We were lucky enough to spend Christmas and New Year at Ocean’s Edge. We arrived on 22nd December, allowing us plenty of time to prepare for the big day.  We had family joining us for New Year, some of whom had never visited Achill before. They were all flying in to Knock on 28th December. Christmas Day was fantastic. A walk on the beach after breakfast. Peace and tranquillity and lots of lovely food and drink.

On 27th December we were walking on the pebble beach, when we heard a strange noise. A puppy on the beach? Where? Following the sounds, we saw this little lad, perfectly camouflaged against the pebbles:


The tide was out. What was he doing there? Was he stranded? Abandoned? What should we do?

A phone call to the ISPCA gave us the number of the local representative of the seal sanctuary. The nearest sanctuary is in Waterford so we all hope the little fella doesn’t need to go there (no offence Waterford People, it’s just a long way to go for a youngster).  We are advised that if the seal is losing his white downy coat it he has been weaned and his mum will have left him on the beach to fend for himself (while keeping watch out of sight). Could we email a photo of Cecil (as we had called him)? Sent the photo. Response – he looks a bit underweight. If he is still on the beach in the morning a rescue might be required. Can we keep an eye on him and email update in the morning?  In the morning we are meeting the family at Knock.  We divvy up the duties and if Cecil is still there in the morning one of us will stay to look out for him and liaise with the rescuers.

We are all up before first light. Will Cecil still be there? The first time we go out to see it is still too dark to be sure. And the second time. At last we can see for sure and Cecil has gone. A good sign. Let’s hope he is thriving.

We can all go off to greet our family at Knock and welcome them to Ireland as Storm Frank arrives, welcome or not.