New Zealand: Baby Seals and Almost Dying

Our final night in Blenham, we ate at an excellent Brazilian restaurant, where everyone was very kind and helpful.  One of the women that helped us had grown up in Kaikoura, where we were headed the following day, and gave us lots of helpful advice on things to see and places to eat!

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One thing that she told us about was a waterfall on the way.. with baby seals.  We were very excited, and glad that we had talked to her about it, though we weren’t entirely sure what to expect.

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As we were driving, we saw a really beautiful view of the coast and stopped to take a couple of pictures.  As Patrick headed onto the beach, he was startled by the seal right in front of him!  We didn’t end up finding any seals at the waterfall, but Grace and I absolutely fell in love with the baby seal on the beach.

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There were probably 15 seals hanging around on the beach, but we mostly looked at the ones on the edges.  We were grateful we hadn’t ventured deeper into the pack, because of what happened next.

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We had struggled down a slippery, steep path to get down to where the seals were.  We gained confidence in how close we got to the seals as we edged closer and they lay around lazily, barely recognizing us.*  The craziest moment of this particular adventure came when one of the larger seals suddenly started charging us!  He had been nearby for a while, but apparently decided that he had had enough of us hanging around.  He hopped toward us in a strange fashion, but was actually rather quick.  We scrambled away over slippery rocks, but were thankful he gave up his pursuit since getting back up the cliff would’ve been challenging.  The scariest part of all of this:  we heard about a seal attack on a podcast later that day!

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The baby seal looked a lot like a puppy, but with flippers.  We were totally getting our National Geographic on, taking pictures of wild animals 🙂

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*This with the exception of the baby seal, with whom I quickly made friends.  He talked to me, true story!

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