Seal snorkelling

Bright and early the next morning we got up and got going, for the experience I looked most forward to: Seal Snorkeling with Animal Ocean. It’s a half-hour drive to Hout Bay, where Animal Ocean outfitted us with 3mm vests, 5mm wet suits, booties, gloves and hoods. It was still freaking cold! From Hout Bay it’s a short zodiac ride to the snorkeling site Duiker Island. The island is home to 5’000 Cape Fur seals. And not a single White Shark. The snorkeling was such an amazing experience. The seals are very inquisitive and came very close to us. Bouncing head down in the waves, swimming at us and quickly diving away. Everywhere we looked, there were seals. One even kept chewing on my hand. Cape Fur seals occur naturally on islands around the southern African coat and are found nowhere else in the world. Female seals weigh about 75kg while the bulls can get up to 300kg. They can swim at a speed of up to 20km an hour and propel themselves through the water with their backfin. The Fur seals have small slit eyes on land but they then triple in size underwater to become these beautiful blue manga eyes – they can dive as deep as 200m so they need the extra sight.

Truly frozen through and all a bit sea sick we got back to the shore. We got hot water to poor down the suits and hot chocolate to drink, which made it a bit better. Still it took me about an hour to stop shivering.

Right from Hout Bay starts the beautiful Chapman’s Peak Drive, with what must be the most scenic drive in the area. There are almost more picnic spots than bends on that road.