Swimming with the Seals: Playful Critters Seeking Playmates

Posted by on Aug 6, 2014 in Blog, Let's Get Personal | 6 comments

Swimming with the Seals: Playful Critters Seeking Playmates

It was a sun-drenched summer day, hot and steamy, with the air clinging to my clothes and skin. Sensual, if you let it be. Unusual for La Jolla. Makes you want to wear less, which isn’t a bad thing, depending on who you’re with. The water temperature was hitting 74. It doesn’t sound warm, I know, but you have to understand that the usual temperature is 68-ish or less. It makes a big difference. The smell of Banana Boat and hot, salty skin tinged the air. This was the perfect setting for our weekend getaway.

Joining us on shore.

Joining us on shore.

I moved through the water feeling it enclose my body, step-by-step, the water beckoning, promising great play and relaxation. It was a clear blue with great visibility. Sea plants tickled my legs. Bright orange Garibaldi darted away in a school of five or six. I began gently, softly propelling myself with the lovely ebb and flow of the ocean’s tides, taking long strokes through the water, just to get out a bit. Floating on the surface, feeling the warmth and comfort of the buoyant salt water rocking me on its small waves and surges was always pleasurable.

I started as an observer, watching the wildlife, the rhythms of the fish, how they swim, how they move. What do they do? Where do they go? Why does it do that? Plant life swayed gracefully, playing peekaboo with its residents. Big fat fish, long skinny fish. What is that electric blue creature that is so tiny on the bottom of the ocean? Deep breath. Hold it. Surface dive to the bottom for a closer look. Oh! Tiny blue fish. It took a few tries, holding my breath isn’t my best trick, but I soon saw the progression of growth. Seeing the different sized fish swimming around, I saw the tiny blue ones soon became bigger orange ones with electric blue dots running the length of their bodies.

Water swooshed by me in a flurry of movement. Large dark shapes were a blur, but instantly, I knew they were seals. From a distance away, I see them play and wrestle, much like eight week old puppies might do, diving over each other, swirling down with sudden strength and speed only to come back up and search for position in a playful game for dominance. A third seal appears, doesn’t participate,  but looks on with affection. Children are children no matter the species. She swam closer to me and paused. You coming? she seemed to ask. Let’s go.

I became a participant. Swam at a distance, because I gave much respect to its independent spirit, but tried to keep up. I wanted to see what it was like to move like a seal, enjoy the deep blue like a seal. She was patient with me, appreciated that I wanted to see what it was like to be part of the ocean. Seemed to enjoy my company and didn’t just dart away, teasing me. I had to kick hard to keep up, but I tried some of her cool moves, twisting and spinning casually through the water as if by will. It was exhilarating, and much too short. Being human, and not used to such activity, I had to accept my limitations and wave goodbye. Until next time, my friend.

Baby seals sleeping on the beach, later in the day.

Baby seals sleeping on the beach, later in the day.



  1. 8-6-2014

    Looks like fun!

    • 8-6-2014

      The cove is full of seals. Very Nat Geo. Thanks for stopping by! (-;

  2. 8-27-2014

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    • 8-27-2014

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  3. 12-19-2014

    Seals seem like such fun. The dogs of the sea:)

    • 12-19-2014

      If you ever have a chance to hang out in San Diego, I highly recommend it! La Jolla is just a short bit north of San Diego, and it is fantastic. Our getaway when we need adult time with no kids. (-; Have a great holiday!

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