Seal Pup Visits Harbour Grace, NL,

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On March 16th, 2023 pack ice moved swiftly into Harbour Grace, Newfoundland, bringing with it small ‘bergs, growlers, floes, and at least one fluffy young seal pup. Most winters the harbour remains ice-free; in fact my neighbour tells me that this is only the second time in the thirteen years she’s been here that she’s seen the ice pack in.

And pack in it did! It all started when m’lady called up the stairs “Iceberg!” and I ran to the window to find a small 20′ chunk of ancient ice floating past the front of the house with a lone gull comically riding along on top. An hour later the open water had been entirely covered with a blanket of ice that undulated with the roiling tide.

This had been open water just fifteen minutes before m’lady took this photo

By the next morning the ice had wedged in so tightly that it looked like a solid mass.

By noon I got word that a seal pup was chilling on the ice across the way in Harbour Grace South. M’lady and I hopped in the car and drove over and sure enough there he/she was, basking and relaxing perhaps fifteen feet from shore.

As we stood and marvelled a couple of cars stopped for a gander and a few photos. I grabbed my camera and waited patiently for any movement. In the half-hour we were there the little fellah only raised it’s head twice. Once when a transport truck came rumbling along the small two-lane road and again just as I finally gave up and turned off my camera.

Around 6:30 in the evening I took another drive over but by then the seal was gone. The following day the pack ice receded back into the open ocean along with the evening tide. On March 19th the morning tide brought about half the ice back into the harbour but there has been no word yet on the return of the seal pup.

Nor has there been any polar bear sightings, which I suspect is good news for the seal.


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