A few weeks ago I was walking the harbour front. There is a new boardwalk from last year which juts the furthest into the water. A couple of piers go farther, but this boardwalk puts you out there. Near one end, just as I was going to turn back to shore, I saw a seal. The seal was perhaps a third of the way across the harbour, well into the deep water. He had found the mother lode.
He was obviously in the center of a school of fish. He would dive, come up almost immediately with a fish in his mouth, and almost as quickly swallow it down. No chewing here to impede his progress. Then he would dive again, and repeat his fine dining. I really don't know how many fish feed a seal, but he was going to get his fill. He even slapped his fins - I assume in sheer joy. And then he dove for another fish.
I assumed this would class as the happiest seal in Christendom, but now I'm not too sure. A couple of days ago I drove down the coast, to a secluded shore past the mouth of the harbour. Secluded is excessive, as there were grand and tony houses along the water. Those ones costing millions. But, there was also a tiny park wedged between them. I'd guess it might be ten acres or so. All with a wonderful rocky shore. The tide was coming in, and there was a stiff breeze. I stayed for hours, watching the waves crash at my feet (when I so chose) and then from the cliffs. Even a container vessel (a central point in my thriller) sailed past, headed for the ocean proper.
As I was on the cliffs, watching the breakers roaring in, I spotted a black form in the froth. It was a seal, and he was surfing. He stayed in the water well away from the rocks, and hurtled along with the movement of the waves. It looked as if he was on a roller-coaster. And I wondered if he might be the happiest seal in Christendom.
It was only the next day that I wondered if it could have been the same seal.