Shawn couldn’t believe his eyes, he was completely bewildered by their behavior. He had been diving for years, he had over two hundred dives under his belt, but in all that time, he had never seen anything like this before. More and more seals were gathering around him.
In just a few seconds, he was surrounded by them. The pup that had caused everything in the first place was now lost in the chaos. Shawn went cold as his heart began to race. Things were getting dangerous.
Shawn Dunmore was anything but an ordinary kid. When he was a teenager, his head always seemed to be in the clouds, it was like he didn’t have a single worry in the world. His friends dreamed of becoming lawyers and medical professionals but Shawn’s destiny was far from theirs.
He loved nature. The sights, sounds, and smells of nature had always resonated with him. He wouldn’t make it in a regular office job. Once he finished high school, a chance encounter set him on the path he was destined to be on.
Shawn lived with his family in Windham, New Hampshire. It was an idyllic and upmarket town. His mom worked as a successful dentist and his dad was an architect. He and his family lived the perfect life.
His parents loved him and his younger siblings with all their hearts. They did everything they could to give their children the perfect lives. But on the weekend of Shawn’s eighteenth birthday, his life changed forever.
Isles Of Shoals
They decided to go to the Isles of Shoals which is a group of islands right by the coasts of Maine and New Hampshire. These islands drew people in with their lighthouses and seal diving activities.
Shawn felt at peace on the boat ride toward the islands. He loved the smells of the fresh, salty air. But the moment he dived for the very first time in his life, he knew that diving was his calling.
They Were Not Happy
Shawn’s parents wanted all three of their children to get a college education. So when Shawn told them that he wanted to become a diver, they assumed he meant it as a summer job.
When they discovered that becoming a diver was his intended career, they were not happy. But despite that, Shawn was determined to live his dream, so he came up with the perfect plan.
Shawn was a resourceful kid, he knew exactly how to make things happen for himself. He did his research for days on end until he created the perfect business plan.
He wanted this more than anything else and he was determined to show his parents that becoming a scuba diver was a viable career choice. He was happy with his initiative as he anxiously waited for his parents’ verdict.
The Time Had Come
Shawn was relieved to hear that his parents were impressed with his plan and supported his decision. Dave and Lily Dunmore backed their son all the way, and they showed this by paying for professional diving classes, buying expensive equipment, and giving him the start-up money.
Years passed before Shawn finally qualified as a professional instructor and now it was time for him to branch out. He was so excited to go his own way.
From Passion To Career
Shawn was proud that he was able to pay his parents back in record time. He wanted to show them how much it meant to him that they had so much faith in him. Shawn worked hard to start his own diving adventure business and he quickly became very successful at it.
He had managed to do what most people dream of doing. He turned his passion into his career. But he had no idea how far it would truly take him.
Established Diving Instructor
A few years had passed and Shawn was now an established diving instructor. On the side, he would also run diving adventure tours. His favorite place to go diving was where it all started, the Isles of Shoals.
By the main island, you could dive with sea lions and seals. As someone that loved the ocean, Shawn thought he knew everything about these amazing creatures, but on this day, he discovered something new.
Out Of The Ordinary
While he was on a routine diving tour at the Isles, Shawn and his wards discovered a large group of seals. The seals usually stayed away from divers, but one seal pup was behaving rather strangely.
It didn’t seem to be afraid of Shawn. It swam right up to him and nudged him with its nose. Shawn had no idea what it wanted, but he knew that something wasn’t normal.
The Situation Got Hairy
Shawn’s advice was always to stay still when confronted by sea creatures. No sudden movements were the key. As the seal pup became more agitated as it nuzzled at Shawn’s hands, he felt nervous.
The rest of the harem were all nearby, including the larger adults. Shawn was afraid they might think he was a threat to the pup if she didn’t stop soon.
He Was Surrounded
Before long, Shawn found himself surrounded by most of the harem. He was really nervous now and hoped his inexperienced clients wouldn’t try to intervene. The way the pup kept nibbling his hand and turning over made him think of a dog.
On instinct, when it turned again, he began rubbing its belly. To his surprise and relief, this was what the pup had wanted all along.
A Rogue Group
Shawn had never encountered this particular harem of seals. The Atlantic Greys were more docile and friendly than wild seals usually were. These were definitely a unique group.
After rubbing the pup’s belly, to Shawn’s astonishment, more pups and even some adults began swimming up to him and nudging him too. There was only one thing to do.
Motioning for his clients to follow suit, soon Shawn and his tour group were all mingling with the seals. This behavior was unusual but made for the most enjoyable dive Shawn had ever experienced.
His clients had the time of their lives, and soon everyone was interacting like one big family. The seals behaved remarkably like puppy dogs, and there was no option but to provide belly rubs all around.
The Highlight Of His Career
Shawn later learned that some seals on the Isles were becoming more tolerant of humans. The increased tours had adjusted the seals well, and they no longer saw their human friends as threats.
When Shawn began his diving career, he knew he would do well but never expected to become a viral sensation. However, after releasing his GoPro footage of the seals, this was precisely what happened.