Thursday, August 20, 2015

Vacation blog part III: Ecomare & Waddensafari

Hello again! This is part III of me blogs about me vacation on the island Texel. In part I me told you all about the island, in part II me wrote about the amazing piece of nature de Slufter. Today me will tell more about the seals that live in the Waddensea and also at Texel.

Around the islands in the Waddensea and under the salty dark water live all kinds of animals. There are the huge seagulls, numerous little and bigger fish, little crabs, little sharks (yes… sharks), rays and two kinds of seals. Seals are mammals (or as me like to think they are dog mermaids) that hunt for fish and live in large families. When they aren’t swimming they love to just find a sandbank and lie in the sun. Such a lovely life… Sadly because of storms and illnesses, young and older animals often wash up at the shore. Sometimes they die there… But more often they are rescued by good people. Like the Sealshelter of Pieterburen in Groningen (a province of the Netherlands) or, when it happens to be on or around Texel, they are rescued and picked up by the good people of

Two different seals at ecomare

Ecomare is a shelter and a museum, but also a research center for aquatic wildlife and birds that live around the shores of Texel and in the Waddensea. Young animals that lost their mommy or sick animals are taken to the shelter and nursed back to health. When the good people of ecomare believe a seal (or other animal) can catch its own fish or is healthy again, they bring it back to the ocean. Neat huh. But there is more. At ecomare there are also animals living permanently. These animals could not return to the sea. Some were too young and do not understand how to catch fish. Others are blind or deaf. Or got other injuries. Whatever the reason is, they just keep them at ecomare or bring them to another shelter for a new forever home. Like a zoo. Me love that. They just give the seal a new home at ecomare.

Seals in their forever home at ecomare

At ecomare their also live other sea creatures, like two harbour porpoises. They belong to SOS Dolfijn from Harderwijk but live on Texel now. Downstairs from the basins with seals and harbour porpoises there is an aquarium space with fish, rays, crabs, little sharks ans a window where you can see the harbour porpoises swim.

Harbour porpoises at ecomare

Ecomare also is an educational centre, with exhibits and such. Me visited de Walviszaal (The Whale room) with huge skeletons of different kind of whales, like a dolphin, humpback whale, killer whale and even a sperm whale… That is amazing! Me love to visit ecomare. It was me third visit and this time the seals seemed very interested in me. They were so cute, me almost jumped in to cuddle. Luckily there are some statues to cuddle.

Cuddly and curious seals

Wadden safari
However me loved to visit ecomare, me also wanted to see seals in the wild too. So we took a boat trip from the harbour of Oudeschild. It was a large ship with nice tables and a bar inside. Me love taking boat trips. The waves were pretty high though, so me got a little queasy. But it was all worth it.

The Texel 44, our ship and me on board

We passed the island Texel, went through the Marsdiep to the Northsea and reached the famous sandbank of Texel. Normally sandbanks disappear under water when the tide is high, but this one stays above the sea water. Here, for the coast of the province of North Holland me was treated to a magnificent view. As far as me googly eyes could see there were seals! So many seals! Too bad it was very hazy because of the rain, water and fog so the pictures aren’t that great. But it was amazing! This Waddensafari is a must do whenever you visit the island Texel. After the beautiful view we got a short tour of the marine base in Den Helder and from that it was a smooth ride back to Oudeschild.

Gorgeous seals just chillin’

What can me say. Me just love seals. When you get the chance to visit Texel, please go on a safari or go to ecomare. You will love it too. Bye bye for now and see you next week for part IV of me vacation adventures.

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