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Swimming with Seals


On a beautiful Sunday in June a team of our reception ladies was invited on a little trip by the lovely Anna Cawthray of Scilly Seal Snorkelling on St Martins.

After an exhilarating jet boat ride from Carn Near to Lower Town, Anna met us and took us to the Dive Shed at Higher Town where she equipped us with wetsuits complete with boots, hoods and gloves.  Laughter and merriment ensued as those of us less experienced with rubber poured ourselves in and zipped up!

Carrying our mask, snorkel and fins we waded through the low tide water to the RIB dive boat for the short trip to the Eastern Isles.  Anna then cruised slowly around until we found some seals that looked playful or at least slightly interested in us.  We were given some further instruction from Anna then donned our mask and fins and entered the water.  I’m delighted to report the wetsuits are very effective and you could almost believe the water was warm.

Floating about looking down at the beautiful kelp ‘forests’  with inquisitive seals peering back at you before darting gracefully away was an incredible experience.  The seals were almost taunting us with how easily they can lie on the sand below us and how fast they can swim past us while we bobbed like ungainly corks on the surface in the buoyant wetsuits.

All too soon it was time to get back into the dive boat, which is fitted with a ladder to make that easy for everyone.  Anna offered us all a welcome cup of hot ginger and lemon tea before heading back to St Martins where we landed at Higher Town quay and walked the few yards back to the shed to de-suit and get dressed. Then we had a little time on the beach to enjoy the sunshine before catching the jet boat back to Tresco. A perfect Sunday afternoon!

We all enjoyed our swimming with seals experience and would highly recommend you add it to your list of things to do on your holiday in Scilly this year!

Snorkelling with seals on the Eastern Isles was an amazing experience. Anna was a great instructor who made every member of the group feel at ease throughout the whole session from kitting up to sharing her experience and knowledge of the waters around Scilly. Everything was taken care of so all you had to do was relax and enjoy every moment. Being in the water you felt you had a special connection with the seals and to see them so close and so graceful under the surface was wonderful. It was fantastic experience that I would love to repeat

Rachel Young

I was very impressed with the whole day. With the expectations of being cold in the water it was surprisingly warm wrapped up in layers of wet suits. Of course the seals were beautiful! Playful, adorable and graceful in their own environment. It is a ‘bucket list’ activity that I will keep as a treasured memory! Anna was fantastic, very informative and waiting with a warm cup of tea for when we got out the water, A fantastic day out highly recommended!

Emma Burgess

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