I’ve been busy. Back when I lived in Mayo I used to spend most of my days on the beaches of Belmullet. As I walked the beaches I’d often find myself joined on my journey by a second set of eyes watching me from the water. The Grey Seals, with curiosity and as if seeking some company would follow me up and down the beaches. I used to love these chance encounters and whether a common occurrence or not, I never under appreciated the privilege. For 4 years I walked these beaches and I would always throw my eyes towards what I knew was their home, a pair of small Islands off the coast called the Inishkea Islands.
Inishkea North and Inishkea South became uninhabited shortly after a freak storm took the lives of 10 young fisherman in the 1920’s. Since then the seals have chosen to call this their home. The ruins of the fisherman’s homes can still be found on the islands and serve as a rather stark reminder of the power of the ocean.
Unlike the more common Harbour Seal, Grey Seals prefer an isolated existence so these Islands nestled in the heart of the Atlantic ocean have proven to be a prime breeding ground. Approximately 300 grey seal pups are born on the Islands beaches every year. Of which the majority reside on the southern Island. During August/September the Seals come onto land to molt and mate and over the last few years I have been planning on making the southern Island my home too during this period of time. After years of planning the year has finally arrived. This August I will make my way to the Island so that I can film a documentary based on the seals and photograph as I go along.
So thats one of my many plans for this year, and I will be keeping you all informed of my progress along the way. I will be using this as my entry into my masters course (fingers crossed)