Swimming Skins with a Seal at Seahurst Park
DATE OF SWIM: 1/21/21
I was accompanied by a curious seal for 1100 yards (26 minutes) during this cold and grey skin swim, the longest I've ever swam with a seal!
Seahurst Park Beach - I swam north from the bathrooms towards the Marine Tech Lab (blue roof)
1100 yards, 26 minutes skins
46 degrees F
Buoy, Garmin Swim 2 and swim friend
Swimming Skins with a Seal
I've wanted to swim Seahurst Park in Burien, close to my house in West Seattle, for over a year now. I finally made the time to get over there, first I checked out the trails the day before and scouted the beach to see what the route would look like. The next day, I went back with a new swim buddy that swims there regularly. We swam from the bathrooms towards the Marine Tech Lab, it's easy to spot from the shore as it has a striking cobalt blue roof.
This swim was incredible, for multiple reasons. Seahurst Beach is a perfect swimming beach, it's shallow and you're able to stay close to shore the entire length of the swim. However, the most incredible part is that a seal swam with me the entire 1100 yards, 26 minutes that I swam. I've never had a seal swim with me for this length of time, normally they appear for a brief magical moment and then swim close to you but not normally underneath you for extended periods of time. This seal swam right alongside me for my whole swim. It was a little scary swimming alone and seeing the seal, my first instinct was to swim closer to shore or get out. However, as I kept swimming and calmed myself down, I realized he was only curious. It's definitely still sometimes nerve-wracking swimming with a wild animal! I prefer to be with a friend when I see a seal, but this was so special partly because I was mostly alone. I am so grateful to get to experience these types of adventures in the PNW. I'll be back, seal friend!
Also, I plan to check out the Environmental Science Center at Seahurst Park - how cool! They offer all types of science-based learning opportunities for kids and adults to get to know the Puget Sound. Some of the events they offer are "tide pooling for tots" and bird walks. They also have various school programs, beach clean-up events and volunteer opportunities. They even have low tide moonlight beach walks at Seahurst Park soon! I loved the last one that I went to at Constellation Beach at Alki - I might have to check the next one out on February 6th! I can't wait to make Seahurst Park one of my regular swim spots.
Image from https://envsciencecenter.org/