Monday, May 7, 2012

Sea Lions


Just outside of San Simeon California, across the street from the Hearst Castle, there is a beach where elephant seals gather.  Over the course of a year, these seals travel thousands of miles, but they always return to this one spot for birthing, breeding, molting and rest.  We stopped by there last week to see the seals and take these pictures.  The big bull seals (14-16 ft long - the size of a Volkswagen bug) were not there, but there were plenty of moms (only 9-12ft long) and babies (<5 years old).  They were busy doing what people do on the beach in California - soaking up the sun's warm rays.  Truth be told, I really think they look like giant slugs lying there on the beach and they sound like they're burping all the time.  It's not really so pleasant.  But, when you watch them in the water, it is entirely different.  They are graceful and beautiful.  Its no wonder they spend most of their lives at sea.  Although they are air breathing mammals, they dive down to 5000ft and can hold their breath for over an hour.
The web cam
The seals on this beach have their own website, http://www.elephantseal.org.  There is plenty of information there about these amazing animals, including a live web camera that lets you watch them right now.




Throwing warm sand on my back feels good.
Boys will be boys

Molting

Motling