughout. Pups have a white, wooly lanugo coat that they shed around six to eight weeks of age for a pelage that is dark on top and light on the bottom. Only after their first molt do they begin to develop the characteristic irregular ringed pattern.

Information provided by the NY Marine Rescue Center.