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Kayaking with the Seals, Walvis Bay, Namibia

When we woke up this morning you couldn’t find your own mother outside, the fog was so thick. Our cottage was literally 15m from the beach and we couldn’t see it. Couldn’t even see the huge palm tree in the garden!

We met Jeanne Meintjes of Eco Marine Kayak Tours (as seen on the BBC's Animal Park Wild in Africa) just down the promenade from the cottage and drove all the way along the beach past the vast pink salt lagoons where the flamingos are painted. The salt lagoons are teaming with pink brine shrimp making the water look a deep pink. We drove all the way along the sandbank which sticks out into the water making the lagoon in the bay, out to the lighthouse at the end. We could still hear the fog horn going, but were hoping that it would clear up a bit before we went out onto the lagoon with the seals.

Apparently the sandbank grows about 12 metres per year. Amazing!

As we were getting ready, putting on our waterproofs, getting the kayaks off the trailer and onto the beach, the fog lifted a bit. It was lovely and peaceful being out on the water. We paddled down to the end of the sandbank first and spotted a couple of dolphins but it was quite windy and choppy so we had to turn back into the shelter of the lagoon.

The fog and mist soon burned off once the sun came up properly and it was absolutely gorgeous out there, if a bit windy, causing splashes from the paddles to make us quite soggy. (In other words we’re not very good paddlers).

Kayaking with Eco Marine Kayak Tours, Walvis Bay, Namibia
The seals were coming right up to us in the kayak now and playing with us in the waves. Jumping over the bow of the kayak and biting at the paddle. They loved playing chase and coming towards us then speeding away and back again. And I still can’t get over how many jelly fish were in the water. There were also a large number of huge dead ones on the beach by our cottage, come to think of it.

Took loads of photos of the seals, but it was a bit difficult holding the camera and lens still in the choppy waters. I was also a bit nervous about dropping the camera into the lagoon and never seeing it again so decided to put it back in the waterproof bag, strap it to the top of the kayak and just enjoy the experience!

Jeanne had brought a lovely lunch of filled rolls and a nice cup of rooibos. Enjoyed that after the exertion of all that paddling. Really not used to that level of exercise. Thank you Lionel for dropping your water bottle in the sea, resulting in us having to paddle in ever decreasing circles to try to catch up with in and fish it out. Not an easy task in a long kayak with two inexperienced paddlers!

It was a fantastic experience to be out there on the water interacting with the seals and be a part of their environment.