For the last two years I have been to Ano Nuevo for the sunrise photo tour amongst the elephant seals. This year I decided I didn’t need to get there before the sun came up. However, Nancy was interested in seeing them and she wanted to try getting some shots with her new Nikon P900. Therefore, we decided to take one of the other tours that occurs during the mating season, albeit during more sociable hours. We still went for the morning event and it turned out to be a good plan.
Unlike the sunrise tour, the groups are much larger and you are not driven out. Consequently, you have to carry everything you want with you. It makes picking your gear a slightly more careful decision process. The sun was out and it was a very pleasant morning. There were a few locations that the docents took us to and, while the males had picked some good locations right on the paths, we were still able to get to see a lot of the seals.
The weather had been wet which meant there was a lot of water inland and this appeals to the males who come to find a puddle to rest in and, occasionally, practice fighting. This is clearly not serious combat as the whole thing is a bit halfhearted. When you see the real fights, you are left in no doubt they mean it. We did get to see a lot of the colony and enjoy the nice weather. All in all, a pretty good second option.