Scilly Cruise (July 2013) – Swimming with Seals

Our final few days in Scilly held a few treats in store.

First, an early morning cruise in Rafiki around the Bishop Rock lighthouse.  We kept well off it – the rocks looked ferocious!  We saw more seals, basking on the rocks and swimming over to us.

Bishop Rock Lighthouse

Bishop Rock Lighthouse – most of the rocks are just out of the picture

Our best treat of all was anchoring in Great Ganilly and managing to swim with seals.  There was only one boat in our vicinity: a solo sailor who arrived after us and only stayed a couple of hours before leaving us in perfect solitude.

Dressed in wetsuits, we took the dinghy around the corner to Menawithan – a rocky outcrop where a colony of seals were sunning themselves and swimming around us in the water.

I was the first in.  The water was incredibly cold, but so worth it!  They were delightfully curious.  With one seal, I had a game of “peepo”, as you would with a small child: let’s stare at one another above the water, then below the water, then above it again.  Then it swam up to me and straight past me.  Every time I moved towards one seal, Rob and the children would call “behind you!” and I’d turn round to find another seal swimming right past me.  It felt as though they were playing a big game and the joke was on me!

Soon, Rob and the children followed suit and had their turns with the seals sneaking up on them.  They are so reminiscent of dogs, with their keen, friendly faces and their playfulness and every bit as magical as the dolphins we’ve met and come to love.  What a special, memorable treat for us all!  A wonderful way to conclude a very gorgeous cruise.

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