back in september i went camping with my mom and her friends at salisbury beach state reservation in MA.
they like to go down to the river at low sunrise or its nearest low tide to have a look at the harbor seals.
one morning i decided to go for a paddle in the rivermouth just before low tide so i could mess about in the water and paddle against current and then be assured of paddling WITH the current which is kinda important because i am not an experienced ocean paddler and the tides were expected to be strong, courtesy hurricane hermine.
it's not like i was going to paddle in a hurricane. it was a clear blue morning and storm not expected to arrive for another eighteen hours yet, but strong winds and strong tides, yanno?
anyway. i put in at the boat launch and i paddled out around the channel markers. there are all kinds of warnings about not getting too close to the seals because people coming up taxes them, but i figured out in the channel ought to be sufficiently far away to pass.
then i messed around in the harbor and played with the waves and stuff and it was all very exciting for li'l ole me and then i saw my mom 'n' everybody come down to the beach so i paddled in to see them and then paddled out again out by the channel marker, and then i was taking a picture of the daymark, minding my own business and i went to put my camera way when i noticed over my shoulder two harbor seals poking their heads up out of the water.
they were close. like, scarily close. close enough for me to see in their nostrils while they sniffed me.
that was, for me, a weirdly vulnerable feeling: me in my little boat in unfamiliar water, with several hundred pounds of marine mammal sniffing at me from WAY TOO close.
i am not sure, but one may have bumped the bottom of my boat.
i felt a bump. i was surrounded by seals. it's not as much fun as it sounds.