My buff hat

It was a late start from Dittisham, because of thick frost on boat, car and roads. Mist was rising from the mudflats behind the anchor stone.

Anchor stone in mist

I hastened down with the last of the ebb tide to do my shopping in Dartmouth. After a leisurely lunch and a short tour out to sea I returned with the flood. The seal family had been sunbathing on their usual plastic pontoon as I went downriver. They were still dozing there as I returned two hours later. This time I was wearing my usual buff cotton hat, because the sun was blinding even though the air was cool. The big one gave a warning call, a gentle whooo, not unlike an owl but with more resonance, coming from a huge oval mass of flesh. I feared I had come too close because one or two plunged into the water.

Dozy seals

But they just wanted to play, one of them keeping me company the three kilometres back to Dittisham, snuffling and spluttering behind and beside me as I splashed my oar and regretted that neither of us could communicate properly. Throwing a stick seems to please a dog, but what can one do with a seal? Maybe throw a wooden fish?

tim p