Sunday, 6 August 2017

Brief Encounter

There’s something slightly unsettling about the gaze of a grey seal. Bulls look stern, females appear softer, but both give the impression of being inquisitive. I can encounter them anywhere along the south coast of Gower at anytime of the year. They’re not very common at the eastern end of the peninsula, but at Worms Head, I can almost always find them.

It feels remote on the narrow footpath just above the rocky shore west of Bacon Hole, and I’ve never met anyone else down here. Below the path there’s a small rocky overhang, which I use for shelter on wet and windy days. It’s also a good place to sit, look out to sea and watch wildlife. Two rather sorrowful-looking dark black eyes stare up at me. She’s only a short distance offshore, and we gaze at each other for a couple of minutes. She looks confident in her marine environment, and not at all bothered by this alien creature looking down at her from the shore. I feel a strong empathy towards this beautiful creature from a different world, and wonder what she’s thinking. As if bored with our brief encounter, she slides gracefully beneath the sea and disappears.

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