Diving with seals

Following my last post, I thought I might describe how the weekend went.

The weather was excellent, sunny with an easterly breeze. Stayed in a bed/breakfast in Ilfracombe, Devon although we were ‘ropes off’ at 0730 in the boat so we missed breakfast.

In the rush to get on the boat I nearly forgot fins, mask and dive computer. Had to jog back to the car and kept everyone waiting for a few minutes.

Boat trip out to Lundy Island took an hour.

Saturday dives were good, saw a dogfish, spider crabs, pollock and lots of colourful jelly fish. That wasn’t what we had hoped for though.

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Journey back… a thrill ride. With the tide coming in fast along the Bristol Channel, Steve (our pilot from BC Charters) took ‘Jay Jay’ out boat out of the lee of the island out into the easterly head wind. As sea met wind the waves had built up.

First clue of the rough ride to come was when the boat lifted skyward, crashed down and a wave came over the top of us. I was on the rear deck, T shirt and shorts, and was completely soaked. The return trip took nearly two and a half hours. Luckily, the contents of my stomach stayed with me.

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Sunday. We entered the water in sight of some seals that were lounging in the sun. We had been in the water a few minutes when we saw the first of them swim swiftly past us.

It was an incredible moment, to be underwater with these beautiful creatures in their natural environment.

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One of them nipped at my companions fins, swam around then nipped at mine.

Getting up close, it was possible to look into their eyes, so dark and attractive.

They played with us, their speed and manoeuvrability far exceeding our clumsy attempts to track them and photograph them. The… one of them lay still. It posed… as if to say ‘go on, take my picture’. My mask leaked, such was the width of my smile.

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Did you ever see anything as cute as this? Mind you… they have big teeth!

If you ever get the opportunity to dive with seals I would urge you to take it.

For me, Lundy Island provided a ‘bucket list’ tick. Next challenge for me is to get under the sea with dolphins.

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