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Sea Puppy

Mission: Sea Puppy Island

Mission: Seal Island

Sea puppies! 
Growing up in a large city, the only exotic wild animal on the ground that I was familiar with were cats who reigned over their concrete territory and feasted in restaurants’ garbage bins. You see, moving to Australia was a big change form me. You do not need to drive for long to see creatures that blow your mind but you need to take a step for it.

This time the quest was to see a seal (sea puppy!) in the wild for the first time!

Day 1:

Stand Up Paddle board is inflated, wet suits are on and our aims are made to make it from the shore to Seal Island. It is going to be a 1600m paddling challenge return.

On our way to Seal Island!

The sky is cloudy, the temperature is warm, and the weather is unpredictable; but too late, we are already sailing.

Smelling the rain through gentle sea breathe and watching it hitting the water with a peculiar harmony, I should confess this is one of the most beautiful moments to be alive.
Looking down underwater; I never had a good relationship with the dark seaweed. Just too mysterious. (I started singing in my head Fear of the dark #IronMaden). 

Surviving in open waters
We are 200m away from the shore now. The waves randomly move us and the current is not in our favour. Started to get a bit shaky as Tina asked about sharks! But the fear is not real, it is all in our head? keep paddling…
We have made it more than half way. The weather is certainly getting worst and the ocean is uneasy. It is getting late and it will be too risky to paddle back from the island.

We decided to head back towards the shore.

 

Mission aborted (but the dream lives…)


Day 2: We have learnt from yesterday. Leaving the shore early morning, now the current is on our side.

Seal Island

We have our waterproof bag filled with water, towels, food and camera!
Paddling furiously, we have made it half way through, you can see the thrill of excitement in our eyes; …we are one step closer to see our first seals. SEA PUPPIES! Here we come!
Almost there, … two mid-age ladies on the Kayak passing by shout: “there are no seals in there!”.

Can you see this?!

Sad news for us

Wait a minute, what!?

Ladies: there are no seals,… there is nothing! Don’t waste your time!
With our bubbles burst (and the smile wiped from our faces!), we are paddling our way to the Island. This last 100m feels so much heavier.
Made it to the island. It is small and full of birds however there are no signs of seals! Unbelievable! Why would you call it Seal Island if there are no seals!

 

 

A majestic moment

But wait a minute,…what is that written on the floating yellow sign!? It says stay 10m away from the seals! …so there must be seals, right!? Patience is the remedy. Floating around gently on the paddle board, we are waiting. Looking for any signs.
Oh GOD! Did you see that! Look over there!… It is coming towards us! Wow it is HUGE! What should we do now!? It is coming right towards us! Just…just don’t move!
We lost him under the water. What a majestic moment! We had totally under-estimated the size of the “sea puppy!”
The seal came back and rested at the shore but it was scared away by the tourists’ boat.
We waited for another encounter but the seal was gone.

Sea Puppy

Next quest… to the Penguin Island!
We stopped by to look at a tiny island full of birds. We stopped by 20m away (and the smell was as you can imagine!).
Crazy enough, we have another 1,000m or so to the penguin island. The water is deep and clear whilst the waves are flappy. I have to admit, every now and then I think about presence of sharks in this water.
Knackered and thirsty, we made it to the Penguin Island.

A bit disappointed that this time we could not find any penguins in the wild; the only ones now are being protected in captivity. This is their mating season and hopefully in a not very far future we should be able to see more of them in wild.

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36 Comments

  • Reply A Borrowed Backpack

    Hi Behzad,
    What a wonderful post on seals. I want to travel to Australia exactly for the reason you have stated; that one does not need to drive for long to see creatures that blow one’s mind!

    Thank you for the detailed post.

    April 19, 2016 at 9:38 am
    • Reply Behzad

      Thanks! I am pleased that you liked this post 🙂 hopefully we will see you in Australia one day!

      April 24, 2016 at 3:01 pm
  • Reply A Busy Bees Life

    Sea Puppies! Gosh the one in the picture looked so extremely cute. How big are they really? That little (big) guy looked like he was all by himself, then got scared away. At least you got to take a glimpse of him. What an adventure!

    April 19, 2016 at 9:50 am
    • Reply Behzad

      This was was fairly big, it is hard to tell how big (he was under the water and with all the adrenaline in that moment I don’t think I can give you an accurate estimate!). to me it felt like bigger than 2 meters.

      I cannot disagree! It looks so cute!

      April 24, 2016 at 3:06 pm
  • Reply Cheers to Adventure

    This is so awesome! I love sea lions, so I feel like I would definitely want to see the sea puppies.

    April 19, 2016 at 2:45 pm
    • Reply Behzad

      Thanks for reading my post! hopefully there will be more that one sea puppies when you visit! 🙂

      April 24, 2016 at 3:07 pm
  • Reply Shounak Mondal

    Nice post. Must have been adventurous to reach this island fearing presence of sharks ! Also beware of jelly fish ? I guess they are less noticeable and more dangerous ?

    April 19, 2016 at 2:52 pm
    • Reply Behzad

      Jellyfish is a good point.
      I guess normally when you go more towards the northern WA you get more chance of finding venomous creatures.
      Although some jellyfish cause dooming pain! but the last thing I want to come across is a Blue-ringed octopus!

      http://www.healthdirect.gov.au/sea-creature-stings

      I suggest evaluating your risk before heading out and to think about what you would need to do in case of emergency. This is mainly why we aborted our mission on the day 1.

      April 24, 2016 at 3:28 pm
  • Reply siniciliya

    Isn’t it a dream that came true? You are so lucky to see such a beautiful animal in its natural surroundings!
    I am so happy for you!

    http://www.siniciliya.com

    April 19, 2016 at 5:36 pm
    • Reply Behzad

      It is true, it felt like a dream! we feel very lucky! 🙂

      April 24, 2016 at 3:38 pm
  • Reply Genesis Blue Davies

    Sounds like these islands are pretty poorly named! I suppose before tourists, they probably had the animals they were named for in abundance, but humans tend to drive things away. Funny that I just read about Penguin Island on another travel blog this morning and they mentioned that the darn island had only seagulls and a couple of penguins.

    April 19, 2016 at 6:35 pm
    • Reply Behzad

      I guess this is partially due to human and partially due to natural predators.
      Through out our travelling around Australia we have seen many occasions when a group of tourists have rocked up and disturbed the environment with noise etc. It is just sad.

      April 24, 2016 at 3:34 pm
  • Reply Jen Morrow

    Seals are so darn cute, totally worth the wait. And Stand Up Paddle board on the water is still a pretty good way to spend the time.

    April 19, 2016 at 9:01 pm
    • Reply Behzad

      True! I totally recommend Stand Up Paddling! 🙂

      April 24, 2016 at 3:29 pm
  • Reply chantae

    I NEED to rent a SUP and go here again, you’ve convinced me! It’s so funny that we had such similar adventures (mine had no seals, though!). The video of it swimming is so cute.

    Annnnd I didn’t want to tell you this, but there’s a channel near the islands called “Shark Alley” :O

    April 20, 2016 at 8:25 am
    • Reply Behzad

      Shark Alley!? I haven’t heard this before.
      Good point! in reminds me to add, there is a good website if you are into water adventures. It tells you if any shark sightings have been reported (it does not mean that there are no sharks though!)

      http://www.sharksmart.com.au/shark-activity/

      SUP was certainly a good investment. We have an inflatable one which is good to carry around and our only option when it comes to our limited storage space. If space was no issue we would have gotten a normal SUP.

      The good thing about buying one vs. hiring a SUP is that you have total freedom to do whatever you like, whenever you wish!

      Its interesting that we had similar adventures! Hopefully you’ll find a seal next time! 🙂

      April 24, 2016 at 2:52 pm
  • Reply iamsuanlee

    What awesome timing! Your perseverance on day two paid off. What did you use to record the sea puppy under water? I kind of just want to rub its belly, it looks so cute!

    April 20, 2016 at 11:27 am
    • Reply Behzad

      We used a GoPro for 4K videos. I normally have a Sony Action camera with me to take interval photos.
      Yes it was so cute! looked so cuddly!

      April 24, 2016 at 2:44 pm
  • Reply Bernard Tan

    Interesting! I didnt know there is a sea puppy island! The sea puppy is super cute! Thank goodness you didnt give up!

    April 20, 2016 at 2:39 pm
    • Reply Behzad

      Thanks Bernard! 🙂 yes, the sea puppy was amazing! haha

      April 24, 2016 at 2:41 pm
  • Reply jess_friend

    Wow you went to such a lot of effort to see those seal puppies and I am glad you got to see them in the end!

    April 20, 2016 at 4:52 pm
    • Reply Behzad

      Thanks Jess 🙂

      April 24, 2016 at 2:40 pm
  • Reply Juliana W

    Your video is SO COOL! I’m so excited that you weren’t disappointed and that you got to see a seal!!! Looks like such a fun little adventure 🙂 Sorry you didn’t see any penguins though, I hear they like to hide during the day time!

    April 20, 2016 at 5:21 pm
    • Reply Behzad

      Late December 2015 we went to Penguin Island and you could find a few in wild. This time there were not even one! we looked every where 🙁
      BTW! we found out seals are penguins predators!

      April 24, 2016 at 2:39 pm
  • Reply Epepa

    Wow, you have got interesting attractions in Australia. I’ve only seen these animals at ZOO. Wish I could go there one day.

    April 21, 2016 at 11:36 am
    • Reply Behzad

      Australia is an amazing place. I have a great sense of respect towards this land and its nature. I hope you come here for travelling!

      April 24, 2016 at 2:35 pm
  • Reply Sarah @ Expat of the World

    Looks like your patience paid off! What a lovely time you must have had, a memory that’ll last forever!

    April 21, 2016 at 4:47 pm
    • Reply Behzad

      Thanks Sarah! yes, it felt really good after so much effort. also it was a beautiful sunny day!

      April 24, 2016 at 2:33 pm
  • Reply Sanket D.

    Seal puppies! haha. I saw your post on Instagram and knew I had to come read your post. They seem so adorable. Are they very friendly?

    April 22, 2016 at 9:52 am
    • Reply Behzad

      Thanks for reading our post! 🙂 I don’t really know about being friendly. This one was huge! it scared us a bit (when he started swimming towards us we did not really know what to do!) but it seemed to be very calm and not seeking any human interaction.

      April 24, 2016 at 2:31 pm
  • Reply Ann

    What a journey! Absolutely loved your post + story + video and I’m lad it was worth it in the end!

    April 23, 2016 at 5:40 am
    • Reply Behzad

      Thanks Ann! 🙂 it gives us a really good energy to hear you enjoyed our post!

      April 24, 2016 at 2:27 pm
  • Reply Alina Popescu

    Good for you for not giving up! I am sure it was well worth the two attempts and the initial disappointment of day 2 when those ladies burst your bubble. It would have been better if you saw more than one seal, but hey, still a win 🙂

    April 23, 2016 at 7:34 am
    • Reply Behzad

      haha yeah, we were very happy with one seal! Initially when we got to the island and there was no signs of seal we totally lost hope. we feel very lucky to see one! 🙂

      April 24, 2016 at 2:24 pm
  • Reply Cai Dominguez-Travelosyo

    Paddling is really tiring, and I can feel
    Your disappointment when they announced that you cant see them now. That’s so sad when you are really excited.

    April 26, 2016 at 6:22 am
    • Reply Behzad

      Yeah, it takes a lot of energy but it is exciting. you feel a certain level of freedom that other vehicles can’t offer! I enjoy floating on the water and sometimes just lying on the board, looking up at the sky and relaxing whiles the waves take you up and down…

      April 26, 2016 at 9:42 am

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