Seals in the water

Dive sites: Seal Rock

Seal Rock is a haul-out (resting) area for Cape fur seals that lies towards the northern end of the Partridge Point reef complex. The Partridge Point area could occupy a diver for years – there are beautiful reefs and pinnacles, and extensive marine life (much of the area lies within the Castle Rocks no-take zone).

Seal Rock at Partridge Point
Seal Rock at Partridge Point

Seal Rock is an attraction for both divers and snorkelers because when visiting it one is guaranteed to see at least one seal, and probably many more than that. Upon arrival, several seals generally leap into the water to check out the divers. I’ve seen boat skippers clapping their hands vigorously to encourage this behaviour – not sure what trigger they’re exploiting, but it seems to work.

Seals in the water
Seals in the water

The seals are not aggressive, but are very active and move incredibly fast. They are very graceful in the water, and will sometimes make displays of teeth and barking in order to assert or challenge dominance. The best approach is to remain calm and not to reach your hand out – those teeth are big. They will not attack you!

If you’re not keen on seals, I encourage you to turn your eyes to the reef surrounding the rock. It’s colourful and diverse, and on a sunny day with good visibility it’s an absolute delight to the eyes. The shallow water enables maximum light penetration, to the extent that on my most recent dive there my camera became quite confused.

The reef around Seal Rock
The reef around Seal Rock

Here’s a video I took at the site in winter this year.

Well hello there!
Well hello there!

Before you have a heart attack (or a good laugh) at my dive time below, please bear in mind that when I started the dive I only had 50 bar in my cylinder, because of a mix up with the number of divers, number of dives each one planned to do, and number of full cylinders. So, hush.

Dive date: 30 June 2012

Air temperature: 20 degrees

Water temperature: 13 degrees

Maximum depth: 8.3 metres

Visibility: 12 metres

Dive duration: 11 minutes

A close-up inspection
A close-up inspection

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Clare

Lapsed mathematician, creator of order, formulator of hypotheses. Lover of the ocean, being outdoors, the bush, reading, photography, travelling (especially in Africa) and road trips.

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