Monday, December 7, 2009

Kings, Protectors, and Babies of the Sea

In Los Islotes, Espiritu Santo National Park, there's an experience that you would never forget. Up the coast of the Baja, on the side that's in the Gulf of California, there are many different places where you can see sea lions. But at the one in Los Islotes, a sea lion rookery, or breeding ground and home, you can swim with these graceful swimmers.

The male, big and black, are like the kings. We rode in the kayak into a cave, and were about to go in when one of those "kings" swam up to us barking-in other words, telling us to get out of his "castle".

The females, smaller than the males and tan, are very protective of their babies. My mom and dad were kayaking and got too close. A female came up and swam between the pups and my parents, barking, until they piffled away. A few days ago, a woman was swimming too close and wouldn't swim away, so a female bit, not to hurt her, but to drag her away.

Pups, smaller than females, are like real babies-they LOVE to play and chew on chew toys (a.k.a. snorkel fins and kayak paddles). My dad and I were swimming, and I was beginning not to feel as scared as I had before, when all the pups came out to play, bit dad's flipper at least 20 times and chewed on my mom's paddle. One even climbed on my dad's shoulder, until I made a quick movement and it swam away. This is probably why my mom preferred to be in the kayak. Okay, you made me admit it. I got really scared again.

So, if you ever had a choice, I really hope you decide to come and visit the kings, protectors, and babies of the sea, living in their own version of a castle. You'd all enjoy it. I know I did!


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  1. Danielle - WOW, I am blown away both by your experience and by your writing!
    I don't know how you all had the guts to swim among the sea lions - I sure hope you had had previous knowledge about this. Did you manage to touch any of them? Where was Hus in all of this - there is no mention of him?
    And your writing is also unbelieveable - such vivid descriptions, explanations and great story telling. Experiencing something on your own seems to make it easier to relate. I felt like I was witnessing you all on the spot.
    I loved reading this. It was exciting, thrilling and easy to imagine. Keep it up - I look forward to being with you soon...lots of love to you all...

  2. I wish I was on the plane right now to experience that with you!!
    I hope you are keeping your own diary of all your experiences - each one is more incredible than the one before!!
    I can't wait for Hailey and Marlee (and Russell too) to read it when they come home from school today.
    Keep up the great writing - I would give you an A on that one forsure.
    Lots of Hugs and Kisses from the Mandels.

  3. What an experience!! You are BRAVE & I'm very impressed. I don't know if I could do it-I would probably stay with your Mom. I am learning so much from you because you are so descriptive-my imagination is busy! Did Harrison do the same activity?
    Keep those stories coming so we can share this incredable life. You guys are too amazing.
    Love you all. Hugs & kisses Bubie