‘Seal’ed with a kiss – – it is late in the afternoon when we arrive at Seal Bay – all the touristy people have left – and we are hyped up for our visit with the seals which includes being able to walk along the beach and getting up close and personal.
We have a short uphill walk from the little bus to the Information Centre where we will meet our Ranger Guide who will tell us how to behave I am sure.
Miss Ranger informs us that it is the mating season so we will have to be very careful when we walk on the beach, this means staying together – no wandering. Unfortunately we cannot lie down in the sand to take some interesting low shots, but if we are lying down and a bull seal lurches towards us then it will not be a good outcome if we do not get up in a hurry. I take the point – normal standing photos will be OK with me thank you very much.
Come to think of it – how fast is the bull going to be if he charges and how fast can I run on sand? Hmmmm hopefully I will not have to find out.
As we walk along the boardwalk down to the beach, taking photos of the area of course because it is such a wonderfully rugged coastline, we spy one of the said bulls. He looks very cumbersome but I suppose when he gets moving he really gets moving plus he has size on his side. You can tell he is a bull because of his blonde hair and of course he’s so much bigger than the ladies and juveniles.
A bit further down, these lads are practicing their skills for when they get older and have to joust for the fair ladies. It looks like a game but they are learning valuable skills for the future.
They are certainly putting on a good show for us and I could watch them for ages but more seals await.
Back to business – time to get onto the beach. There are little groups just lying around – mainly mums and older pups. Ms Ranger tells us that the seals spend three days at sea eating and pigging out and then have 3 days on land to recover.
I must admit they do not seem very interested in us as we move around like a group of ants. We do spend a lot of time however with the groups so we get some good photos.
It is not long however, before dad comes along to let his harem know he is back and keeping an eye on them. They look so clumsy on land but still I would not like to get too close. As he arrives at one end of the beach, at the other end, another male makes an appearance – there could be some action soon. I just love their blonde top knot.
It really is an incredible experience to be so close – so close in fact that you can smell them and some of them do not smell so good let me say, especially when they let one rip! Must be all that raw seafood playing havoc with their innards.
All that aside – just enjoy the photos and know that I did endure some rather smelly moments to bring them to you.
How cute is this little baby seal that comes along looking for his mum and then it is time for us to be on our way. I have had a wonderful time here seeing everything in its natural settings. People who work in this type of situation are so lucky even if the weather is cold and windy like it is today.
Last photos of our new found seal friends and then it is the long walk back up the stairs and walkway to the Ranger station.
Tonight we are at a private house at Vivonne Bay. We are split into two groups – at two houses and I am lucky to be at what will become known as ‘The Party House’ mainly because it will be where the meals will be served.
The other group has a small walk down to join us. I am offered the large room upstairs but I graciously decline and take the downstairs bedroom.
It is big enough for me and all my gear but the only down side is that the toilet and bathroom are outside. Upstairs has its own toilet but everyone has to use the shower bathroom outside. Not too bad if the weather is OK. It is cold but at least it is all under shelter and it is not raining.
Once we get settled it is time for a BBQ dinner – I love BBQ’s and this one is great with all the typical BBQ servings. Once we have all had our fill – it is time for bed as – yep – you guessed it – a sunrise shoot tomorrow morning.
All in all it has been a full and exciting day – another good night’s sleep coming up I am sure. Alarm is set and soon I am away with the pixies.
HIGHLIGHT OF THE DAY : being privileged to join the seals