August 11, 2016 6:56 pm
Updated: August 11, 2016 6:57 pm

Seal hops aboard Lethbridge woman’s kayak while paddling in North Vancouver

WATCH ABOVE: A peaceful day out on the water in North Vancouver for a Lethbridge woman, turned out to be quite an adventure. All was calm until something showed up and rocked the boat. Quinn Campbell explains.


A paddle along the shores of North Vancouver ended with a once-in-a-lifetime wildlife encounter for a southern Alberta woman.

“He jumped up on all four of our kayaks. He just kept going from one kayak to the other,” Karen Mikado said.

Of course, when an adorable harbour seal popped up on her kayak, she couldn’t resist the photo op.

“I thought OK, I’m going to take a selfie. I call it a sealfie.”

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She was kayaking in Deep Cove in North Vancouver with her daughter and some friends when the persistent visitor tagged along, catching the group off guard.

“I was a little freaked out at first, I didn’t know what he wanted when he jumped right on the front of my kayak,” she added. “He wasn’t that big so when he got on it, it kind of rocked your boat a little bit but not too bad, but he was adorable, and my friend named him Chester.”

The Vancouver Aquarium deals with seals on a regular basis and releases them back into the wild. They don’t think Chester is one of theirs, but suspect he’s just a young pup.

“It did look less than a year old for sure, could have been even born early in the season,” said Lindsaye Akhurt with the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre at the Vancouver Aquarium.

Deep Cove Kayak Centre was giving Mikado and her friends the tour and said it’s rare for visitors to return with that kind of video evidence.

“There’s a pretty high likelihood you’re going to see a seal every time you go out there but yeah, definitely to have it jump on your kayak is pretty unique and rare,” said Mike Darbyshire with Deep Cove Kayak Centre.

Darbyshire also thinks Chester really likes the attention.

“Over the last three weeks, we have had a couple reports, if not jumping on the boats, following our groups and even playing with the front or the back of the kayak.”

Mikado won’t be forgetting her West Coast visit anytime soon.

“It was adorable, so adorable and a really fun experience.”

© 2016 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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