Diving with Seals!

So we managed to get away for the week, even with this ongoing Covid situation. We booked a trip a while ago, but was unsure if we could go? We called ahead and checked it was all ok, so we decided to go…

We took a long drive up, via my folks in Birmingham. We arrived within ten minutes of our book in time and moved into our rather big caravan. We usually stay in the van, so this was a luxury! 

I was a little worried about the diving. I’ve still got a bad back and it’s not 100%, so I was not looking forward to lugging a twin-set around. We got up early the first morning and made our way to Seahouses.

On the way out, the sun was shining and the weather was calm. We were on a catamaran, which had loads of room due to Covid restrictions. We made our way past a few islands, taking in the sights of birds and seals lounging on the rocks! 

The first dive site was a bit of a let down. We saw seals, here and there. But they were skiddish. Everyone one that shown itself through the murky water, it would swim away almost immediately. It’s a shame that the visibility was so bad as they might have been close, but we wouldn’t have known. So we were entertained by the swaying of kelp, beautiful in its own way, but not for a forty minute dive!

We spent the break surveying the islands for another spot that was better than the first. We went in as a three as one diver, Tom didn’t have a buddy. We started deeper, but this yielded no seals, we popped to the surface and could see a few bobbing up and down. We went back down and this time found a gully, I remembered years ago that me and Mike sat in a gully in Lundy and the seals came to play. Wierdly, this kind of worked. A seal came in and took a curiousity to us all and my grey fins! It was great to finally have a good interaction. 

To top this off we had a great experience on the way home when I spotted a pod of dolphins and the skipper took us closer. They stuck with the boat for a long while, jumping in and out of the water. It was amazing to see! 

That night we were both knakard! We charged the batteries and recharged ours ready for day two. 

The next day the weather was overcast and windy, luckily the ride out was not too bad, and we hid behind the islands for shelter. This time the dive site was more than just kelp, there was a decent wall at about 6m or so. Full of life, such as lobsters and crabs, filling the cracks in the rocks. It was a really good site. 

We dived there twice, the seals were a bit more playful and the visibility was good in places. I really enjoyed the few interactions we had, although fewer than we would have liked, it’s still great to see the dog like qualities. A curious tilt of the head, playing with fins etc. It’s just great to be in the water with them. 

Although my back was giving me the worse pain, both in and out of the water. I felt it was worth it, especially as I’m feeling ok now. Hopefully soon I will be back at something like 80% fit. Until then I’ll just suffer. I can’t do any deep stuff though, as keeping my stops wouldn’t be safe. 

Given the current situation I’m glad we got away and managed to see and do something amazing. It’s definitely a good thing to do and see amazing things, during a time when there’s more doom and gloom than ever before it’s great to do something like this and take home some fantastic memories!

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