Monomoy Seal Watch Charters
Available year round and heated in Winter
2-1/2 hour tour
Make a Reservation Request or call 508-237-9823
Something fun to do on Cape Cod and guess what? It is even better in the WINTER.
Off the coast of Harwich lies an island called Monomoy which was named by the Wampanoag Indians meaning, “lookout place; deep water”. The island starts out very narrow at the north and grows larger to the south like an elongated tear drop 7 miles in length. Monomoy was first inhabited in 1711 with the opening of a tavern for sailors and fisherman. At one time the island housed 200 residents and a school on its southern end near its fresh water source, a pond named the Powder Hole. A hurricane wiped out the village in 1860 and it has remained uninhabited ever since with the exception of its remaining lighthouse. Operating from 1828 to 1923, it was a very important aid to ships navigating the treacherous Pollock Rip Channel around Nantucket Shoals. The light which still stands today, was taken out of service soon after the opening of the Cape Cod Canal. The canal has permanently changed ship routes around Nantucket Shoals making the trip shorter and much more safe. In 1944 the island became a national wildlife refuge and is a pristine area for wildlife and a critical nesting site for some endangered birds.
Up until the 1950s there was a bounty paid for killing seals living in the waters adjacent to Monomoy Island because of the supposed threat to fishing resources imposed by the seal population. The seals of Monomoy are now under Federal protection. Up until the early 1990s there were very few seals in the waters around the island but sightings were more frequent in the coldest winter months. In the early 1990s out of the blue a colony of Gray Seals appeared on the island and has since flourished, living on the island year round ever since. Today they number in the thousands. The seals give birth to their young in the heart of the winter on Monomoy’s beaches and it is a treat to see the little pups up close.
Aboard the Magellan we will take you for an up close and personal look at the Monomoy seal colony. You will also get a look at the island’s lighthouse, birds and other wildlife. We will also take you on a tour on Chatham’s Stage Harbor and Harwich’s Wychmere Harbor to make your day even more memorable. The Magellan is fast and comfortable with a private restroom and is heated for winter trips. Brax Landing is a restaurant located next door to the harbor with great food and a wonderful view. It is open year round.
Please book your trip in advance so we can best accommodate you.
Things to bring:
camera, binoculars, appropriate clothing, sun screen, sun glasses, anything you would like to eat or drink; beer and wine is fine.
More info on Monomoy National Wildlife refuge.