Today I drove down to Holyrood to see if the seals I saw there last week were still around, and guess what: they were, sort of.

The weather was totally different of course, not sunny but grey and overcast, no fresh snow, the solid harbour ice had changed into thin sheets and the wind was wicked and freezing. As I walked down into the marina, 3 harp seals promptly scooted off the dock and into the water. I recognized them from last week, they were the seals that couldn’t be bothered to even look up when I got down close them last time, perhaps they’ve had a bad experience since then.

Anyway, the harbour seals weren’t bothered by my presence at all and they curiously looked on as I did my thing. A couple of them were swimming under the ice and pushing their noses up through it every now and then to get some air. One of the seals tried getting out of the water by lunging up near the dock and grabbing on to it, but he failed time and time again.

Here’s a few pictures:

Pushing up through the ice – Holyrood

Seal on the dock – Holyrood

This seal was very relaxed, he stayed put there the entire time, eventually I even sat down next to him within the closest focus distance of my lens. No use in getting any closer than that. Here’s a portrait of him, look carefully and you’ll see me reflected in his eye:

Seal portrait – Holyrood

Here’s the seal that tried to get onto the dock:

Seal crawling onto the dock – Holyrood

After a few hours in the snow my knees started hurting so I said goodbye to the seals and called it a day.

Whiteout on Route 13

On the way back to Torbay I figured I’d try Route 13 to Bay Bulls and take the long way home.

That turned out to be a bad idea. After a few kilometres, the road was covered in snowdrifts and very local whiteout conditions, so when I found a short stretch of ‘normal’ road in between I carefully made a u-turn and headed back to the highway. However, the snowdrifts on the way back there were even worse, and when I drove through a particularly bad one the car fishtailed out of control and I landed into a snowbank on the side of the road. All of this while doing a leisurely 40 km/h.

The car was now neatly sitting on top of 5 feet of snow, nose tilted up, so I shut off the engine to avoid digging myself in by spinning the wheels.

What a predicament… Don’t worry though, I’m fine, the car is fine too, not so much as a scratch on her.

Near-whiteout conditions – Route 13

Within a minute help was on the way, a friendly truck driver stopped and offered to pull me out. Coincidentally, this is exactly what happened last time. Within minutes we were joined by yet another truck that the first guy called in, and lastly 2 snowmobilers stopped by and checked if everything was OK.

To make a long story short, I dug out the rear-end of the car with a shovel and attached a chain to the undercarriage and the truck pulled me out in all of 5 seconds. So, all’s well that ends well and at least I can say our car got to feel like a snowmobile for a few seconds.