Alameda Sun: No Vacancy on Float for Harbor Seals, January 12, 2017


The rain ended, the sun came out, and so did the harbor seals at Alameda Point. So many of them came out of the water to warm up on their new float on Jan. 5, hardly any of the structure was visible. The regional ferry agency installed the new float after removing an old Navy dock used by the seals, in order to make way for a ferry maintenance facility.

“I nearly keeled over when I saw the platform,” said Lisa Haderlie Baker, harbor seal monitor and Alameda resident. “So many seals packed cheek by jowl, literally, that I had to count them four times using binoculars to make sure there were 60 of them, at least, basking in the sun, which I knew had to be close to a record. It was a tremendous thrill.”

Haderlie Baker has been watching the seals since the days when they used the old wooden dock. In August she started volunteering with Alameda Point Harbor Seal Monitors, after the new harbor seal float was delivered.

Seal monitor photos taken later that day confirmed the presence of 70 harbor seals on the float. The previous record numbers in the harbor were 52 on the new float on Dec. 24, 2016, and 38 on the former, now-demolished wooden dock on Dec. 25, 2015.