Rhode Islanders have salt water in their veins, which is why colder temps won’t stop us from getting out on the ocean. This spirit of the sea, regardless of the season, is best exemplified in our state’s official marine mammal, the Harbor Seal. Adorable, adventurous and built to endure the icy winter waters, our spirit animal can be found living it up in its element this time of the year.
Landlubbers who aren’t afraid of the chill in the ocean air can get some face time with our flippered mascot on one of Save the Bay’s Seal Cruises. Their seal watch cruises out of Newport Harbor have been sailing since November and will continue to check in on seals off of Rose Island and the Newport Bridge through April.
“Our primary spot for seal on this trip is at Citing Rock, near the Newport Bridge,” says Cindy Sabato of Save the Bay. “We occasionally see other seal species in these waters, including harp and grey seals. We've seen porpoises as well.”
This month, the Fall River cruises will make their way down the Taunton River and into Mount Hope Bay to spot seals on Spar Island and Battleship Cove. “This is a great time to see early spring wildlife and early blooming trees,” Cindy adds.
Regulations require the cruises to maintain a distance of 50 yards from the seals, but a pair of binoculars or a good zoom lens ought to bridge that gap. Bundle up, grab your camera and take a cruise on the wild side.