In May 2011, after four years of life on McNutt's Island, we moved to Montreal. This blog remains, though, as a (sort of) daily record of our time on the island, and a winding path for anyone who would like to meander about among its magical places. For additional perspectives and insights I recommend Greg's book, Island Year: Finding Nova Scotia (2010), and my Bowl of Light (2012). I'll continue to post once in a while. If you do want to read this blog, one option would be to begin at the beginning of it (which is, as we all know, in blog-world, at the end), and read forward, concluding with the most recent entry. It's a journal, really, so it does makes more sense if you read it that way. But, you know, read it any way you like.

Monday, June 29, 2009

When seals play games

The Harbour Seals were singing while I rowed in the cove this morning. I think fog inspires them to heights of sealish melody. I rowed toward Indian Point, where they often loll about on some exposed rocks at low tide. I decided to creep up on them by rowing backward - by which I mean my stern was going forward, which is backward, if you get my drift. It is an awkward way to row, but it let me face them as I approached.

Now and then I stopped rowing entirely and drifted, all the time coming closer and closer, ever so stealthily. I was quite proud of how well I was sneaking up on them, until they slid off their rocks and disappeared beneath the water. They had been watching me the whole time, I guess.

I changed my strategy then. I rowed boldly into the wide cove above Indian Point and rested my oars and sat. Dark heads began to emerge from beneath the water to look at me. I counted eight. It's a curious experience to wait for seals to show themselves. If they want, they will let you see them. Also if they want, they can look at you without being seen. They can come up, look you over, and disappear again all without your knowing it, even if you are sitting right in the middle of them. Several times I heard a splash close behind me and turned as fast as I could, to see nothing but leftover ripples and a few air bubbles. It felt like a game of hide and seek, or maybe blind man's bluff. Whatever the game was, they had the home advantage.

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