Those of you who have been reading the blog for a while may recall that some weeks ago I mentioned a sea kayaking tour which I was very much looking forward to. It got rescheduled due to high winds and we ended up going today instead. So I had a day off from life and rabbits today and spent it on the sea instead. We kayaked towards a seal colony and sat bobbing about in the water for a while watching them sunbathe and swim, before having some lunch and doing a beach clean and kayaking back. About 6 hours on the go – my arms ache somewhat now, but I thoroughly enjoyed it and I’m sure I’ll sleep well tonight.
Now I’ve got your attention, I will use this blog as a shameless plug for a charity for which I volunteer. This plug is entirely my own and is an explanation in my own words – I hope they don’t mind! For the official information, visit their website… The charity is called British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) and it’s a network of trained volunteers who attend marine life in distress (usually) around our coastline (an occasional seal has been known to end up some way inland!) In spite of the name, you don’t need to be a diver, you just need to be a willing volunteer. There are regular one-day training courses in which you learn some basic biology of seals and cetaceans (porpoises, dolphins, whales etc) along with techniques of how to check them over, keep them comfortable, catch a seal pup, refloat a stranded porpoise and refloat a whale using a pontoon. There are life sized inflatables which are used for the training and if you do a ‘wet’ course, they’re filled with water so the weight isn’t that far off either. You might be surprised how much sea life needs assistance round our coasts, although the exact species and reasons will vary depending on where you are around the coastline…and there’s always something that ends up somewhere that it really shouldn’t, so you need to be ready for anything! If you’re reading this blog, you’re probably passionate about animal welfare and about reducing/stopping suffering, and this is a great charity which works hard to do that for our marine life. There are even some volunteers trained in large whale disentanglement which is an incredibly dangerous but worthwhile activity to support our marine life.
The next training course with availability is in Lowestoft on the 25th September, followed by one in Upminster on 16th October. New courses are added fairly regularly so please do check the website (for some reason the blog doesn’t like it if I try and put urls but it’s bdmlr. org. uk if that works, click the training link on the left) If you’re a vet, there are also vet courses which aren’t published on the training page but which you can see on the ‘events’ page or by contacting Head Office for details.
It’s only 8pm but after a day of exercise and sea air, I feel ready for bed. Normal service on rabbit related chat will resume soon 🙂