Seal of Approval

Yesterday I was standing on a beach on Maury Island, looking across Quartermaster Harbor to the Burton Peninsula on Vashon Island.  There was a break in the hard drizzle, and the sun was still high in the sky and on the water.  I saw an eagle, a seagull, and some kind of diving bird, which rose above the water, and then punched the beak first to snatch a smelt or a herring out of its path.

My friend J had asked for a singing lesson; earlier that day, he had asked me what a melody was. Anyway, we’re standing on the beach; actually it was probably a rocky tide flat, as barnacles clung to every rock.  I ask him to sing Happy Birthday to me, we play “match pitch” and “knock over that object with your voice;” you know, the usual first voice lesson. At one point we were both singing “I Will Survive.”

Anyway, the best part was that a face popped out of the water to watch us. It was a small, dark face that was the same color as the dark ripples in the water.  “Is that a seal?” I ask, and my friend said, “Yep, that’s awesome.”  And we continued our lesson.

Later, back at the house, we were talking with a L, who has lived on that property for years. Yes, he said, that seal pop’s his head out of the water when I go out there to sing. He told of a nephew, who was also down at the water singing, and had also been startled by a face in the water.

Seal Portrait Session

Apparently this seal investigates human singing. Seems reasonable. If I lived on that island I’d be singing to that seal all the time. I would call him Seal, and sing Kiss from a Rose to him.  I have always wanted to be on a first name basis with any marine mammal, outside of nutrias.

I’d like to imagine that the seal enjoyed our singing lesson, or that it approved.  It didn’t complain, at least.

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