Yay!  Finally!  First close-up sights of harbor seals in the Misty Fjords!  Harbor seals are 1 of 6 species of haired seals found in Alaskan waters, and typically use glacial fjords as a home base.  They can grow to 5 or 6 feet and can live 25-35 years.  Their hair is short and bristly and colors can vary from gray to dark brown to golden, usually with light spots on a dark background or vice versa.  Harbor seals can’t get their hind flippers underneath them, so when they get out of the water, they have to roll along (think of an animated caterpillar).  Unfortunately, when “hauling out”, they’re vulnerable to predation (bears come down to shorelines to steal pups, or orcas can snatch one up as they come/go to/from sea/land).  In fact, as we were headed upstream and before we saw these seals, we saw a pair of orcas (aka killer whales, and, too quick for the cameras) headed downstream toward the Inside Passage.  Hopefully, they hadn’t just filled their bellies!


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