Pinnipeds are unique branch of the tree of biodiversity, which includes seals, sea lions, and walruses. Their spindle-shaped frame, round heads, and small tails help a pinniped cruise through the sea with grace and style. Underwater they are typically playful and curious, and there are many places in the world where enthusiasts can dive with pinnipeds. Pinnipeds are an exciting species of predator. However, they are not an apex species. Pinnipeds are a favorite meal for Orca whales and Great White sharks. Always dive with a group of professionals and use shark cages in areas of high risk.
Perhaps the most famous spot for inquisitive seal diving is the Farne Islands. These islands are found in Northumberland, United Kingdom. This collection of over 20 islands is a 10 to 15 minute boat ride from the coastal towns of Seahouses and Beadnell. This is England, so remember that the waters will be cold but the grey seals are renown for their curiosity, friendliness, and playfulness.
Southern Australian waters offer divers wishing to dive with pinnipeds the chance to play with the Australian Sea Lion. These natives prefer the southern coasts of Australia and can be found in abundance near Kangaroo Islands. Diving restrictions exist which limit interactions with many seal colonies but local dive charters will be able to guide divers to safe locations. These coastal Australian waters also have a multitude of marine diversity.
The Cape Fur seals of South Africa are wild and aggressively playful. They have been known to interact with divers by tugging dive equipment and to offer exciting displays of underwater acrobatics. They live in large colonies which can number in the hundreds to the tens of thousands. The prime South African locations for diving with Cape Fur seals are Partridge Point, near Cape Town, and Duiker Island, within the Hout Bay. Huge colonies also exist at Seal Island in the False Bay.