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Saturday, 26 October 2013

Grey Seals of Coquet Island

Thursday 24th October
With some days having a stark contrast from one another it was a pleasant surprise to get up on Thursday to a very nice day especially as it was a day out Kayaking and the calm pleasant day meant it was a trip out on the sea . A paddle out and around Coquet Island was the plan first we had to check the harbour entrance at Amble which apparently can be tricky at times but today it was very calm.
We launched at Amble Braid at a spot I have been to many times as you have great views over the  area to watch the tide push the waders up the shore to larger and larger groups , from here we headed to the harbour exit and out to sea as soon as we got into the open the wind was apparent about 2/3 this being my first trip out away from the shoreline it took me by surprise as it tried to push me from the side . . The Island looks a long way off when you are virtually sitting on the sea but a steady pace found us at the North end where we cut through a gap in the rocks to a sheltered pool which had a couple of  Grey Seals in ,heads bobbing about and I pointed out a Purple Sandpiper just feet away. You could hear the sound of more Seals on the East side of the Island and there sounded like a good number , but I was totally amazed at just how many there where, a huge group huddled on the rocks with there calls becoming more and more raucous  some started to slip in the water and rather than  spook them all we went further out and they soon settled . To follow was the most amazing sight I have ever seen ,to be honest I find Seals rather boring they lay around on the rocks or you see a head or two bobbing on the surface  but now as we paddled along the East side there where what seemed like hundreds of Seals all around us there curiosity outweighing their  fear and now it was my fear outweighing my curiosity as some would come up just ahead beside or behind you spy hop and then dive and seem to slap their tail on the water , one came so close I thought it was going to tip me,down it went slapping hard on the water I was drenched this is by far the most amazing event I have ever been involved in , we weren't just watching from the deck of a boat we where in amongst them and when you see the size of some of the Bulls lying around the rocks I did momentarily get a bit scared but soon it seemed we where out of the zone looking back heads where bobbing about all over the sea as we left them behind and back into the wind for the return leg.
Now this paddle to Coquet  has been done probably thousands of times by others and there is even a race around and back to Amble , but I must confess I was just not expecting it to be so fantastic and for the rest of the day I was totally pumped up , Seals are not so boring after all as they certainly got my heart  racing!!!!

 Unfortunately no stunning shots of curious Grey Seals only a couple of snaps with the phone before heading out this the harbour entrance(thankfully flat calm )
 The target for today
 The chosen transport, I was not the Explorer but the Romany, make of that what you will !
The Starting Point and one of my favourite places to sit and watch the tide come in at Amble Braid

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