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The sea was like a sheet of black glass.
I’d never seen the Atlantic quite so calm before. It was eerily silent, not a breath of wind. As I dipped my paddle into the shimmering surface I couldn’t help but feel rising disquiet as I contemplated what the darkness beneath me might conceal.
I pushed the notion aside and paddled on.
Ahead of me the aptly named High Island rose out of the sea, illuminated, for once, by that scarcest of West Cork commodities: glorious morning sunshine. Viewed from the vantage point of a kayak out on the open water it was a truly breathtaking vista.
We’d spent the night camping on Rabbit Island just off the coast near Myross. There were nine of us in total: my wife and I, another couple and five children. We’d ferried all of the gear and people over on two inflatable kayaks the previous afternoon, and had a wonderful evening with a view out over High Island and the Atlantic Ocean that’s simply out of this world.
Early the next morning we heard the seals calling out around High Island and Seal Rock, it was flat calm, so two of us decided to hop in the kayaks to investigate.
The other island turned out to be further away than it looked, but we reached it without incident and headed around to the ocean-facing side through a channel between the rocks. That’s where we encountered the seals.