When it comes to the ocean, there are two types of people. You either love the depths of the ocean and all the wondrous beauty that lives in the water, or you are terrified of it. No matter which category you find yourself in, you’ll want to keep on reading! Today, we are going to introduce you to diver Gary Grayson and the life-changing encounter that he had with an adorable seal. If you were interested in the ocean before, after this story you are going to be obsessed!
Wondrous Story of the Ocean
Today, we are going to be donning a digital wetsuit in order to explore the deep blue sea. We are going to be joining a group of divers, led by Gary Grayson, as they navigated the waters off of the Isles of Scilly, located in southwest England just off the coast of Cornwall.
Exploring the Isles of Scilly
The Isles of Scilly are located just off of the tip of Cornwall in England. An archipelago with multiple islands, the Isles of Scilly is comprised of five total islands and a handful of small islets. The waters surrounding the Isles of Scilly are known for being a haven of natural ocean wonder. As you’ll soon find out, a diving expedition off of the Isles of Scilly can be quite a lifechanging experience!
Seeing the Ocean Up Close
Gary Grayson came to the Isles of Scilly by way of Worsley, England. Grayson and his pals had gone on a vacation in order to explore the region. They wanted to take time during their trip in order to go scuba diving. While Gary and his friends were expecting to see wildlife, they didn’t know what to expect during their adventure.
What Could They Find Down There
Even though Gary was excited to take in the natural wonders lurking below the ocean’s surface, he was also interested in seeing if they could locate a shipwreck. According to research performed by UNESCO, there are an estimated 3 million total shipwrecks spread throughout the ocean. A few famous shipwrecks include the Titanic, the fleet of Kublai Khan, and the Spanish galleons that had sailed between Spain and America.
Different Kind of Adventure
While many divers set their sights on hidden treasure, others like to focus on interacting with the local wildlife. For that reason, many people end up going to the Isle of Scilly in order to dive with the seals. Seal diving is incredibly popular in the region, though you had better go diving with a professional in order to ensure your safety. Remember, you are diving into potentially dangerous waters! Your safety isn’t going to be guaranteed.
Making Friends Beneath the Surface
Even though Gary and his friends had hoped to catch sight of some sunken treasure, they were ecstatic to be greeted by something quite different! After leaving their boat, Gary and his team came upon a couple of wild seals. Right away, Gary could tell that something was different about their interaction. We’ll get more into that soon.
Seals Aren’t Always Nice
Even though seals are adorable, we have to remind everyone that they are wild animals. Wild animals don’t behave by human standards. They don’t follow rules and their space should be respected. If a wild seal swims up to you, you had better think twice before engaging. Every seasoned diver will tell you to leave wild animals well-enough alone.
Seals ARE Wild Animals After All
While Gary knew that he shouldn’t engage with the seals, they were behaving in an exceptionally friendly manner. In fact, as the two seals drew closer to Gary and his friends, they began to notice something quite odd. The seals seemed like they wanted the attention of the divers! What could this mean?
Staying Calm During the Encounter
As the two seals approached Gary, the divers did their best in order to stay calm. Any outward expression of nervousness could end up signaling a threat to the seals. The last thing that Gary wanted to do was startle a wild animal while he was in their natural habitat. Still, Gary made sure to get his camera rolling and for that reason, we have these stunning photographs!
Navigating Potential Danger
The ocean is the largest ecosystem on the planet. While humans have adapted to being in the water thanks to our technology, we are not natural members of that ecosystem. As a result, any time that we place ourselves in the ocean, we are putting ourselves in harm’s way. Even though Gary Grayson was a seasoned wildlife videographer, he was still unprepared for the event playing out before him.
Gary Kept the Camera Rolling
Even though Gary didn’t know WHAT to do, he knew he had to capture it all on camera. Gary had shot video of wild animals all around the world. Now, he was getting his chance to capture some stunning footage in a situation that few other divers would ever get to experience.
They Were Seal Pups
Remember how we thought the seals looked a little odd? Well, as the animals swam closer to Gary and his friends, they came to a sudden realization. The seals weren’t just small, they were young! Gary and his friends had stumbled across a pair of young seals who were as curious as they were nervous.
The Seals Are Incredibly Friendly
Even though young seals are supposed to be incredibly skittish, these animals didn’t shy away from Gary. Instead, they slowly got closer and closer. Pretty soon, Gary was able to see their eyes and feel their snouts as they brushed against him. They weren’t afraid at all even though he had been told that seal cubs were extraordinarily skittish.
A New Type of Situation
Before long, the seals were swimming between the divers in order to greet them all. The seal cubs were behaving like young puppies that were desperate for some extra attention. Gary knew that the seals were being playful, but he also realized that he couldn’t let his guard down. One wrong move could send the whole experience shattering to the ocean floor.
Behaving Like Young Puppies
The seals continued to circle Gary and his friend as they became more and more relaxed. The seals grew increasingly brave and before they knew it, they were face to face with the creatures. Gary noted during this experience that the seals totally were acting like ‘water dogs’, right down to their puppy eyes and pokey whiskers.
Is This Really Happening?
As Gary and his friend grew more comfortable with the water dogs, they began to pay attention to little details that they hadn’t noticed before. While the seals had been taking turns swimming beside them, they had also been sending a signal. Gary couldn’t believe what was going on in front of him.
Did We Just Become Best Friends
Wild seals are notoriously flakey when it comes to remaining in the presence of humans. As an animal always on the run from massive predators, we guess it is understandable that the seals wouldn’t want to be too friendly. For that reason, Gary’s experience was made all the more fascinating. The seals would reach out with their flipper in order to try to hold or touch Gary. They weren’t swimming away. They were playing together!
Noticing A Stunning Pattern
As their time together lengthened, Gary began noticing a pattern. Every time that he would pull away from the seal, the creature would reach out with his flippers in order to keep him close. Fearing an inadvertent scare, Gary decided to let the seal lead the dance during their wordless conversation. A few moments later, the seal was using Gary’s hand to pet himself!
Humans and Nature Interacting
Whenever you see animals and humans interacting in the wild, you have to be careful. It only takes one wrong move for a pleasant encounter to turn into a dangerous one. With that being said, it was impossible for Gary to ignore how friendly the seals were being. They were rapidly gaining the trust of the animals in a way that seemed almost unbelievable!
Understanding the Seal’s ‘Aggression’
As Gary let the seal lead the dance, he noticed that it would gently bite his palm. Now, seals can be incredibly dangerous when they sink their teeth into something, but that wasn’t the case here. Instead, the seal was gently holding Gary’s hand as if it wanted to give him comfort or even ask him for something. The second seal lingered back, watching on with round eyes.
Graceful in the Water
When a seal is underwater, it can appear graceful even with its odd shape. Outside of the water, seals look intimidating and vaguely funny. Their little waddle on land can hide the fact that seals typically have no problem becoming aggression. If you see a seal sunbathing on a beach, let the animal be!
A Misunderstood Creature
When seals are still in their pup stage, they tend to stick close by their mother. In fact, newborn seal pups will stay for around four months with their mother before daring to swim off for their own adventures. That meant that Gary was either in the presence of curious seals on their first adventure or an angry mother was lurking nearby.
Why Was the Seal So Outgoing
Thankfully for Gary, the seals weren’t in the presence of their mother, as far as he could tell. Instead, the seals seemed genuinely curious. It was likely that they were on one of their first trips around the water without their mother by their side. Talk about getting lucky, right?
Behaving Like the Family Dog
Fortunately for Gary, the two seals were at an age where they would be learning to explore on their own. Gary and the seals began to enjoy closer interactions, culminating in Gary petting the seal as if it were his own dog. It was when Gary went to rub the seal again that something amazing happened.
The Encounter Winds to an End
In nature, most encounters between a human and a wild animal will be brief. For Gary and the seals, the encounter seemed to stretch on and on. Shockingly, the seals didn’t run for the hills soon after initiating their meeting. Still, Gary started to steel himself for the departure of the beautiful creatures.
Only The Seal Isn’t Finished
Only instead of winding down, the seal did something that was impossible to believe. As Gary continued to rub the seal on its head and back, the seal crept closer and closer to the ocean floor. The seal continued to guide Gary’s hand toward the ground. Gary and his diving companion couldn’t understand what was going on. Was the seal just being a little goofy?
A Stunning Revelation
Once the seal reached the ocean floor it abruptly rolled over onto its back. Instead of letting Gary pull his hand away, the seal instead pushed his hand onto his belly. As it turned out, the seal wanted some belly rubs. If you were to dream up this exact situation, we would have told you that it was impossible!
Reveling in the Pats
As the action clicked inside of Gary’s head, he began to rub the seal’s round little belly. Just like a dog or cat, seals like having their belly rubbed or scratched from time to time. Can you imagine jumping into the ocean with your friends only to spend your time scratching the belly of a massive seal? That’s definitely a special experience.
A Few Chin Scratches For Good Measure
If you get the chance to watch the video from Gary’s excursion, you’ll notice how ‘into’ the experience the seal got. In fact, after Gary began to scratch at the seal’s stomach, its eyes began to relax just like you would expect from your dog. It really was true! Seals are the dogs of the ocean.
Gentle Nibbles of Appreciation
After a moment, Gary realized that the seal wanted something else from him. Gary stopped rubbing the seal’s belly and as he did so, the seal pushed its chin into his hand. That’s right, the seal wanted chin scratches as well! What’s more, the seal was so relaxed that it appeared to be smiling.
Gary Waves Goodbye
While Gary was busy petting one of the seals, the second seal had begun to circle around Gary’s feet. The second seal was far more skittish than the first animal, though it warmed up as their interaction lengthened. By the end of the excursion, the second seal was all bout curled up at Gary’s feet.
Gary’s Video Goes Viral!
There are countless shared experiences between man and animal every single day. The vast majority of these experiences are not captured on camera, especially high-definition footage. Thankfully, Gary uploaded the video of his meeting onto the internet and the clip quickly went viral. Grayson was featured on YouTube before getting interviewed on the Manchester Evening News. Gary would reveal during the interview that other seals had passed them by but that these two cubs were incredibly curious.
Chance of a Lifetime
Gary went on to reveal that he had been trained to sit in the kelp in order to be more welcoming to potential seal cubs. Gary said in his interview, “The more still we were, the more inquisitive this seal was because we were in their world.” Gary and his friend also mentioned that it was vital that they stayed calm during the meeting.
Remembering the Encounter
While Gary had plenty of experience as a diver, he had never planned on encountering an animal like that. Gary went on to say, “I’m an experienced diver but I have never known anything like that.” Gary went on to describe how he had been everywhere from Mexico to Cuba, and he had swum with giant mantras and sharks, yet no experience had stuck with him like this one.
Would You Like To Meet a Seal
While it is impossible to guarantee that your experience will be similar to Grayson’s, diving with the seals is entirely possible. The Isles of Scilly offer extensive chaperoned diving experiences that visitors can pursue. Of course, there are plenty of other places to go diving with the seals. Research diving teams local to the ocean near you!
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I cured my dog’s bad breath with a natural product
Micky, my cute and adorable beagle, had horrible dog breath. When she hopped into bed, it would wake me up. I wanted a simple, natural solution.
Apples and Carrots
Beagles eat anything, so I tried the whole food route first. First, I fed Micky apple slices. I cut up two apples and gave her chunks throughout the day. No improvement in breath odor, but she did need a midnight outing to take care of tummy issues. Next, I tried carrots. No breath improvement there either, but her bright orange poo was the talk of the dog park the next day.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has acquired the reputation of a natural wonder. Advocates claim it can fix anything from yeast infections on paws to bladder stones. Plus, I had a bottle left over from a broken New Years Resolution to drink a tablespoon a day. I put a few drops in Micky’s water bowl. She wouldn’t touch it. I dumped the water and tried a smaller dose. No luck. Sneak drinking from the toilet bowl was not helping the situation, so I mixed apple cider vinegar with peanut butter. That worked on getting into the beagle. Now I had a beagle that smelled like an apple-peanut butter sandwich, but she still had putrid breath.
On to the next miracle cure … coconut oil. Like the apple cider vinegar, I had a bottle of organic coconut oil in the pantry. (I’m very good at buying regimental cures, but not so good at staying on the regimen.) Discovery: Micky LOVES coconut oil. I poured two tablespoons over her dry dog food, and she gobbled. But, alas, her breath still stank after a few days.
Greenies Dental Dog Treats
After I ran out of inexpensive whole food options, I decided to look into commercial products for the canine breath problem. I’ve heard a lot about Greenies Dental Dog Treats, so I ordered a bag of the regular size. Greenies look like bones with a toothbrush on one it. The design is supposed to clean teeth and gums. They even control tartar! Greenies was my first success. Micky’s gum buildup disappeared within a week. And her breath was definitely better. Not good, but much better than pass-out stinky.
Bones and Chew Dental Sticks
Near success with Greenies spurred me on to try other “dental” treats. There are a ton of choices with organic, natural, and healthy ingredients. The one that worked for my smelly beagle breather was Bones and Chew All-Natural Dental Sticks. The churro-design scrapes teeth clean from plaque and tartar. They break apart easily (nice for saving a bit of money). Micky’s general approach to food is to swallow fast and let her stomach do the hard work, but she chews on Bones and Chew for a few minutes. It took a few days, but Micky no longer has stinky breath. So life is back to cuddles and kisses.
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