Fall is the right time of year to enjoy the company of playful young sea lions. By August or September, these young pinnipeds have grown past infancy and are entering the playful “puppy” stage of their lives. I have enjoyed several dives lately where the curious little guys came to pay me a visit.
At first he is shy, keeping his distance and just watching the divers. A group of sea lions see us from the surface and watch us jump into the water, then they stick their heads under the surface to see what we are doing under there.
Pretty soon, curiosity gets the better of this little guy and he comes in for a closer look.
After a while, the sea lion starts to think of you as one of it’s playmates. It starts swimming in front of you and holds various poses, all the while keeping eye contact with you.
Sometimes they start blowing bubbles as they swim past. It seems they are mimicking the scuba divers.
This sea lion began to get a little rambunctious in his play, displaying his teeth, much like young dogs when they wrestle with their siblings.
If this sea lion had been a large male, I would have felt threatened, but since he was just a few months old, it was hard to take him seriously.
Eventually, it is time for us to surface and say goodbye. The sea lions watch us until we are completely out of the water, as if they yearn for us to stay. To tell the truth, I wish I could!
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