A steady stream of tourists means the local wildlife gets pretty used to people. Squirrels are usually pretty unfazed by people anyway but in this case they had no fear at all. I enjoyed the interest he seemed to be showing in us so figured a few shots were in order.
There are more sea lions along the coast of 17 Mile Drive than you can shake a stick at. The rocks just offshore are covered in them and the water surrounding the rocks is also pretty full. One thing I hadn’t seen before was just how much the sea lions seemed to enjoy leaping from the water. I have no idea whether they do this for fun or it is practice for something more important – avoiding sharks perhaps? Either way, it was pretty neat.
Unfortunately, they don’t give you a warning about where and when they are going to jump. Consequently, getting a shot was tricky. I got plenty where they were in the frame somewhere but not when I had focus. Consequently, they are a blurry shape off to one side. However, a few times I was pointing in the right direction and managed to catch them while airborne. In the best traditions of fishermen’s tales, the ones I didn’t get were far more dramatic with them further out of the water. You will just have to take my word for it unless you want to go there yourself to see.
It has been a while since I took a trip along 17 Mile Drive. The last time was when we still lived in Chicago and had a vacation in California with some of my family. Since moving to California, we haven’t done this part of the tourist trail around Monterey and Carmel. However, some great friends came to stay with us and that made for a good reason to head down that way.
17 Mile Drive is a lovely area but a bit prone to the weather. While we were there, the sun was out and shining on Monterey itself but a short drive away on this part of the coast and things were a lot more overcast. Such are the vagaries of the weather on the coast. Still, it wasn’t unpleasant and may have kept a few extra tourists away so we had the chance to run along at our own pace and always find somewhere to park when required.
The point for me of visiting the drive is the coastline. Some like to see the amazing houses that can be yours if you have a substantial chunk of change. They do look nice but it is the waves, the rocks and the wildlife that attract me the most. There will be more to come from this place.