Interaction with animals underwater is one of the things that really makes scuba diving such an amazing experience. This interaction is not the standard interaction that you would normally think about. Scuba diving is not about touching or disturbing animals but observing them in their natural environment. The interaction you receive is when that sharks watches you as he swims past, when a cleaner wrasse swims right up to you to say hello or when a seahorse shies away from you.
There is however one underwater interaction just at the doorstep of Sydney that really is probably the most insane and magnificent experience you can have with sealife. Many divers from all levels head out and do this dive and come back saying it was the best dive of their lives. SEALS. Diving with seals in either Wollongong or Narooma just south of Sydney is a truly awe inspiring adventure. From the moment the dive boat pulls up to the last glance you have as you exit the water the memories of a seal dive stay with you for life.
A few key tips for getting the best experience whilst diving with seals are as follows.
Be a Clown, move as much as you can underwater by making as silly a movement as you possibly can.
Make some noise, when the dive boat pulls up don’t be afraid to shout and scream with positive and eager excitement at the seals. The more interesting you appear to them the more they will play with my you.
Keep eye contact, when a seal swims up to you try and keep eye contact for as long as you can. Seals love to play games and causing you to break eye contact by swimming around you in circles is one of their favourite games.
Twirl, if you Twirl they will Twirl. One of my own personal favourite memories is twirling I unison with a seal as we slowly approached and passed each other whilst we copied each other twists and twirls.
Just be fun, seals love to play and if you can invent a game with them they will love you all the more.
To dive with the seals only requires an open water dive licence. You will however benefit greatly from having done your Advanced and Peak Performance Buoyancy course as the better your air consumption and buoyancy control are the more fun you will have. Diving with the seals isn’t like following a reef wall or a ship wreck. You instead hover in free water as these playful mammals dart down from the surface for a few minutes of fun before they need to grab another breath. Hovering in the blue as they circle you is a truly unforgettable experience and one that you won’t want to end. Admiring their cheeky faces and wide eyes is only part of the awe you will receive, the amazing contortion abilities put you to shame as they manage twists and turns you can only dream about.
So for a once in a lifetime experience jump in the water with these fascinating marine mammals and join their underwater world.