Today, like most others, I decided to get up early and head to the Ocean City Inlet to see what I could see. When I stepped outside my house in Berlin, the air definitely was cold, but it had the feeling of Spring. The sun is coming up earlier and the red sky this morning, didn’t give me warning, but made me think that St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner and with it, the sun! Since my son and I had such great luck yesterday — we were watching a flotilla of loons floating in the inlet just off the Oceanic Motel when a seal popped his head up and watched us watching him — we decided to go back. Initially, I had trouble dragging James off the couch since he had gotten up just minutes before. Then is dawned on me, what makes a trip to the Ocean City inlet in the middle of winter at 7:45 in the morning fun for a 14 year old? Panera in the White Marlin Mall in West Ocean City! The call of a breakfast sandwich and a black cherry smoothie did it. He jumped up to throw on some clothes and join me. I had to buy his enthusiasm, but it was genuine enthusiasm, nonetheless.
We passed the Starbucks on Coastal Highway today since I had made my own coffee and actually heated up the soymilk to mix with the steaming brew in my thermos. A sign of the times, but quite tasty! Anyway, we swung into the parking lot outside Panera and ran in. Their service and speed are always impressive so we had our breakfast sandwiches and James’ smoothie in a few minutes and were back in the car, headed for the inlet. We had heard a couple tell us yesterday that they had seen 3 seals basking in the sun on the floating docks on the bayside behind the Oceanic Motel. It is there we headed on our seal hunt of sorts. No luck back there, but we could see that when the warm weather returns, this spot would be a great place to rent a jet ski and skim out to the inlet.
We got back in the car and headed for the Ocean City inlet parking lot. As we pulled alongside the group of birders set up looking through spotting scopes at Assateague Island and the rock jetty, we heard one exclaim that she saw a seal. Sure enough, with our bare eyes we could see the seal basking on the rocks. He was moving around so was easy to spot. I wonder if it was the same seal we saw yesterday?
I didn’t see as many of the diving ducks as I saw a couple weeks ago, but the loons were still active.
We spent a little while gazing at the seal as he looked in our direction. We disturbed the seagulls that like the Ocean City inlet parking lot as we left, but not before we admired the ferris wheel, and Trimper’s Amusement Park waiting silently for Spring — and Summer.
Ocean City is stirring after a long winter’s nap. The water is gorgeous, the birds active, visitors aren’t wearing as many layers, and the famous Ocean City Boardwalk will soon welcome the revelers that flock here come Spring. Have a great day!