Welcome to our Maatsuyker Island adventure. Thanks for following the journey.

New Neighbors

New Neighbors

Monday September 18, 2017

It seems the wind is at a near constant howl outside our bedroom window. We take advantage of a rare dip by venturing to the side of the house and sprawling out in the grass, facing westward over The Needles. 

We play here like children. The island stirs the soul back to a time of childish innocence. A time ripe for imaginary dogs and make believe. A chapter in life that for many of us was cut short or never fully lived out.

Nevertheless, the island provides space for wildness and the release of burdensome inhibitions. We run free here - save the regular duties of being a caretaker.

One week on, my body has still yet to adjust to the morning alarm set to 5:30am daily. It is getting easier to rise in the cold, damp, windy dawn, but I have yet to perfect the art of it. I did, however, think to pop the kettle on just prior to our weather observation so we could have the coffee going on the quick upon our return. That worked well. 

After a week, we’re beginning to understand it really is “the little things” you can do to make yourself feel a bit spoiled: make that second pot of coffee, have a piece of fruit or chocolate, turn the electric blanket on before your crawl into bed to avoid that extra cold dampness. These minor additions you find yourself making time for begin to feel like luxuries. Just washing my hair feels like the equivalent of a spa day!

Yesterday was the first full day we’ve had without rain since civilization flew away, and we were left alone on the island. We rewarded ourselves by adventuring north, making our way down a steep track that leads to what could appropriately be named, “Seal Cove”. Seal Cove, the seal haven!

We quietly crept down the steep terrain, taking care not to wear bright colors and mindful that our steps did not disturb our new neighbors. 

We came to a safe distance and hunkered down against the rocky slopes, just as an inquisitive seal or two began to take notice of us.

What an incredible treat! The island does it again, our very own seal observatory!

I could have stayed there for hours and hours. We were sunk down low against the rocks, protected from the fierceness of the wind. It was cloudy, but you could still make out the nearby islands in the distance. And just as casual as could be laid these fat seals along the haulage way: each one perched up napping in its own little section. It was difficult to tell if their snoozing spots were carefully chosen, or if it was simply a matter of how far they were willing to hurl their gigantic blubber bodies out of the water that day. 

Man, they were everywhere! The longer we sat and watched in silence, the more large brown mounds we saw shift and move - each one coming to life briefly, just long enough for us to determine what we were looking at wasn’t just a bunch of giant turds strewn about the rocks! 

They do blend in well. So well that it took us about an hour to spot last year’s pups; the baby turds scattered in small groups among the big ones!

With our eyes alone, we couldn’t really see them, but with a distance lens, we could at least zoom in far enough to make out what they were doing, mostly just sleeping! 

It was an epic moment, sitting there watching those seals; knowing that we could walk down and catch a glimpse of them just about any time (outside of peak breeding/pupping time). And also knowing how privileged we were that we would be the only ones who could just sit there and enjoy it, marvel at it, at them. Nature. Life.

That moment will live joyously in my mind forever. Picturesque scenery, complete isolation, and deep, guttural, seal noises. :)


seal 1
baby seals
How to prepare for 6 months on Maatsuyker Island

How to prepare for 6 months on Maatsuyker Island

First thoughts...

First thoughts...