Swimming with seals on Lundy Island

A small rugged Island off the North Coast of Devon and under the surface of the sea lies a world of……..

When you look at the surface of the ocean you often see a reflection of above, and as above so below, a whole world. 

Connecting with any animal in the wild is always a gift, have you got some memorable ones?

To be suspended, held, carried by the ocean is another gift, so to find myself lying amongst the kelp having my fins gently muzzled by seals was truly something.

What took me by surprise was how tender they were with me.

When I first got in a dog seal was creating these huge, booming sounds and charging at other seals, and I’ll be honest, I was pretty nervous. “S*** they are big, fast, strong, and I’m in their environment.”

Anyway, these were their own familiar interactions. So to go from seeing how they were with each other, to the gentle, curious, and tender way they were with me, was unexpected. 

Nuzzling (if this is even a word…) my fins and then looking at me, with their wide, deep, black, eyes. They were like portals into another world.

At times I would dive down, looking for them, they were right behind me!! 

Swimming down they would follow us, I was with a few other friends. I realised if I swam on my back under the surface I could watch them, watch me, swimming along. 

So funny sometimes, watching my buddies looking for them and they were “right behind you”!

Resting under the waves in the stillness of gullies they would swim by us, so close, cruising on. Or at times we would lie on the bottom, and they would be lying there (effortlessly) looking at us, just looking, watching…… 

I wonder what they thought, I wonder what they were sensing, how they experienced us in their environment. 

Any problems melt away completely at moments like this.

This incredible day out started from Ilfracombe, an hours boat ride to Lundy in a strong easterly wind. The ride out there was mesmerising, a joyful swell lifting and moving us as we sailed along, or motored!  

We took shelter from the wind on the West side of the island, there we were guided by the great crew of Wild Frontier as to where to get in.

Swimming and diving down with these stunning creatures for an hour or so, hopping out for a hot brew, chat and rest, and then in again.

What a day! The sun shined, the seals danced, and we were all beaming inside and out.

Thank you so much universe for this incredible experience imprinted in my heart.

Seal photography – Jamile Siddiqui – Watch his video here