Seal hitches ride on kayak

The Sun would be much more appealing to me if it replaced its page 3 girls with stories like this one, which reads in its entirety

Alistair Forrest, 40, was out paddling when the grey seal began circling him in the water.

Then it climbed on board, partially submerging the vessel near the Forth Road Bridge.

Alistair, of Armadale, West Lothian, said: “I couldn’t believe it.

“I was apprehensive at first as it was so heavy.

“But after that I was el­ated to be up so close.”

Even better is the video:

There’s a special elation we feel—or at least I feel—when an animal like this overcomes its fear of humans and communes with us, even if for just a short time.

And what a lovely little pinniped!


Friends, Scots, countrymen: lend me your oars.

h/t: Michael



  1. Randy schenck
    Posted February 15, 2017 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    Not long ago something similar to this happened and I think it was caused by a shark that was after the seal. Causes the seal to make new friends.

    • Dave
      Posted February 15, 2017 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

      Yes, I was just about to make the same point. I wonder if there was something larger and nastier circling below Mr Forrest’s kayak that he was blissfully unaware of. A shark large enough to frighten a grey seal would be unusual in the Firth of Forth, but not impossible.

    • Dee
      Posted February 15, 2017 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

      I remember seeing that. The seal hopped onto a boat to get away from the shark.

      • Taz
        Posted February 15, 2017 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

        This guy seemed more curious than afraid.

  2. Kurtis Rader
    Posted February 15, 2017 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    Let’s hope curiosity doesn’t kill the pinniped.

  3. Posted February 15, 2017 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    That’s awesome.

  4. Posted February 15, 2017 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    So cute

  5. Posted February 15, 2017 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    I am jealous: she touched the wee nose!

  6. Posted February 15, 2017 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    Reminded me of my cat, the way it looked around and was so curious. A swimming cat. Grand. Love the balance of the seal. Glad to see a animal man has not made terrified of him. Hugs

  7. Geoff Toscano
    Posted February 15, 2017 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    Very cute but I’ve always been nervous of seals since a stranded baby on a beach tried to take my arm off. The RSPCA were very cautious when they approached it but it made me realise that wild animals aren’t pets.

  8. GBJames
    Posted February 15, 2017 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

    It’s a Selkie!

  9. Posted February 15, 2017 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    IIRC, the Sun discontinued the Page 3 feature a few years ago.

  10. ajlowry
    Posted February 15, 2017 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

    Extremely cool!

    I had no idea kayaks were so flexible; I was surprised to see the crafts’ noses moving up and down in the waves.

    • MR
      Posted February 16, 2017 at 7:04 am | Permalink

      I think that there is quite a lot of distortion of the image caused by post-processing to stabilize the video – you can see this at about 1:10 when the seal’s body is growing and shrinking in an odd way that isn’t caused by breathing.

  11. Posted February 15, 2017 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

    The second photo looks very humanoid to me.

  12. Pliny the in Between
    Posted February 15, 2017 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    Had a similar experience in Monterey Bay in Ca a few years ago, while kayaking out to see the baby otters, with a very young (fortunately) sea lion.

  13. Posted February 15, 2017 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

    My first trip to the Galapagos, I toured on a small converted fishing boat that had very claustrophobic cabins, so I slept outside on a platform at the stern. (Probably not too bright: had I rolled off at night, no one would have known.) Anyway, we towed a rowboat behind us, and on more than one occasion a sea lion jumped into it, perhaps 10 feet from me, and rode along for a while.

  14. Andrea Kenner
    Posted February 15, 2017 at 6:16 pm | Permalink


  15. Larry
    Posted February 15, 2017 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

    What a nice experience for this couple, and with such a cute fellow creature.

  16. Diane G.
    Posted February 15, 2017 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

    Such an adorable species! (Not H. sapiens, altho the two in this vid aren’t bad… 😉 )

  17. Posted February 16, 2017 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    And people say being lazy is a bad thing!

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