Seal watching in Queens
I bought two passes to a seal-watching tour off the coast of the Rockaways in Queens on a whim when a good deal hit LivingSocial. While the tour was a little longer than we would have liked, the air was crisp, it was a beautiful, sunny day, and we had a great view of Coney Island as the boat rounded Brooklyn. Too bad I only had my iPhone with me to take photos with.
While the seals mostly looked like squishy rocks from where we were, smarter watchers brought binoculars or cameras with awesome zoom lenses. Check out these photos that American Princess Cruise Lines linked to from their website. Pretty cute, right? They were hanging out on Swinburne Island, which was one of two islands (the other being Hoffman Island) that were created to quarantine sick immigrants coming to America. Now…the buildings are essentially bird houses. Big, decrepit bird houses, protected by the National Park system.
A word to the wise…if you ever visit the Rockaways off-season, plan your bathroom trips well. There are no public restrooms or restaurants near the pier from which the tour boat left. And, if you take public transportation, that means the last time you saw a bathroom was about half-an-hour earlier at a mall and fast food restaurants you passed on your bus ride. There is, however, a beach…and hiding spots along said beach…I’ll leave it at that.