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Circle of Life

Having fully recovered from the nauseating trip to the US from Nova Scotia, we arrived on Cape Cod last week and had a few days' rest. We were itching to get back on our bikes, so we decided to hit the Cape Cod Rail Trail again. Only this time, we decided to go to Chatham, instead of to Orleans and Eastham. That was a great decision!

We happened upon a draw bridge down in Chatham, where we witnessed a humongous school of large fish congregating below. The fish were pretty large and I started to wonder why no one was fishing there. That's when I saw the "No Fishing From the Bridge" sign. Alas....

We also saw a school of smaller fish hanging around, but the larger fish didn't seem very interested in them. We spent several minutes there, observing all this fish activity and then noticed a couple of seals in the immediate area.

Suddenly the fish started swimming in circles, and we could see rippling of the water from below the surface. Wait...where did the seals go? Taking our eyes off the fish for a minute to find them again, we heard a large swooshing sound and then a splash. The water surface had turned white with all that action, and the fish began swimming in all directions.

A swoosh, a splash, a fish mish-mash! Look for the fish in the white water.

Aaaaaaand, that's when we saw the seals again. They were having a fish feast! It was really hard to catch them in the act on video, but we tried.

We successfully managed to get a couple of pretty decent still shots of the seals in action, though.

The whole event was quite dramatic and impressive, and something neither of us had seen before. What amazing luck we had to arrive just when all this was happening.


Now that we knew for certain that there were some pretty fat seals in the area, we decided to go up the coast a bit to check out all the activity involving Great White Sharks (which eat seals). Many people, when they find out that we visit Cape Cod, wonder if we ever see the sharks. We have not. This day was no exception. Unless you include the one on the flag. That one was a really big shark, and it was only a couple yards away!

Apparently, some people are not satisfied with a flag shark and go onto the beach anyway. We are not those people.

People on Chatham Beach

Instead of risking our lives, we crossed the street and checked out the Coast Guard Station and the boat it had on display. The exhibit included interpretive signs that recounted the story of the improbable rescue involving the crew from that Station, made popular in the film The Finest Hours. After having seen the sand bars on Chatham Beach behind us and the signs that warn novice boaters of the unlikelihood that they would successfully cross them, we had even higher respect for the rescuers.


That was enough excitement for the day, so we headed back to Dennis on the bike trail. Along the way, we stopped at a kettle pond to cool off. The pond was full of gulls just hanging around, doing nothing. That was a relief, because we had seen enough predatory behavior for one day, and reveled (and recuperated) in the peaceful nature of the fresh water.


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