Seal Cruise Groupon

Nice discount available from American Princess Cruises out of Riis Point.

From Groupon:

“Choose Between Two Options
  • $16 for a seal- and bird-watching adventure cruise for one ($30 value)
  • $30 for two Groupons, each good for a weekend seal- and bird-watching adventure cruise for one ($60 value)
“Cruises run on Saturdays from March 18th to April 29th, as well as a Friday cruise on April 14th. Boarding is at 11:15 a.m., with the tour leaving at 12 p.m. and returning at approximately 2 p.m.
The large vessel has a full bar, including hot chocolate, tea, coffee, spiked coffee, and other beverages, and is also equipped with a snack bar and galley. Passengers spend 2 hours gazing out of sizable viewing windows in a large, heated cabin with cushioned seating, enjoying scenic skyline views and spotting Harbor and Grey seals, with the occasional Harp and Hooded seal sighting, as well as a variety of birds. On warmer days, guests can take in sights from the ship’s canopy-covered upper deck. There is a naturalist on board guiding the tour, that gives a presentation on marine life, seals, birds, and the surrounding area on the way. There is also a slide show which is displayed on big screen tv’s, showing pictures, posters and exhibits. The naturalist is available throughout the trip for any questions.”

Hit the link:  Groupon link.

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Seal FYI

Long Island. Our harbor and grey seals will probably not be sticking around too long in some parts. If you love seals, but don’t have time to head out east, head down to Robert Moses, or the Oak Beach area. You will need to go at low tide, and you will need binoculars, telescope, or a huge lens. The haul out is towards the middle of Great South Bay, so they are far out there, but they are there. This picture, and this info should help you find them. Remember, they are federally protected marine mammals. If you alter their behavior, you are too close. Please keep that in mind if you are in a boat.  Enjoy.

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A Plastic Love

for the love of Ocean

Everyone loves the Ocean!   Just kidding… You love disposable plastic more.

We’ve all heard the stories of sea turtles eating plastic bags and balloons, mistaken for jellyfish, and dying as a result. Fish, seabirds, whales, dolphin… all seem to consume plastic, many dying as a result. (44% of seabirds eat plastic by mistake.) But the problem runs deeper. This video is well worth watching:

Plastic breaks down. As opposed to the old idea that plastic is virtually indestructible and lingers for centuries, it does, in fact break down. Through physical and chemical means, it gets broken up into smaller and smaller pieces. These smaller pieces disperse at a local level, basically creating a plastic soup. Most fish and birds can eat the smaller pieces.

To make matters worse, plastic acts as a sponge, sucking up dangerous organic pollutants such as PCP, DDT, BPA, etc. We now are creating toxic plastic soup in the far reaches of the ocean.
Maybe lay off the plastic water bottles for a start???

Harbor Seals

…almost overslept

It was a nice morning.


 

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Almost over slept this morning.  Got up, but I was a bit slow getting enough coffee in me after yesterday’s fantastic game.  I wanted to get some landscape shots before the sunrise – I like an hour to a half hour before for photography and observing.  Those times often offer the best color.  Running a bit late, I caught the sun coming up over the ocean, always a blessing, but I missed all the good color from earlier.

The light was still great so I changed plans.  I switched out the wide-angle for the Tamron 150-600mm and went looking for wildlife.  I was hoping to get lucky, maybe see some raptors or a fox.  Drove around a bit, nothing.  Had another thought and this is what I found this morning. (Phoca vitulina)

All shots are cropped considerably, even at 600mm, the harbor seals were pretty far away. Because the low sun was hitting them just right, I set exposure compensation at -1.0, to help prevent any overexposure of the seal’s light fur. (Seal fur, btw, belongs on a seal.)  I was shooting in aperture priority, not manual mode, since I was kind of parked in the middle of the road, with a park ranger behind me tooting his horn for me to get back in my car.

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All shots:   ISO 500, F9.0, 1/1250th sec., 600mm.  The ISO was bumped up to increase shutter speed, as I was hand holding 600mm.  Aperture was 9.0, because this lens is very sharp there, and figured I needed some depth of field.

 

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There are some better places to find seals on Long Island and I will try to hit that in another post.  Seals are federally protected marine mammals.  Please respect them by staying at least 50 yards away.  If your presence alters their behavior, you are too close.

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Continue reading “Harbor Seals”