Isles of Scilly part 2 – Grey Seals

Whilst on the scillies, we had booked onto a snorkelling with seals trip. There are a fairly large number of grey seals around these islands, particularly on the Eastern Isles, and most of them are very curious and playful.

It was an incredible experience to be in the water with these mammals; they have a tendency to sneak up behind you and watch you for a few moments without you realising, and then you turn around and there’s a seal on your fins!

I took more video than still imagery on this trip, but I will post the video up later on this week when I’ve worked on it a bit more. Therefore, this is just a few images that convey the seals and their playful attitudes.

Switching from diving to snorkelling was something I was unused to, and so should probably practice snorkelling more! As I’m used to diving, I kept forgetting that I couldn’t do all my usual manoeuvres whilst filming without getting seawater in my snorkel, which was interesting to say the least. It was also strange floating on the surface looking down on the subject rather than from the seabed looking up. It’s good to change perspectives, though I would love to have the opportunity in the future to actually dive or freedive with these animals, to be able to work eye level with them in their world.

This first one is a fairly humorous photo of a faceless seal, quite calmly floating at the water surface. The white tag on it’s tail flippers is just visible; this means it has been one that has been rescued, rehabilitated, and then released by the Cornwall Seal Sanctuary in Gweek. It’s lovely to see these seals living so well in the wild after having a poor start in life or attaining various injuries. _DSC1032

I just wanted to include this one to show the beautiful sunny day we had. If only I had been closer to the seal and got it’s head in view as well! _DSC1174

Seal acrobatics, a common sight whilst in the water. The kelp forest is visible in this shot too. Though the water wasn’t particularly deep, it was covered with kelp. The seals liked to hide within the knots and tangles. _DSC1059

I loved the light rays through the water in this image, although I feel the composition isn’t as strong as it could be. I also love the light dancing on the seal’s head and back. _DSC1189

This grey seal appeared to enjoy blowing bubbles, as my video will also show later. I wanted to go for the grainy film look edit with this image, as because of the distance from the camera and strobes the colours weren’t particularly striking. _DSC1082

Another faceless seal, this image demonstrates the use of their flippers to pull their pretty weighty bodies through the water. _DSC1045

And probably my favourite still from the trip; the young female surrounded by light rays looking right up at me, wonderful. _DSC1187

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