Swim with seals with offshore Adventures

Julia Brown
20 November 2015

The opportunities to snorkel around the world are endless, but the opportunity to snorkel with seals? Now that’s hard to come by.  Last week Craig, Twan and I were lucky enough to have this experience with Offshore Adventures in Plettenberg Bay, the only organisation of this kind in the area. YAY FOR DAYS OFF! YAY FOR SEALS! Offshore Adventures aren’t your average tour operator either. In addition to taking 14 lucky people for a morning out with the seals, they also run a research project in collaboration with the Department of Environmental Affairs and NMMU  to determine the impacts humans have on them. We love humans who care! The Nature's Valley Trust is proud to be a partner who assists with this research work. 

NVT conservation volunteer interns ready to swim!

NVT Volunteer interns Julia, Twan and Craig ready to get up close and personal with some seals.

With Craig’s obsession with being early, we arrived with 45 minutes to spare. Of course the boys didn’t want coffee so we just chilled around in our wetsuits until the others rocked up. Twenty minutes (and lots of squealing from 18 year old girls) later we arrived at Robberg Peninsula where all the seals hang. We jumped into the cold water and waited for the seals to approach. It wasn’t long before these beautiful and playful creatures surrounded us; one was even game enough to have a nibble on Craig’s flipper! What I loved about the seals was their curiosity. When you go snorkelling with fish, they just want to get away from you! When you snorkel with seals, they want to get to know you. It felt amazing to be welcomed into their environment.

 

Close encounters with seals

Offshore Adventures gets you up close and personal - what a way to experience these magnificent creatures! Photo credit: Monica Taylor.

On the way back to Plett we were lucky enough to spot an Elephant Seal who has been visiting the colony since he was a pup. If you weren’t aware, Elephant Seals are from ANTARTICA, so that was super, super cool. We arrived on the beach at high speed and said goodbye to our fellow seal swimmers but definitely a ‘see you again’ to Offshore Adventures. 

Cape Fur Seals

Cape Fur Seals - what a privilege to swim with them! Photo credit Monica Taylor.

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