Thursday, November 19, 2015

La Paz Sea Lions

Several of our dives from La Paz were at the sea lion colony. The sea lions here were much more playful than the ones at Loreto. The young ones came down and tugged on your fins and chewed on your fist like puppies.

sea lions

It was funny seeing the sea lions watching us from the surface, deciding whether to come down and check us out.

sea lions

The sea lions seemed to ignore the schools of small fish, but presumably that's different when they're feeding rather than playing.

sea lions & school of fish

Part of what makes diving unique is being in a 3D environment for a change. I can't count the number of times I've spun around looking for Shelley and started to panic that she's gone, only to find she's just above or below at an unexpected angle. Lots of "blind spots" in 3D! Similarly, the sea lions would usually appear out of nowhere.

sea lion

It's the smaller juveniles and females that you interact with. The males are huge and a little scary. Occasionally one would cruise by to make sure we weren't trying to steal their women.

sea lion in school of fish

Our dive guide, Maria, had visited the sea lions many times and was an old hand at playing with them. She knew what to do to attract and play with them.

Maria playing with sea lion

On the other hand, they seemed to know Shelley was new at this game and liked to sneak up on her and grab her fin.

sea lion playing

One of the advantages of camping was that we got to the popular dive sites (like the sea lions) before the people coming from La Paz. We didn’t realize how many other dive boats had arrived while we were diving. The three of us were in a tiny “cave” with some sea lions when a big group of other divers arrived and proceeded to try to fit themselves in with us. Needless to say, we moved on!

Shelley took some great video of the sea lions

Shelley & sea lion

For more photos, see all 16 photos as a slideshow or overview

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