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A day at the beach in Dunedin

December 29th, 2006 by Madeleine

We took the kids to the beach this morning since the sun came out and our 5 year old son had a new red bucket and spade he was eager to make sandcastles with.

We found a spot between the flags as close to the water as we could sit, about 8 m, while still being dry. We set up our shade tent, got the kids sorted and sat back and relaxed.We were sorting out lunch and had just sent the youngest to the water to wash the sand off his hands when suddenly the lifeguards began calling people out the water.

We figured that whatever it was our son, ankle deep, would be fine but we watched him intently to be sure. Then the lifeguard went to him and clearly wanted him out of the water, simultaneously we saw a seal come out the water directly in front of us.

Matt ran to get our son as the lifeguard was not getting through to him about moving quickly and did not seem like she was about to pick him up and move him herself. In the mean time the seal came straight at out sand tent. I gathered up the other kids and ran to the sand dunes.

The seal was fascinated with out sand tent and spent the next 45 minutes next to it, in it, travelling around it, biting it, throwing Matt’s sandal around, putting the red sand castle bucket on its nose and biting Matt’s wetsuit. It would wander off and sniff at the flags and at one point tried to bite the surf rescue boat but it kept coming back to our spot. If anyone went near it it would turn, show its teeth and charge – especially whenever a dog came near, but also when a lifeguard drove up on a 4 wheel bike – he had to jump off and get away.

After 45 mins heaps of people began getting as close as they dared with their cameras so it came towards them and as they backed away it followed them up the beach and ultimately over the dunes to the road!We took this opportunity to gather our stuff and take a different path off the beach to the car – though it was by then rather close to our car!

So that’s our adventure for the day! Don’t think we will be going to the beach again any time soon.

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