Monday, 22 August 2011

Diving with grey seals.

A short film of the Farnes and scuba diving with the wonderful inquisitive seals.

On almost every dive in the Farnes we were accompanied by grey seals. On some dives, like the Hopper, the seals were the most dominant feature of the dive and would swim around you almost continuously. On one dive a seal grasped the leg of my dive buddy with it's paws and closed its eyes with pleasure, much as a dog might, as he scratched it's side with his other fin. They would frequently sneak up behind you to paw and bite at your fins and would often be seen peering at you from the kelp or rather half-heartedly hidden from behind rocks. Also as we explored the cliffs and gulleys looking for lobsters and octopus, in 10-20m of water, you would come across a seal just lying on the floor or wedged in a crevice as if asleep and you could approach to within inches without the seal seeming to mind. Although quite bulky and barrel-like, the seals were astonishingly fast underwater and could turn on a six-pence. Gliding past they would roll on their axis so that they could look all around with their big eyes, weightless and streamlined in the water the rear flippers alternately splayed as they effortlessly drove themselves along.

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