Spring Fling in Chatham on Cape Cod

Daffodils, Rabbit’s, Seals and Sharks Oh MY….Sure signs of spring in Chatham on Cape Cod!

Now that the snow is melting here in Chatham, MA on Cape Cod, if you look closely enough, there are signs of Spring. Crocuses are starting to make their way up, up to the light. Snowdrops are not far behind. Then the wonderful sure sign of spring will be showing their beautiful faces for all to see, daffodils. They are everywhere! If you want to really see a true homage to this wondrous beauty, Nantucket is the place to visit. Daffodil Weekend is a long tradition that has the whole island decked out in daffodil splendor.
Don’t wait until the last minute to enjoy this phenomenon. If you wait until the weekend, it’s too late. Plan now. You can take a ferry from Hyannis (either the Hy-Line High-speed or Steamship Authority’s ferry). You WILL need a reservation. Cape Air has numerous flights that will take actually 12 minutes in the air to travel to or from Nantucket. Accommodations are at a premium for this weekend on Nantucket so stay elsewhere and visit two places over a long weekend. Nantucket is easily a day trip from Chatham, for example. On one of your long weekend days visit Nantucket. Then the other day, explore all that Chatham has to offer.

They’re cute and plentiful. Some say adorable others a nuisance, it just depends who you ask about the Grey seals that have made the waters off Chatham, MA their year-round home. The seals have been the source of aggravation to fishermen for many years. Prior to 1962, the gray seal was nearly wiped out. There was a bounty on the seals as a result of their overpopulation and threat to the local fishermen. The seals were almost nonexistent. Then in 1962, the Marine Mammal Protection Act was passed to bring the seals back from near obliteration in the waters off of Chatham on Cape Cod. Gradually the herd began to grow again. There were no predators in the waters of the Cape and the seals steadily increased their numbers. It is estimated that the herd is as large as 16,000 to 20,000. There is no data compiled to support their growth and numbers.

The seals are now a huge tourist attraction. In addition to taking a boat out to see the Gray Seals, you can spot them at low tide from the Chatham, MA Fish Pier or Lighthouse hauled out on sandbars. Many are frequent guests at Chatham’s Fish Pier where you can not only see the seal but also try some of New England’s finest lobster rolls and clam chowder. They are nearsighted and have heads that look like a dog. In fact, the sound they make actually sounds like a barking dog! When they have hauled out and are resting, their fur dries which gives them the gray look. Friend or foe, they are a constant curiosity to all.
With the size of the herd, the huge mass of seals has now attracted the fear-invoking Great White Shark. Signs are for sale that say, “Welcome to Chatham – summer home of the Great White Shark”. Seals are a favorite of Sharks and the Great White has made their presence known in the water off of Chatham.  

During the 2014 season, 68 great whites were tagged off of the waters of Chatham, MA. While seals are their preferred meal, the sharks’ numbers do not mitigate the huge herd of seals. The tagging of the great whites is an effort to better understand their behavior. Dr. Greg Skomal and his team are leading the effort to this end.
The Gray Seals and the Great Whites have increased visitors’ curiosity increasingly over the past 5 years. The seals are easily spotted; however, Great Whites are elusive at best. Spotter planes are used to help Dr. Skomal find and tag the Great Whites. Swimming near or around seals is NOT recommended because of the shark attraction.

Because bunnies have been mentioned, I have to tell you a short anecdote about the little creatures. I once thought bunnies were so cute. That was until we planted tulips! The furry little creatures would go to the tulip, bite off the flower, cast it aside, and chew down the stem. This would then send us into fits trying all sorts of potions to keep them away to no avail. We rarely see lots of bunnies in the yard…no more tulips!

There are all sorts of things that give us a hint of spring. There are long days, stronger sunlight, and the arrival of flowers and different creatures. It’s also the time we human creatures want to start moving around and shake off the winter doldrums (especially after this winter). What better way to invigorate than to plan a visit to a destination like Chatham on Cape Cod a tank away. Let us at The Old Harbor Inn in Chatham, MA on Cape Cod help you do just that. Let us help you Explore Cape Cod and the islands Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket and Discover the Seals, Sharks, Daffodils, and Bunnies while we Pamper you and your spirit with our outstanding personal attention. What are you waiting for? Happy Spring!!!!!!

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