My Favorite Things: Sea Lions

Last summer, I had a revelation.

It happened on a whale watching trip. On the way out to the whales, we stopped at a cluster of rocks that sea lions seem to love. I had only seen sea lions up close at the Vancouver Aquarium, and for some reason they never seemed that great. I think it was the smell of their tank. Memorable, that smell is.

Well, this time their smell seemed to blend in with the everyday ocean smell that I’m used to in Tofino, so it didn’t seem that bad at all. As we pulled up, they all looked at us, some kind of curious, most just totally not caring.

It was that moment that I fell in love.

If I am reincarnated, please let me be a sea lion. They are the coolest animals on this planet.

First of all, they are fat. Fat, chunky, blubbery, and covered in rolls.

They are lazy. They sleep in the sun on hot rocks. All day!

They are loud. And when they bark, it kind of sounds like my singing (at least that’s what Colin says).

They surf. A few times Colin and I have been out at Long Beach in the evening, sea lions have popped their pretty heads out of the water – one time as close as 6 feet away – to check us out. There are a few pictures around town where you can see them riding the waves, it looks a lot like how we body surf.

You do have to be a little careful around them because they are really curious and very playful. They like to pop up and say hello, but they also like to play. And for them, when they play, they nip each other. Me? I don’t see that as playing, but to each his own. Some of the local surfers (the real hardcores who have been around since the 60’s and 70’s) have a collection of bite marks from sea lions who got a little too friendly.

Not to say you should be afraid of them. As far as most animals go, they mind their own business and rarely do they get too agitated. Like me, they find it difficult to work up the energy for more than just a solid bite when you want to put someone in their place.

Some of you night say, “but what about the sea otters?”. They are cute, yes. Adorable, even. But sea otters are the epitome of EVIL.

I will not go into the things sea otters do to each other, but they include face biting, baby stealing and drowning. And that’s just the normal stuff! Someday I will have Colin come on here and write a post about the various evils of sea otters. As a kayak guide, Colin learned to fear and harbor a strong dislike for the little sea rats.

Lesson to be learned: love those who are fat, loud and happy, and fear anything deceptively cute. It is probably the devil incarnate. 

Next Week: Why baby black bears make me want to have children!

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2 Comments on “My Favorite Things: Sea Lions”

  1. Kelsey Vicars says:

    face biting, baby stealing, and drowning?!
    oh lord!!!

  2. […] California Sea Lions! I have said it before and I’ll say it again. I love sea lions. Sea lions are the best animals. They surf and they […]


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