California Sea Lions

San Francisco’s Pier 39 is a destination for everyone. As a local or a visitor, this is a great area to take a stroll, have lunch and experience a bit of nature along the Pacific Coast.

I was recently in San Francisco and although I have been many times, I decided to spend more time at time at the wharf.  This was my first time back at the Fisherman’s Wharf in 10 years.  I spent a few hours here, checking out the stores, walking along the pier and of course gazing at the sea lions at Pier 39.

The famous sea lions will always have a home at Pier 39.  Since the earthquake in 1989, sea lions arrived in San Francisco and docked themselves here and by 1990 they had claimed the site as their own.  With goodwill, the Marina Staff sought the advice of the Marine Mammal Center and after extensive research it was concluded that these sea lion be welcomed in their newfound home.

A few facts on California sea lions:

  • Intelligent, playful, and have a very noisy bark
  • They can bite, so do no provoke them
  • Male sea lions can be as large at 7ft weighing in at 850 lbs and the Females can reach 6 ft in length and 220 lbs.
  • Sea lion have external ear flap and seal do not
  • You can find Sea lions across the Pacific Coast, including Vancouver, BC
  • In California the Marine Mammal Protection Act has made it illegal to for visitors to feed or harass the sea lions

 

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Visit the local shops and restaurants. My favourite store was the The Spice & Tea Exchange.
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The population of sea lions vary depending on the time of year. It looks like there were about hundred on this day, but there can be thousands at times.

 

Have you been to Pier 39?  How was your experience?

 

See Penguins for Free

If you are looking for a place to see penguins in Melbourne and you don’t have time to head out to Phillip Island, I highly recommend visiting St.Kilda beach in the evening.  Just as the sun was setting, the penguins were swimming back to the pier after their day of fishing.  Fortunately, these penguins come out every night in Melbourne, so you should be able to see them no matter what time of year you are there.

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You’ll see this sign as you approach the pier along with more signage to give you more history on St.Kilda beach.
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Everyone waiting patiently for the penguins to swim back to their home along the pier.
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Beautiful view as we watch the sun set.
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After the sunsets, the penguins run across from one breakwater to the next.  The Environmental staff along the pier enforce that visitor keep their camera flash off as it is harmful for the penguins.  For the safety of the penguins moving along their territory, the staff will shine a red light that will not frighten the penguins and also help us humans get out of their way.

 

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