Harbor Seal Circled Our Kayaks

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What a great final paddle for our trip! After having the kayaks shuttled to the coastline, we loaded up and headed into the fjord. David and I took singles for the last outing. After being in a double, I found the single to be a little less stable and more rocky.

The landscape around the area was absolutely spectacular. To our left, an old fishing cabin was perched on the point while kittiwakes dotted the pebble beach until we neared. The sea was still until we reached a receding glacier. The wind coming off the icy slope blew us toward the middle of the rippling bay. I found myself snapping a photo and then paddling on the right side to bring myself closer to shore.

We had an option to end our paddle early in order to hike on land, but the scenery was just too good. The wildlife made our kayak even better. Soon after we passed an island which was home to geese and gulls, we spotted two harbor seals resting on rock by the shoreline. It looked like a mama and older pup. The light brown pup stayed on the rock while the mama came to check us out.

She circled around the kayaks while popping her head out of the water. We were always guessing where she would be next. Sometimes she swam back to her pup who watched her intently. As she tried flopping back onto the rock, the pup would slap her on the face with its fin. It was like a game for the young seal. Then the mama would join us again. As we sat entertained, the wind blew our kayaks toward a shallow area. Every few minutes we had to reposition.

Finally, they both settled on the rock again. We all paddled in a circle, gained speed, and aimed our kayaks toward the seals. We stopped paddling and let the wind blow us away from the shore just enough to snap photos while not scaring the seals off the rock. It was really fun to interact with them. We hung out long enough to require a warm up paddle.

As ducks buzzed the bay, we paddled deeper into the fjord to reach another glacier that came to the water’s edge. As we approached, a piece of ice calved into the bay. We weren’t close enough for the moving glacier to affect us, but it was cool to see. We had covered quite a bit of distance, and it was time to return to the ship.

David wanted to practice a roll in the kayak. Originally, he wanted to try it on a sunny day. Unfortunately, with the exception of one of our first days on the water, we hadn’t had a sunny day. This cloudy day was his last chance to try what he called his polar plunge. He set up the kayak to roll over, but after he tilted underwater, it took him a while to flip up. He was so cold, he blacked out (lost his vision), and now we had to take the zodiac a LONG way back.

The wind and intermittent spitting rain was enough to encourage Sharon to pull out a blue tarp from the emergency supplies. We all sunk down into the zodiac and ducked beneath the tarp. It was nice to have some protection from the elements. Despite the cold, we couldn’t have asked for a better paddle. This area with towering cliffs, waterfalls, glaciers, and islands, was simply amazing. ETB

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Beth Bankhead

Former public finance professional turned award winning travel blogger and photographer sharing the earth's beauty one word and image at a time.

2 thoughts on “Harbor Seal Circled Our Kayaks

  1. Just sounds fabulous — all except David’s roll! Wow! Love the photos of the seals. Awesome!

  2. Thanks for your detailed Blog. Thus I could read up everything what I have missed somehow 🙂

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