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Touring Penguin & Seal Islands

I actually had no idea what to expect. The tickets were bought for us as a gift from my sister Holly who works for the company who run the tours. We were very happy to hop on the glass bottomed boat and drift off into the aqua coloured bay, on a beautiful day. There was a slight breeze running from the south-west, which is a common occurrence in this region of the world. This time of year we have what we call The Fremantle Doctor. By roughly 11am or midday at the latest the breeze comes from the south off the ocean at very high speeds. The Doctor was light when we took off and luckily for us it didn’t really affect us, as the boat we were on was very stable and set up perfectly for when the ocean sweeps up from the windy conditions. Most of the canopy surrounding the boat had openings but you could tell they were well equipped for what nature presents as the versatility for opening and closing different sections of the canopy surrounding the glass bottomed boat was ideal.
Quite soon after we took off we headed for Seal Island which is situated to the right, or North of Penguin Island looking from the mainland . Seal Island as the name suggests is in inhabited by Sea Lions the tour guide or host on the boat mentioned how lucky we were to have an actual seal that had just bared a pup, and was nursing it on one of the secluded beaches separate to the other Sea Lions. It was explained to us that these seals are normally only found in colder climates like the Antarctic and we were very lucky to have this seal and its pup calling our Seal Island home for the time being. The others Sea Lions that we could easily see perhaps 20 or 30 m from the boat were all males lazy relaxing in the sun and we saw four males play fighting and being quite boisterous both in the water and on the shore. The females are pregnant for over 18 months and as soon as two weeks after they give birth they are pregnant again and out looking for food during pregnancy. The males have a good wicket and spend most of their life sleeping and laying about on the warm sand sunning themselves. If I come back I believe a Sea Lion would not be the worst reincarnation . After we spent time loitering around Seal Island we went back out into the bay and witnessed three dolphins hanging around a large,  2+ meter wingspan stingray. The dolphins have it wired, they hang around the large stingrays to get an easy feed. They were actually getting a sleep in at the same time. I had no idea but dolphins actually sleep with one eye open and one eye closed, they get short periods of sleep, (minutes at a time) approximately eight hours toatal during a 24 hour period. They do not fully shut off as they need to control their breathing. So we witnessed the dolphins cruising along slowly, bobbing like a cork at the surface of the ocean and it was explained to us that this was the way they slept. The host or MC on the boat was very informative, we got a schooling for the full 45 minutes.

After sometime hanging around the dolphins  we then headed to Penguin Island. Once on the island it is advised to keep to the boardwalks and just appreciate the nature around you. Penguin Island brags that it has no ground based predators like foxes,which I really enjoyed hearing. My father is a nature lover and during my life has been with many naturalists groups and being an avid photographer of wildlife has mentioned many times how destructive predators can be, especially the introduced kind. We saw fluffy little baby penguins, lizards, a variety of bird species with their young and enjoyed the lovely sunny weather that our region has to offer. I must say I truly felt very relaxed today as we really didn’t have much booked other than seeing the Penguins get fed, it was all about just appreciating the moment. We sat at a sheltered beach on the eastern side of the island away from the howling wind that had really picked up over the hours since we left the mainland. It was lovely to watch Keisha, our little four year old having a ball in the shallows, not having to wear floaties  as the water was dead still, super shallow and a beautiful aqua colour. For anyone living in this region that has not ventured over to Penguin Island or Seal Island, I highly recommend this! Especially if you have children, as I believe this is a great experience to get in touch with nature. I must say it doesn’t feel forced either, my stepdaughter Mikayla, who is 17, took an interest in the wildlife around her & enjoyed the day.
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