Valley visit results in unexpected Cottage Cove seal rescue

Published on March 16, 2017

This seal near Cottage Cove was rescued from being tangled in rope. The rescuer was a Valley visitor from The Netherlands.

©Herman T.H. Kasteel

COTTAGE COVE - My wife Joyce and I were staying at our friend’s house in Cottage Cove, at the end of August and the beginning of September last year. We are from the city of Enschede in the East of the Netherlands near the German border.

The beautiful house of our friends Karen and Richard is situated just near the boat ramp in Cottage Cove on the Bay of Fundy. It is a very nice spot with a lot to see like the tide changes, birds (sea eagles, hummingbirds), sea animals (seals, dolphins, fin whales), the magnificent sunsets and of course the fields and forests behind the houses with blackberries, blueberries, apples, wildlife, etc.

During our stay a lot of people visited the boat ramp. They were walking around, having a picnic, enjoying looking at the animals and the sunset. There was even a just-married couple having their pictures taken. The ramp is an attraction, not only for humans.

It was a beautiful summer with clear blue skies, hardly any clouds to be seen. One morning, however, there was mist above the water. So I walked to the ramp to enjoy the atmosphere and to take some pictures. On the ramp I looked to the coast and suddenly my eye fell on a seal in the water nearby. As I came closer the seal didn’t move, it was floating with its head under water in a tangled ball of rope. That rope was connected to the ramp. I found where it was connected and lying on my belly I just could reach the rope. I pulled the rope in with the little seal, a harbour seal. It still had its head under water and did not move. As I pulled the rope it untangled itself around the animal and ultimately the seal was free.

I dropped the ball of rope on the ramp. There was not much life in the seal, but after a little while it started swimming, came back, stared at me and then fell asleep. I took pictures with my camera.

This seal near Cottage Cove was rescued from being tangled in rope. The rescuer was a Valley visitor from The Netherlands.

©Herman T.H. Kasteel

This was so special that I wanted to share it with my friends. I went to the house to get my cellphone so I could take and then send pictures. When I came back the seal was further away in the bay. It saw me and swam to me and stayed just below me, (barking ‘thank you’ my imagination thinks). I could have touched the seal, but I didn’t. Their teeth are sharp. This situation gave me the opportunity to take beautiful pictures. I had my story to tell, with evidence.

The harbour seal was solitary. All the other seals I saw in Port George were grey seals. That morning none of them were in the neighbourhood. The next day I saw a harbour seal swimming in front of the house for a while, but after that moment I did not see it any more.

This special event at Cottage Cove on the coast of the Bay of Fundy near Middleton and Port George is worthwhile to share.  

Our holiday on Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island was a grand time with a beautiful nature, lovely people, nice weather, delicious craft beers and not to forget the tasty lobsters. We will come back for sure.

Article by Herman T.H. Kasteel from Enschede, The Netherlands.