Sunday, April 8, 2012
Seals, surf and sex - possibly
A miserable, dark night, with mountainous seas, splintering timber and bitterly cold water. Of the 86 people the Ly-ee-Moon was carrying, 71 men, women and children perished, their graveyard not far down a peaceful bushy track. Amongst the passengers was the mother of Australia's only saint, Mary MacKillop. With the assistance of the lightkeeper and staff, amazingly, 15 men survived.
"Gee, the kelp is high out of the water over there."
"Nah, that's not kelp, it's seals."
"Can't be. Seals move, that's not moving at all. Didn't realise the rocks went so far out though."
We watched the apparent kelp sway back and forth for a few minutes. Nothing much seemed to be happening, but even so it was unusual.
Out comes the camera to take a pic and enlarge it on the itty-bitty camera screen.
"Yeah, maybe you're right, it does seem to be kelp, definitely not moving. But it's odd allthesame."
Fast forward to yesterday and a closer inspection of the photos enlarged on the computer:
Definitely seals. Now, we've swum with seals a few times, we know they're curious and they're fast, and I've been spooked a few times when one has shot up from the murky depths like a rocket (or shark) and spun around to peer into my mask. Our experience is that they're cheeky and not known for loitering about. These weren't feeding, the apparent lack of movement puts paid to that idea, but could they have been mating? They were pretty static in the water which is why we thought it was kelp (we were quite a distance away) and the closeness of their flippers would suggest that.
Can anyone shed light on this behaviour for me?
Thanks to Felicitas Avendano from G+ for providing the following link that could shed light on the behaviour: They might have been "rafting" or "jughandling" - basically not doing much at all!