Yesterday was an indoor day for me, I did absolutely nothing but rest and take care of Marije, who is on the mend from the flu. While I felt bad about staying inside on such a beautiful day I simply had to rest my legs after overextending myself in all the beautiful weather we’ve had.

An upshot of staying inside was that I read about seals in Holyrood on Karen’s blog. She in turn had read about them on yet another blog, from which I concluded that these seals had been in the Holyrood Marina for at least 2 days now. Since it was too late for me to go there and see them by that time, I set the alarm for 5 AM and turned in early.

This morning I woke up and my warm bed said to me: ‘it’s too early, go back to sleep’.

I can’t make rational decisions before dawn so I’ve trained myself to ignore any lingering laziness which tries to convince me it’s much nicer to stay in bed. It turns out it’s always a good idea to get up early, and today was no exception.

After a tricky 1 hour drive over the TCH and the Holyrood Access Road I arrived in the marina before sunrise. To avoid disappointment, I had told myself on the way over that the seals would probably be gone by now. But, as you can probably imagine, I was very happy when I found the seals still there!

There were at least 13 seals in the marina as far as I could see at any one moment. Some seals were very passive, just lying still on the ice in the middle of the harbour. Others were very active, swimming around and slip-sliding through the snow and poking their heads into the fine white powder that blanketed the harbour ice.

Here are a few pictures from this morning:

Seals at daybreak – Holyrood

While seals don’t usually hang around waiting for me to get close, these seals had no problems with me at all. Some of them were a bit skittish when I arrived but they soon relaxed with me and my ominous looking tripod. Other seals didn’t even flinch when I sat down in the snow right next to them.

Juvenile and adult harp seal – Holyrood

In the photo above you can see a juvenile and adult harp seal, that’s the same species as the seals they have at the Ocean Sciences Centre in Logy Bay.

The big harp seals were mostly just relaxing on their back, but the young seals were constantly scooting around and sliding over the ice, ploughing through the fine powder snow and leaving tracks in the harbour. It really looked like they were having a lot of fun with it.

Seal tracks in the snow – Holyrood

Young harp seal in the snow – Holyrood

How cute is this little guy! Right?

The adult harp seal doesn’tt have quite the same cuddle factor but this girl is still pretty attractive:

Harp seal portrait – Holyrood

Then again, these claws weren’t meant to cuddle anyone:

Seal flippers – Holyrood

In case you were wondering about the reason harp seals are called harp seals, it’s because of the big ‘harp’ shape on their back:

Harp shape on the back – Holyrood

The seals were more than enough of a show on their own, but that didn’t stop a bald eagle from joining in on the fun. He was a long way away though, so I took 1 shot of him and then concentrated on the seals again:

Bald eagle in the marina – Holyrood

After 3 hours I packed up my stuff, thanked the seals for their cooperation and left for home. I guess it’s obvious I enjoyed myself in Holyrood, maybe I’ll return there soon if the weather allows it. Today was spectacular though, just like the entire last week, but tomorrow the forecast mentions something called ‘rain’. Sigh…