An unusual way to describe rhetoric, but apt given that the islands Nicolson is writing about could be home to seals. You can imagine the elephant seal pontificating in front of a board of Commissioners.
‘His rhetoric inflating and wobbling like the proboscis of an elephant seal in front of the Commissioners.’
See also the quote rich mosaic review of this magnificent, entrancing book: a love letter to islands and a paean to the sea.
Source: Adam Nicolson, Sea Room: An Island Life (London: Harper Collins, 2013 (2002)), p. 11
Photo credit: Skeeze at pixabay.com