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Final Seal Spotting and Birding Cruises Offered April 13-14 by The Maritime Aquarium

The weekend of April 13 and 14 offer the final chances to join The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk in seeking out some of the seals and birds that spend the colder months just off Connecticut’s shores.

The Maritime Aquarium’s 2018-19 season of “Seal-Spotting & Birding Cruises” concludes with outings on Sat., April 13 (at noon) and Sun., April 14 (at 1 p.m.).

These invigorating 2½-hour cruises seek out some of the harbor seals and gray seals that annually migrate down into Long Island Sound from northern waters. Aquarium educators will point out these federally protected marine mammals and talk about their natural histories.

“There have been several news stories recently of folks approaching seals at rest on Fairfield County beaches,” said Aquarium spokesman Dave Sigworth. “ ‘Hauling out’ of the water to rest is a natural seal behavior; they’re not stranding. However, it is illegal to approach the seals. So if it’s seals you would like to see, we encourage you to come out with The Maritime Aquarium and do it safely and properly.”

These cruises also give birders unique “on-the-water” access to photograph visiting winter waterfowl, such as buffleheads, mergansers, Brant geese and long-tailed ducks.

“Seal-Spotting & Birding Cruises” take place aboard The Maritime Aquarium’s R/V Spirit of the Sound, the country’s first research vessel with quiet hybrid-electric propulsion. She has a climate-controlled cabin but, because the best viewing is outside on the deck, participants should dress for the weather. Binoculars will be provided, but you can bring your own.

Tickets for a “Seal-Spotting & Birding Cruise” are $29.95, or $24.95 for Aquarium members. Please note that all passengers must be at least 42 inches tall.

Capacity is limited so advance reservations are strongly recommended. Walk-up tickets will be sold, space permitting. Reserve your spot by calling (203) 852-0700, ext. 2206, or by going online to www.maritimeaquarium.org.

As the seal-spotting season ends, a new season soon will begin on the Sound for the Aquarium’s cruises. The 2019 Marine Life Encounter Cruises will begin with weekend outings in May and June. These memorable encounters give participants hands-on introductions to a variety of fish, crabs, mollusks and other creatures brought up right out of the water right before your eyes.

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