Sealions are not small creatures when you get close to them. However, the ones you more normally come across have a larger relative. The Stellar Sealion is a big beast of a creature. The females are large and the males are huge. When we used to visit Ano Nuevo, you could see the Stellars out on the island. What looked like large rocks were actually the males. These things are big.
A colony of them was hanging out on some rocks we came across during our trip to go whale watching. They were basking on the rocks or swimming in the waters nearby. The boat was able to get quite close to the rocks so we could see the sealions out enjoying the sun. Seals and sealions seem to be very happy when they are dozing on the rocks in the sun. We weren’t close enough to disturb them but we were close enough to get a good look.
Relaxing with our lunch near the harbor entrance at Moss Landing, the noisiest thing we could hear (apart from the foghorn on the entrance markers) was the sound of sea lions. There was a steady stream of their barking so we were looking around to see where they were. There was a pontoon jetty near the highway that was the source of the noise with a lot of them lying on it and sunbathing. We figured this had to be worth a visit before we left.
A while later we drove around to the location of the jetty and took a look at the gathering. This was not just a few sea lions. There were tons of them. There was nowhere near enough space for them all so they were piled up on top of each other. It was quite a sight. Several deep they were stacked across the dock. As new ones would leap out of the water, they would land on those already there and try to make their way to their preferred spot. All of this would arouse the ire of whoever they were walking on so barks and bites would be thrown around with abandon. It seemed quite a perilous voyage. Getting out at all wasn’t easy since there was no space to gain any purchase initially so, if the first leap wasn’t good enough, the chances were you would be “helped” back into the water.
It was hard to work out where the preferable location was. It appeared that the water’s edge was better since the sea lions there would periodically drop their heads into the water to cool off and blow some bubbles. We guessed that made this the best place to be but it was hard to tell. Some of the others on the edge were almost totally buried by their neighbors and that didn’t look to appealing. Whichever way it works, it was obviously the place to be if you were a local sea lion.