Yesterday as I was busy tying up the loose ends from the day here at my desk at the Middletown Comfort Inn, I received a text message from my friend Amanda. She told me about a story on NBC news detailing the return of seals to the Sandy Hook and New York Harbor areas. My first reaction was “What? There are seals around here? I thought they only lived where the polar bears do.” Just goes to show what I know. Click here to see the NBC news report and article.
According to the article, the re-appearance of the seals is likely due to the clean up of the New York Harbor. The area was dirty and smelled bad. Can you blame the wildlife for staying away? Fish populations are now increasing along with other tasty marine creatures that the seals like to feed on.
Harbor and gray seals are the most commonly found varieties in the Sandy Hook area but the harp and hooded seals have also been spotted. The populations usually start arriving sometime in November, peak during the winter and take their leave in early spring.
Seals spend most of their time in the water only coming to land occasionally to breed and rest. They breed during the fall in parts of Maine and Canada and make their way down the coastline as winter approaches. Sometimes they travel as far south as North Carolina. Here is a link with some good information on identifying and viewing seals in New Jersey safely for both the animal and you.
I spent a very pleasant afternoon on December4thstrolling along the beach at Sandy Hook instead of my usual run along the trail there. (I’ll be do a post on that in the future.) The winter beach is beautiful and far less crowded than the summer. I was happy I remembered to bring my camera along. I was able to get a lot of great pictures, unfortunately I did not see any seals. The New York skyline is visible as you stroll out towards the end of the hook and as you make your way back you can clearly see the Twin Lights lighthouses. There is a lot to do and see even during the winter months. Sandy Hook is just one of the many draws to the area that can be enjoyed year-round.
Lucky for you and us, the Comfort Inn of Middletown is located close to Sandy Hook. It’s a quick easy drive down Route 36 and we’ll have directions ready for you. Come see all the winter beach at Sandy Hook has to offer, get into the park for free until Memorial Day and get a great rate and breakfast at our hotel. After your winter beach stroll make sure you visit Bahr’s Landing or Off the Hook Restaurants for a great meal and/or drinks. Click here for on-line reservations, call us 732.671.3400 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to welcoming you.