West Seattle wildlife: ‘Sealy Dan’ the pup goes kayaking

November 3, 2012 at 5:21 pm | In Seen at sea, West Seattle news, Wildlife | 22 Comments

(Photos by Robin Lindsey)
When the Seal Sitters‘ hotline – 206-905-SEAL – rings, “there’s a seal on the beach” is the most common report. Not this time: “There’s a seal on a kayak!” instead. Seal Sitters’ Robin Lindsey shares the photos and tells the story:

Yesterday afternoon, Seal Sitters hotline operator Tess received a call that a seal pup had hopped aboard a passing kayak and the boater wasn’t sure how to handle the situation. Jeff Kelley and his son, who was visiting from Brooklyn, were taking a spin in their kayaks around Elliott Bay when a pup started trailing them. Suddenly, the pup jumped onto the back of the kayak and was not particularly interested in returning to the water – after well over 30 minutes, they contacted Seal Sitters for advice.

A tired seal pup will sometimes rest on a log in the water – or even hop on a passing logboom being towed by a tugboat to catch a snooze. Or, a kayak or paddleboard. Jeff and his son did exactly the right thing: they let the pup rest, remained in the area and then gently encouraged the pup to abandon ship when they needed to move along on their journey.

Robin has published a longer version of the story on the Seal Sitters’ “blubberblog” site – see it here.

P.S. Another report tells the story of Ma Kai, a pup who’s been showing up nightly for a while – and posing quite the challenge.


  1. That is very cute! I hope the little pup had as much fun as the people who saw it!

    Comment by Noelle — 5:38 pm November 3, 2012 #

  2. That’s totally cool, and I’m jealous! What an experience!

    Comment by StephenHJ — 5:39 pm November 3, 2012 #

  3. Wow. That’s a great story :-)

    Comment by EJ — 5:44 pm November 3, 2012 #

  4. that is very cute. :)

    Comment by Ezgi — 5:49 pm November 3, 2012 #

  5. yeah Jeff and son way to go!

    Comment by jwws — 5:59 pm November 3, 2012 #

  6. So cool.

    Comment by Chris W — 6:10 pm November 3, 2012 #

  7. Wow, amazing. A lovely image and I’m sure a remarkable experience. A VERY Pacific Northwest occurrence!

    Comment by goodgraces — 6:13 pm November 3, 2012 #

  8. This is a wonderful story! In the wake of the account of the micro-penis punk who dragged and punched an octopus out of the sound, this story really makes me feel better about my species.

    Comment by CitizenSane — 6:16 pm November 3, 2012 #

  9. That’s the sweetest thing I’ve seen in a long time. Once in a million photo op,especially with out of towners. Great pics.

    Comment by Alki Resident — 6:17 pm November 3, 2012 #

  10. That is a great. What a story to take back to Brooklyn !

    Comment by Karen — 6:18 pm November 3, 2012 #

  11. What a terrific story! And photos to boot. Thanks for taking care of the pup!

    Comment by CEA — 7:01 pm November 3, 2012 #

  12. All a giggles at this one!! What a fun adventure in Elliott Bay!

    Comment by shed22 — 7:31 pm November 3, 2012 #

  13. A Seattle welcoming from our wildlife. How cool is that? What a great story to be able to go home and tell your friends. Poor little pup, just needed a breather. Glad they were cool about it and didn’t mess with the little fellow. Those visitors are welcomed back anytime.

    Comment by ~~HockeyWitch~~ — 7:32 pm November 3, 2012 #

  14. Awesome

    Comment by Greenpeace — 7:51 pm November 3, 2012 #

  15. what an awesome story!! My wife and I saw what we finally figured out were at least 2, probably 3 seal pups playing in the water off Constellation Park this morning. They looked to be following their momma as she cruised south near the shore.

    Comment by Chris — 8:24 pm November 3, 2012 #

  16. how cool!

    Comment by lina — 8:41 pm November 3, 2012 #

  17. What a story they have to tell of their visit of Seattle!

    Comment by WS concerned parent — 8:55 pm November 3, 2012 #

  18. Wow, what a cute little creature. I would have allowed him to snooze for as long as he wanted. :)

    Comment by thegodshavegonecrazy — 12:40 am November 4, 2012 #

  19. How awesome! Great photos!

    Comment by SudsyMaggie — 5:20 am November 4, 2012 #

  20. Great story! Just too bad that Jeff was so close but couldn’t see the pup well.

    Comment by Trina — 11:19 am November 4, 2012 #

  21. Sealy Dan spent the day yesterday resting on shore at Jack Block Park. Volunteers taped off the area and onlookers got a great view of the sleeping pup. As is always our concern, there were (illegally) off leash dogs in the park, including the beach. Sealy Dan returned to Elliott Bay just as darkness fell. We have not seen him yet today. Make sure to give us a call @ 206-905-7325 (SEAL) if you spot the pup! He’s a bit thinner than we’d like so we want to make sure he gets the rest he needs.

    Comment by Robin — 8:12 am November 5, 2012 #

  22. A fantastic story. Loved the photos.

    Comment by Craig Mische — 11:34 am November 8, 2012 #

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