Saturday, 2 April 2011
Close encounters of the blubbery kind
It's great to get up close and personal with wildlife. Or is it?Anna and I were swimming at Hope Cove; all was well, the sun was shining, the seagulls were crying, and then we thought we spotted a seal. Great excitement; could this be the icing on the cake? But whatever it was disappeared, and we carried on swimming, thinking we must have been mistaken. I then felt something touch my leg; seconds later a whiskery face popped up just yards from us, casually spraying water out of its nostrils, and watching us carefully. For a few moments we revelled in the magic of being so close to a wild creature; how privileged we were etc etc. It then sunk back in the most laid-back fashion and disappeared underwater. The mood rapidly changed - where had it gone? Let me tell you, it's not a pleasant feeling being in the water while being encircled by a fat mammal that you can't see. It was swimming around underneath us, occasionally touching/nipping us. You've never seen us head so fast to the nearest cove. Once there, it laid siege, refusing to move from the water just off the beach. We were reduced to scrambling over the rocks to get back to the safety of dry land.