I Just Took a Walk With a Bull Sea Lion

Today was my first day back to my regular afternoon beach walk since I got back from the holidays on Maui and what a walk it turned out to be!

One of the reasons I live at the beach is because I am drawn to the ocean. I normally walk for an hour every day. Today shortly after I turned and started back and my iPod switched from Slightly Stoopid to Foo Fighters, I saw something out of the corner of my eye.

So I stopped and watched for a few seconds.  The sun was in my eyes but I didn’t think what I had seen was one of the seagulls floating on the water so I scanned for another minute and then I saw him.

I’ve lived on the ocean for so many years in places with lots of activity, like Cabo San Lucas where there’s always something to see in the water. So I’ve trained my eyes to always be scanning.

This bull sea lion was so close into shore that I couldn’t believe nobody else saw him. Three different times surfers were within feet of him and didn’t see him.

Two surfers were heading out and he was thrashing around feeding a few feet away and they were oblivious.

The sea lion stopped to eat twice as we strolled up the beach together. I couldn’t believe how close in he stayed and how he swam slow enough that I could walk along with him.

Then he started playing in the waves and I saw how long he was as the sun lit up the wave from behind. I thought he was huge from the size of his head and he was. It was so cool to see him all stretched out inside the wave. Then a few minutes later he did what looked like a somersault in another wave and I was so excited to watch him play, I heard myself talking out loud over my iPod saying, “Wow, that’s so cool!”

I was grinning ear to ear as I turned around to see if anyone else was seeing what I was seeing, but there was nobody there but me.

I spent almost an hour walking with him, going 5 minutes past the stairs to my house and then all of a sudden he turned around and we started to walk back. As we got back by my stairs a dog started pulling his owner into the surf, he smelled him. And as the dog went back and forth in the surf trying to get further into the water, the sea lion dove and he didn’t come back up.

I waited a few minutes after the dog left to see if he was going to re-join me, but no. When I got to the top of the stairs and had a perspective high above the waves, I didn’t see anything but surfers out there. He was gone. But we had walked together for almost an hour and it reminded me yet again of why I live at the beach.

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