Lucky day out for us. We stumbled on a herd of New Zealand fur seals sheltering from strong winds (on Saturday 1st October), located a few hundred metres south of The Gap (near Watson's Bay, Sydney). We were very lucky to see them because our original plan was canceled - we were on our way to Maroubra Beach to dive with the grey nurse shark colony, but the sea was too rough to dive there. Very disappointed that we weren’t able to do the shark dive, we ended up doing one dive at The Gap, where it was sheltered from the wind. This was a very average dive, mainly due to the cold conditions underwater, and I was regretting my decision to come!
For our second dive we started traveling a few hundred metres south of The Gap when the skipper spotted some seals taking refuge from the strong winds in this sheltered area. A few seals were sunbathing on the rocks at the waters edge, and some just in the water floating in one spot.
We decided to dive there and this was a very rare thing to experience in Sydney so we were pumped! Normally you have to drive several hours away to dive with seals, so for this to happen it was an amazing turn of events!
The trip went from being below average to the best I’ve had in Sydney. The seals were inquisitive, playful, and not at all timid. I was able to get about one metre away - without being bitten. There was a large seal which I stayed a bit further back from. There were also a few sunbathing on the rocks at the water’s edge, which were oblivious to me approaching less than a metre away.
Sometimes the seals would approach me directly at high speed, then suddenly swerve and dive to the bottom.
It was so exhilarating to experience this. Sydney really is a diverse place to dive, and full of surprises.
To see the full set of photos from this dive click here http://lennycliffbanger.com/p625315741
Have you had any rare or exciting encounters with marine life in Sydney? Feel free to leave a comment or questions.