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Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy New Year — Saving a Seal

Life on a small island can often be very interesting.  For example: Who expects that stepping outside their front door, they would find a seal sitting on their doorstep?  Well here on Papa Stronsay, that's exactly what happened.  Leaving my cell in the middle of the morning, I was confronted with a fairly large adolescent seal on the pathway which forms the small street between our monastic cells, called the Via Paparum!

The question was how to move it?  Seals can be quite aggressive when cornered and have the nickname "sea dogs".  This one was not interested in going back to its home, and we certainly couldn't have it staying too long in the Monastery!

With some of the brethren, a plan was formulated.

We put a blanket over the seal — which as you can see, it was not keen on — to stop it from being able to bite us.  It had a mouth full of very small, very sharp teeth.

Then, we took an old canvas mail sack which was cut down one side, and placed it over the seal, with its snout into the undamaged corner of the sack.

With some difficulty, the seal was put onto a sheep hurdle and transported back to the sea.

It was a great adventure!  For a light-hearted look at our experience, do watch the video below:

We wish you all a happy New Year!


umblepie said...

Great post and video. It could be my imagination but the narrator has a certain 'David Attenborough' touch about him. Don't tell me - his lips are 'sealed'! A very blessed and happy New Year to all the community.

Anonymous said...

Perfect New Year's day entertainment...with a happy ending as well! God Bless!

Zephyrinus said...

I take it that there was a lot of rain the night before ?

In which case, you have the "Seal of A Pluvial"

Sorry. Couldn't resist it.

A Very Happy Year to all in The Community.

Anonymous said...

When you said the order was get getting it's own holy seal, I thought you meant something else!

MrsV said...

Our Heroes! Once again, the Monks prove themselves up to any rescue, be it souls or seals!

Bonnie Rodgers said...

You're quite brave! Thanks for sharing this experience and the great photos

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