Seals of ap­proval

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - DESTINATION AFLOAT - CATHER­INE MAR­SHALL

I am in Antarc­tica and it’s the per­fect day for a swim. The sun is blaz­ing down from a cloud­less blue sky. The ocean is so still it seems to have been com­posed not of wa­ter but of some silken, static sub­stance — glass, per­haps, or mer­cury. It’s so pris­tine that in the shal­lows I can see all the way down to the peb­bled seabed.

Oth­ers have al­ready taken the plunge, in­clud­ing pen­guins mov­ing like por­poises through the bay, their com­pact lit­tle bod­ies tor­pe­do­ing all the way to the shore. They wade land­wards, re­gard the scenery and, un­able to re­sist that sparkling sea, dive straight back in.

The seals are out there, too, sun­bak­ing on the beaches, slid­ing lan­guorously into the ocean, pok­ing their heads

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