Seals riding on deck!

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seawolf856
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Seals riding on deck!

Post by seawolf856 »

On a recent paddle along our local North Wales coastline, we were approached by a couple of seals, which were particularly friendly and inquisitive. It is not unusual for us to have seals for company where we paddle and quite often they will swim up and touch your toggles before swimming away. However on this occasion to our amazement and amusement, these seals spent a good 15-20 mins climbing on our boats and sitting there as happy as anything!

The stretch of coastline we were paddling is well known for seals and they use the inaccessible beaches to have their pups. We are very aware of this and NEVER approach the beaches or the seals, especially during the pupping season.
I have been shouted at and waved at frantically by cliff top seal watchers in the past protesting at our presence, even though we are always quiet and keep a respectful distance. So I was wondering what experiences other paddlers have had with seals and what if anything should be done if approached by them while on the water. We did not consider that we had done anything wrong in allowing the seals to climb aboard. We did not try and touch them or shoo them away but I'm sure there were a few (jealous) members of the seal police who thought we shouldn't have been there.


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Gordon Gilzean
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Re: Seals riding on deck!

Post by Gordon Gilzean »

Wow that sounds amazing I'd have loved to have been part of your group to experience that, I have seen videos of this before but have never experienced it myself, I see nothing wrong in what you done, if you let them come to you which you did do, then you've just had an amazing animal encounter that the animal wanted to be part of, the best seal experience I've had so far was on a paddle over to and around Ailsa Craig, me and another guy paddled over and he decided to pass on paddling around and waited for me on the beach while I went around it solo, as soon as we split ways there was a huge seal emerged right in front of me and I did think for a second I was going to run over it so I back paddled in fear of annoying it, all was good though and the whole paddle around Ailsa I had a guardian angel/seal following me it was like a having a friend come along, I've also wished one would climb aboard like you experienced, maybe one day, I definitely wouldn't be shooting them away

jamesl2play
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Re: Seals riding on deck!

Post by jamesl2play »

Eighteen months ago I was invited, along with some friends to share lunch we some locals.
All I can say is that seal with boiled potatoes was stunning.
I probably look at seals differently to the most other sea kayakers now.

Jonny Hightower
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Re: Seals riding on deck!

Post by Jonny Hightower »


jamesl2play wrote:All I can say is that seal with boiled potatoes was stunning.
I probably look at seals differently to the most other sea kayakers now.
I had a sea kayaker with boiled potatoes once. It was rubbery!


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Pedro75
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Re: Seals riding on deck!

Post by Pedro75 »

Got chased by a massive scarred up bull seal once! It definitely had it in for us even though we were trying to keep our distance from beach etc.

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Ceegee
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Re: Seals riding on deck!

Post by Ceegee »

This tends to resolve the issue (only joking before the animal rights squad get going), but after all, it's what our boats were built for...
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Mac50L
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Re: Seals riding on deck!

Post by Mac50L »

A national park top end of the South Island of New Zealand and now seals everywhere as they have slowly recovered from the Maoris eating them and then followed by Europeans hunting out the harder to get ones.

As there are so many sea kayaks using that park they get used to humans. A trip there at the end of autumn a few years ago and we had juveniles clambering on to a number of our kayaks. If you have a very tippy kayak and two clambering on at a time, it takes a good brace or so it appeared on the video one of our group was taking.

mcgruff
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Re: Seals riding on deck!

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yaknut
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Re: Seals riding on deck!

Post by yaknut »

There's a small growing colony in the bay I paddle when when the wind prevents accessing open water. They are quite inquisitive and some will follow us around, but they've never come too close. At times it can be like a scene from a Hitchcock horror when surrounded by heads sticking out of the water with eyes on you :-).

I'm not sure I'd want them to come too close. You just never know with a wild animal. They could easily tip you over or bite, or both. I wouldn't fancy fighting one off in the water. Maybe I'm a nervous Nelly.

An experience a friend had with a dolphin springs to mind, and it wasn't a pleasant encounter. She was swimming when it approached and started pushing/bumping her about. She got a bit of a scare.

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Strad
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Re: Seals riding on deck!

Post by Strad »

I had a seal come over and say Hi when swimming popped up face to face at a range of about 10 inches - two thoughts, first when it's next to you in the water they are larger than you think, second their breath is really bad.

Could certainly do damage if they so chose, but have always appeared inquisitive more than aggressive.
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Easle100
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Re: Seals riding on deck!

Post by Easle100 »

This happened to me a few years ago. The footage took off and was shown around the world. Good memories as it was at a particularly difficult time in my life.


seawolf856
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Re: Seals riding on deck!

Post by seawolf856 »

Easle100 wrote:
Sun Mar 08, 2020 7:42 am
This happened to me a few years ago. The footage took off and was shown around the world. Good memories as it was at a particularly difficult time in my life.

Hi Easle100, I remember that video and have watched it several times since our meeting with the seals. It was such an amazing experience and I can understand perfectly why your encounter would have given you such a lift.

Anastu
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Re: Seals riding on deck!

Post by Anastu »

I kayak regularly solo along the N Wales coastline. The experience of a seal(s) clambering onto your boat, or several seals following you for mile upon mile, is very different from a group experience. I won’t let them get too far into my boat. I accompanied some expert swimmers last Summer, they were pestered by them, with a couple of swimmers being ‘nipped’ on the legs by them. Have you seen their teeth? Always very cautious with them, especially caves and breeding time. However, its their house, and we need to respect that. No feeding!!!

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