Life as a Sea Lion
Amongst all this activity live the sea lions. They were clustered together, and the California sea lions are easy to spot, as they have a darker color fur. The light brown sea lions are known as Steller's sea lions, and they have a lighter coloration. Initially photographed them, I felt that the Steller's sea lions were more photogenic, but actually the Californian sea lion photos turned out extremely well as well.
The sea lions were very noisy, and they made many barking vocalizations. They had their heads pointed up towards the sky in order to help with cooling, and many of them were taking naps on the rocks, with one rock per sea lion. I tried to look for interactions among the sea lions, in order to make for more interesting photographs, and as you will see from this gallery, I did capture some of these moments.
There was one in which I was particularly drawn to, and there are many poses from this sea lion witch I found quite beautiful. The neutral tones on the sea lion almost mimic human colors, and with the way they were posed on the rocks, it is easy to understand why historic sailors may have mistaken the silhouettes of these marvelous animals to be a mermaid sitting on the rocks.
Sea lions are truly big in size, around 700 or 800 pounds. Although they appear to be small and cute in the photographs, they actually throw their weight around and are much bigger than they appear. The pups that are visualized in these images are not full grown, and I understand that there were several large males that swam off before we initially arrived.
As I shot these photos, I imagine what it would have been like to try and hunt the sea lions with a harpoon, and undoubtedly this would have required great skill. Although I feel it would be a shame to harm these beautiful creatures, their meat would also have provided for many families dependent on the land and sea for nourishment. I also imagine how a killer whale could come up destroy these sea lions for food, and luckily for these animals, this did not happen today.