Seal Sighting (Day 116)

I was very happy to swim with Angie again this morning after more than two weeks of swimming separately. I’ve missed our chatty swims; the way that bobbing along in the water seems to imbue our conversations with an extra layer of meaning.

The water was smooth and silky; occasionally ruffling in the wind, but mostly serene, the colors subdued, and the clouds wispy and quietly dramatic.

We swam gently out to the big tree.

As we were headed back in, a bit of driftwood resembling a seal’s head momentarily gave me a fright and I said to Angie, “We haven’t seen the seal in a long time.”

She admonished me for jinxing us and then her eyes got wide looking at something behind me. I thought she must be joking, but when I turned around, there was a seal! After recovering from the shock of having summoned a seal with the power of my mind, my instinct was to race to shore. Unfortunately, we were still out by the big tree, nearly a half-mile from shore, and I am in no shape for racing.

Angie and I talked ourselves down from the panic and calmly continued to swim. The seal moved on. Or so we thought; about ten minutes later we saw its slippery little head pop back up to our right. Was it following us?! We managed to keep our calm (sort of) and I tried to take a video. You can see it below (spoiler alert: you cannot see the seal except for as a blurry blob if you really zoom in).

Swimming with seals is one of my biggest fears of this open water swimming. Actually, swimming with any large sea creature is pretty frightening to me (or small ones—no thank you jellyfish), it just so happens that the only ones we are likely to encounter here are seals or sea lions. I want to rid myself of this fear. The seal encounters at the Albany Bulb have all been friendly (if occasionally overly amorous). There is nothing for me to worry about and, in fact, plenty to celebrate in getting to share the water with these playful creatures. I’m working on it and I’d say today’s encounter was a step (paddle?) in the right direction.

One thought on “Seal Sighting (Day 116)

  1. I thought I saw them today, but since it’s been so long I decided it was just a mirage. Now I’m rethinking that they were swimming in parallel with me to the first point. I love our Harbor Seal community! We’re so fortunate to spur their curiosity. Though I could do without the amorous experience, I did love, love, love being face-to-face a foot apart, looking into those deep, deep brown eyes.

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