A KAYAKER in rough seas off the west coast of Scotland was amazed to find himself accompanied – by deer.
Nick Ray, 51, spotted the heads of five red deer bobbing in the waves in the Sound of Arisaig last week.
Despite the choppy waters, the fearless creatures swam at least 200m to the mainland from a tiny island called Eilean a’ Ghaill.
Nick, 51, wrote on his Facebook page: “I was fortunate to come across these ladies out for their morning swim today.
“Incredibly powerful swimmers through the rough sea.”
He later added: ““There were grazing on a small island. I didn’t realise that that was what they were going to do.
“It was about 200 metres to the mainland, it was quite rough. I was concerned about them but they just climbed out.”
Nick, who is doing a charity kayaking challenge for the RNLI, said the deer swam as close as 10 metres to him.
He said: “I stopped paddling. I didn’t want to shock them.”
Pals were also amazed. One wrote on Facebook: “Who knew deer liked a morning dip in the sea? What an opportunity to see it with your own eyes.”
Another explained: “Deer and Moose are excellent swimmers and cross from island to island in Scandanavia often making crossings of several miles.
“The hairs of their pelt are hollow and this not only helps to insulate them in winter but helps them float. Their large hooves can propel them through the water quickly.”