An Eccentric Anomaly: Ed Davies's Blog

Seals are quite common around here but they normally keep themselves to themselves. There are a lot to be seen from the ferry to Orkney and in places like that and occasionally the odd one is seen a lot closer but it was still a surprise to see a bunch of them on a little island in the Thurso river quite close to passers by.

The closest I've been to one is when a cub poked its head out of the water on the little beach by the harbour in Lybster but that was quite a few years ago, when I was still in the initial stages of the plot purchase.

Yesterday I had a very frustrating trip to Thurso to try to view a car for sale. Unfortunately, the garage was closed due to a public holiday. What public holiday? A local one apparently. Umm, how was I supposed to guess that?

Anyway, while wandering up and down the riverside (StreetView - pan round for context) I saw seals on the little island. Given that there were a quite a few people walking up and down (and taking photos) and maybe about one car a minute driving by it was surprising to see them so relaxed. They'd obviously realised that we're not ambitious and amphibious enough to bother them there.

A couple were playing and/or hunting in the river. I tried to video them but the camera thought it didn't have enough space on the SD card. What happened was that I put a 128GB card in the camera a few weeks ago (to replace the smaller card which was in there before, which I used to replace the even smaller card in my Raspberry Pi). That 128GB card had been previously formatted for a Linux system with a 256MB boot partition and the rest as a big rootfs partition (both ext4). Obviously, I told the camera to format the card for its own use but, somewhat to my surprise, it seems to have accepted the existing partition table and just formatted the first 256MB partition as VFAT for its own use, completely ignoring 99.8% of the available space. Oops, I didn't even think to check for that and had only taken a few photos on a few days since so hadn't noticed.

Video would have been much better but here are a few stills just to show that the creatures do actually move. Actually, they move quite quickly in the water.