Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Poole Harbour paddle with  Seals, Salmon and Deer

I got up early one balmy 2011 June morning to take advantage the tides and the one day weather window. I planned to paddle all the backwaters that I tend not to visit so often.

I was on the the water at Lake Pier at 6am. I was a little surprised to see another Sea Kayak and a Ausie on an Ocean Ski had beaten me to the water. My thoughts as I set out lucky I am to live so near to such a stunning setting and it is magical enough to stir the soul at this time in the morning.

A quiet calm beach at Arne

I headed across to Arne point and then SW to the Moors. As I turned the corner, there were 2 deer in the water. I carefully tried to get my camera out to take some picks, but they were down wind and spooked. Later, I managed to catch a shot of a youngster.

A young deer swimming off Arne

As I headed towards the River Piddle what looked like a huge Salmon jumped well clear of the water, just as it was about to land back in the water a seal popped up to catch it. I snapped away as the seal boldly showed off her catch. Sadly there was something on the lens of my iphone case and all the earlier shots came out blurred.

 If you zoom in you can just about see the salmon in the seals mouth

This was the only shot left of the seal with the now it was too far away. for a while the seal brought the salmon alongside the kayak as if showing off her catch.

I had seen seals in Poole Harbour before, but it was later in the day when there was activity on the water and I was paddling with someone else who was not patient enough to just sit quietly for a while. I had learnt this patience with wildlife as a diver. Everyone seemed to be busy getting from A to B in an attempt to see as much as possible. I found it was always more rewarding to pick my spot, relax my breathing and wait. After a minute or two, wildlife would come in to inspect me rather than me chasing them. 

I relaxed and waited patiently, just watching from a good distance. Gradually the seal came closer as it became curious and more confident.

As you can see she became very curious and at one stage even tried to get on board, I had to grab my paddle to quickly brace otherwise I would have been to the same spot at the seal. 
After 5 hours paddling, I made a brew on the beach and reflected on my earlier statement as I set off. Magical moments in a magical place.

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