During Which Time We Saw Seals, Whales, and a Fox Running an Errand

We recently returned to Cape Cod for a Fall weekend. Joy, joy!

The “goal,” besides eating the squeaky-fresh shellfish we’d dreamed of all year, was to see seals. Lots of seals. Hopefully whales and other marine animals, too. But not from a boat this time. 

Would we get lucky by standing on the shore and looking out? We would find out by trying, all day, for the 2 days of our trip.

We went full-on seal searching to various National Seashore beaches, by bike on Day 1, and by Jeep on Day 2, landing at a sandy trot on arrival at each beach entrance.

Not for us to swim with the sharks, the same ones regularly seen off the Cape this summer. Nope. There are shark-bite kits stationed at every beach entrance we passed through, as a reminder of why we weren’t going in to swim. (Sharks like to eat seals, so wherever the seals are, the sharks would be dropping by for lunch.) 

So, Nooooo seals for someone’s sharky lunch! Not on my watch. I planned to telepathically warn away every seal I saw out there if I spotted a dorsal fin cruising toward them. 

But first things first. Must find seals. First stop on Saturday, Race Point Beach: 9 harbor and gray seals at one time. Yippie! They floated and dived along the shoreline, maybe 60 feet away, hamming it up. We excited humans clumped around in groups to take seal photos, to follow where they led us along the shore, adoring their every move. Lucky us!

I had to communicate to them my feelings about seeing them, messages of happiness and thankfulness that we were all in the same place that day. They communicated short, playful messages in return. They naturally controlled our gaze and attention, without effort. Since we didn’t advance toward them, they were free to play with us, without interference. We couldn’t get enough of them. They easily rolled with the waves, swimming along the shore, and other seals arrived in time and took their place. 

The seals’ awareness of us, the delighted humans, was natural for them, clearly. Over the years, over the reliable tourist seasons, each became accustomed to the other.

(I mostly forgot to take photos, with one exception further down, so please enjoy the pics below, courtesy of CapeCod.com.)

On Sunday, Day 2, we continued our search for seals, heading south along the National Seashore, first stop being Head of the Meadow beach. More seals to see, up to 4 seals at a time. We put our blanket down: Time to watch the morning’s seal show.

But wait — what was that weird-looking FIN sticking up out of the water, traveling along the shoreline, heading straight toward a single seal floating nearby? Yikes! I transmitted to the seal: Leave. Leave Now. GO. And the seal dived under, then disappeared. 

The fin swam along the shoreline, closer, closer… Okay, that’s not a dorsal fin. 

It was a fin, but flipping and flopping and waving to us while it glided along?! What WAS this we were seeing? 

Then, we suddenly remembered this: A whale-watching trip a few years ago in these same waters. We noticed a huge and very weird-looking … fish? The size of a car door. Waving her giant silly fin up at us watching on the boat. We were a little freaked out. Looked like half a big fish, fixing us with her big eye, doing the sidestroke, with a stumpy tail where the bottom half of a normal fish body should be.

The captain informed us it was a special sighting of an ocean sunfish, aka a “mola mola.” 


We were sure that a mola mola is what freaked us out on Day 2 of this trip.

This one zipped along, the goofball of the seas, causing us humans to gasp in confusion as the flippy fin slipped by through the waves close to shore. The mola mola was not interested in the neighborhood seals, but perhaps excitable us, instead.

We were so punked! That seal I thought I’d “warned away” never did return to where we stood, probably laughing her head off at the easily fooled human. 

At our final beach visit that day, Nauset Light beach, we spotted several seals in a group, and I decided to offer Reiki to them, with gratitude for having “been with” them throughout the weekend. 

I offered a connection with my deepest heart, with a lightness of spirit for this special experience of the seals’ playful presence. They stayed in the area where I stood for about a half hour. Mostly me giving to them, with them returning a pure series of tones and emotions, but mostly taking it in. Simple and direct…

I finally remembered to take a photo afterward.

As we left the beach, we looked down from the cliff and saw a pod of whales far in the distance, spouting and even a breach or two. They were heading south for the season, but they’d stopped to feed. Special treat for us!

That night after dinner in Provincetown, as we headed up West Vine, we saw a fox trotting down the street. She turned left at the corner and continued down the side street. Magic! 

A neighbor confirmed the following morning that the fox is a regular. So is a coyote. “They don’t bother anyone,” she said.

My friend Lisa confirms that foxes are seen around the area. The photo below is of the fox who visits her in town during the day, and she likes the sound of Lisa’s camera shutter.

Photo courtesy of Lisa Sette


We can’t wait to return to the beaches to see more seals and whales and yes, the foxes next year.