We thought it might be called Cape Foulwind because perhaps the rotting fish in the bellies of the seals would give off some kind of stench.
What we learned is that it’s called Cape Foulwind because Captain Cook and his crew, sailing around New Zealand in the late 1700’s, were blown onto the rocks here and had to drop lots of weight overboard (including cannons), to get out of the rocks.
When you first approach the overlook to see the seal colony here, it’s hard to see the seals.
For one, the ocean is incredible at Cape Foulwind.
Waves crash against giant offshore rocks, birds soar in all directions, and the sounds of the waves are pleasant, but definitely let you know that you are a tiny creature in the big scheme of things.
For another, seals sitting still look like rocks.
When they’re basking in the sun (yes, it was SUNNY!), they are hard to spot because they blend right in with where they’re laying.
But the longer we stood there, the more seals we saw, and the more we noticed their movements.
There were baby seals and mama seals nursing, pups playing in tide pools, and giant male seals flopped on their backs and sunning their bellies.
As one point, a seagull decided to bother one of the seals and got told off by the seal.
It was impressive.
Males can get up to 200 Kilos (400 lbs. +), and apparently can feel quite threatened by humans, especially when a human is standing between one of them and the water.
So it really nice that at Cape Foulwind, they have built some great overlooks to view both the incredible power of the ocean, and the lives of New Zealand fur seals as they mate, breed, play, grow, and live.