I don’t know about you, but I love nature, I love to see sea birds and birds of prey, rabbits, goats and donkeys!! (I live on the Orme but that’s another story!) but I always love seeing the seals and dolphins at sea. So far I had a few sightings of North Wales sea life, however nothing had prepared me for what was to come.
Now, I really did like the Cornish Crabber, maybe it was because it was a cool aqua colour (me being a girl lol!), or maybe it was because it was really responsive at the helm, or maybe it was because it was the first boat I sailed in on the sea, but one drawback was that it was a day boat without a bilge keel (for those of you who have no idea what this is, two keels underneath both sides of the boat that enable it to stand upright without water) so my pal used to sleep on his, and hope that he wouldn’t end up on the floor depending on which way the boat settled when the tide went out. I however, had been introduced to the exceptionally kind hearted owners of Eira, who took me in, under their wings in their pride and joy. Eira could not only accomodate an extra body, but had a heads!!!! Whoop whoop!! no more thoughts of having to pee in a bucket (which I just could not do!!!). Two fabulous folk who happily let me stay on their boat just because I was a friend of a friend. Hey, I could have been a complete nutcase!! Oh yes, I was haha! Never mind they soon found that out and I seemed to fit in. I was introduced to their eclectic mix of music including my favourites Queen – ‘I’m going slightly mad‘ and the lovable ‘Dominick the Donkey‘!
So, enough ramblings already, it is now the longest day in June 2014, yet another sunny day in North Wales. This sailing trip we headed off towards Liverpool. There were a few boats out and I happened to be on Eira, a Super Seal 26, which I found out can sail closer to the wind than all the others in our little cruising group and pretty much always is the first to arrive anywhere – which does have its drawbacks, but today was an exception…
On our way there, a pod of dolphins played on our bow and in our wake, it was really hard to take images as they move so fast, plus you are so busy watching them that you don’t want to go inside to get your camera… too busy enjoying life to capture it…
So we kept on, past all the windmills along the North Wales coast, to Hilbre. As we arrived, there looked to be sand dunes with loads of rocks along the shoreline. We dropped our anchor as close as possible, on our approach all the rocks started moving into the water! – it was seals, hundreds of the things!
Anyway, after a while they came to investigate us – honestly! their breath was sooooo smelly! Very fishy – possibly not surprisingly considering their diet! It was an amazing experience to be surrounded by so many seals.
After a while of lazing in the sun and enjoying our new friends, we went off to find a mooring. It was a beautiful sunset that night. Some of the boats from our club joined us, one left it slightly too late and ran aground (they shall remain nameless!).
The next day we sailed back to Rhos. What a buzz though – I have seen many seals and dolphins in my travels but nothing yet has surpassed that weekend… I always have to admire them and appreciate their beauty…. just make sure you have a peg handy for your nose for those bad breathed seals!