Daring not to breath. Unaware of the ache I felt in my muscles only minutes before. Clad in waterproofs, hood up, snood over my face, rocks to my back, eyes wide as a trail of bubbles approached my location.
The otter appeared from under the kelp in front of me. Like Jerry appearing from under a rug on the run from Tom. He looked straight at me. In that moment he seemed to accept my presence, allowing me to share this space before disappearing under the carpet of kelp once again.
The otter was back within 2 minutes, only 6 meters away this time with a helpless shore crab in his jaws. The immaculate teeth crunched down on the crustacean, each bite audible at such close proximity.
2 hours prior it was my aim to become a rock, a static piece of the Mull coastline. I first spotted the otter 200 metres away. Through my binoculars I watched as it hauled itself onto an island and out of site. After 20 minutes I crept down to the shoreline, scanning the island from different vantage points. I could hardly believe when I saw the otter...it was asleep. I found a boulder to perch on and channeled my inner rock.
A pied wagtail showed up. A bird I see in cities, at home, along rivers, pretty much everywhere, and it was here too. Whether it knew of the otters presence I am not sure. But after a few seconds surveying the area it decided to fly on, waking up the otter in the process.
After looking around for the source of noise the otter decided nap time was over, climbed a little higher and started to groom.
With pre-dive checks complete the otter slid off the island into the water on the hunt for crabs. and towards me for an encounter I will never forget.