Caught in the Middle of the Hunting Sea Lions Today

Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013, Jenner, CA.

But first, I had to pick up my new fuel oil stove for my house.

I headed for Jenner to Kayak today, but on the way there, I spied the local gas guy coming down the road in his big delivery truck, so I turned around and went back to his place of business. He phoned yesterday and said my new larger fuel oil heating stove for the house had already come in. I said I’d try to catch him in the next few days, as he is in and out, like me.

He didn’t’ have the bill figured out yet, but he let me take the stove, so I took it home and headed back toward Jenner to Kayak, like I had planned. The stove would keep, eh. :O)

Right away, there was sea lion action right in front of me.

I arrived in Jenner around eleven in the morning and was putting my boat in the water, when there was a hell of a commotion, just behind me in the water. As I turned and looked, there was a big ol sea lion surfacing with a big fish in it’s mouth, jumping around, with some seagulls there too getting their share.

I grabbed the camera and tried to get a decent photo of this action. The sea lions move fast, and do most of there stuff under water. They come up for air, or to get a fish out of the reach of another sea lion and quickly submerge most of the time, so one has to be quick to get a photo of this action, and have a little luck too, as you just don’t know where they will come up next.

Below, is a photo of the sea lion eating a fish, as I was putting my boat into the water.

sealionfhish1

 

Another one of the sea lion with the fish, below.

sealionfish2

 

I got lucky and got one more, he moved around a lot in front of me, mostly under the water.

Below, the sea lion has a big fish in front of the visitors center at Jenner.

sealionfish

 

Seagulls get a piece of the action too.

You might have wondered what the seagulls where up to in the above photos? Fish scraps, of course. The sea lions and the seals are sloppy eaters when it comes to big fish, so there are a lot of little fish pieces, easy for the taking.

Below, the sea lion just submerged and the seagulls are going after some scrap fish pieces.

seagullseat

 

About that same time, I saw three more sea lions, leaping through the water across the river near Penny Island, headed up the river.

I pursued them in my kayak, up river.

I got in my boat and headed that way too. I saw a lot of water spray about a half mile up and a lot of hunting action taking place, and I paddled a little harder to catch up with them, but they kept moving further up the river, very actively.

And before I knew it, I was in the middle of the hunt.

I made it up to Paddy’s rock, before I caught up with a bunch of them. Before I knew it, I was in the middle of a pack of about six of them. They were hunting vigorously, leaping though the water, like porpoises do. I was a little concerned as they are such big guys and could do damage without trying too hard, and if they wanted to do damage to me, I would be in deep shit as they say. :O) All I had was a paddle for protection.

Jumping lizards, I mean sea lions.

As it was, my nearest call was when one was hunting and heading toward me, leaping though the water, as it got to about twenty feet from me, headed right for me, during it’s leap, it spied me and turned to my right in the air, making for an interesting dive right in front of me. He obviously didn’t want to run into me. That’s good. :O) They hunted all around me for about a half hour, then disappeared. I saw a lot of action, but didn’t get any of this in any of the photo’s, they just move to fast when on the surface. But it was quite exciting.

A biologist comes by for a visit.

Below, is a picture of the area where all the sea lions where hunting around me, looking back to Jenner. To the right, if you look closely, you can see a biologist coming toward me in his boat.

Click the picture to enlarge it.

Jenner

 

When the biologist pulled up, I knew him,  so we shot the bull for a bit, talking mostly about sea lions and fish.

The sea lions continue to hunt.

The sea lions came back a couple more times, but nothing like they hunted the area just before.

It was real nice out, sunny and just a very light breeze. Time to head down toward the river’s mouth to see what’s up down there, so down the river I headed.

Most of the ducks where taking it easy today.

Just above Penny Island, I spotted these female Merganser ducks on a old redwood log submerged in the water, see below.

mergansers

 

Just taking my time, enjoying the day.

Continuing on my way down the back side of the island, slowly making my way, stopping here and there, just to watch what was going on and before I knew it, I was almost at the mouth.

Below, is what the mouth area looked like today.

rivermouth

 

Ken comes in off of the ocean in his kayak.

I spied someone coming in the mouth of the river, from the ocean in a kayak, which looked like it might be Ken, so I paddle over to it and it was Ken. He has some experience going out into the ocean here and has the right gear for it. We shot the bull for awhile. I quizzed him on whether the sea lions were out in front of the river’s mouth, in the ocean. He confirmed that there were a lot of them out there fishing for fish. Said a lot of them were very curious about him and would come over just to check him out. They are curious, if they aren’t too busy hunting as I’ve had them come up to me and just stick there head in the air and really check me out too before, from about six feet away. They are big guys and don’t fear a lot.

Except for the sea lions, it was peaceful at the river’s mouth.

In the picture below of the river’s mouth, looking out toward the ocean, you can see Ken in his kayak to the far left.

ken

 

Most of the harbor seals were taking it easy on the beach.

There were lots of harbor seals and birds on the beach at the river’s mouth, as you can see in the picture below.

sealsandbirds

 

I stayed down at the river’s mouth area for about an hour. There were still sea lions hunting around the area on and off and some harbor seals hunting too.

John comes by in his kayak for a visit.

After a while, I headed back toward the visitor’s center to get out of the water, but on the way, I ran into John, who lives in a house right down there. He was in his little red kayak. John picks up a lot of the trash down around the area, so I shot the bull with him for awhile, as he followed me back a ways,. Seems he had car brake light problems he got a ticket for and needed some repair info to try and fix it himself. My camera batteries had run out on me just a bit earlier and I missed some close up shots of sea lions hunting by me.

Checking out my new heating stove for my house.

I was off the water by three today, a bit early, but I wanted to get home and check out my new heating stove and also put my new brake light switch in my van.

The new stove is bigger than my old new one that was too small. It looks like the exhaust pipes are the same, so I should be able to just install it without too much trouble.  The smaller new stove just wasn’t’ big enough to heat my house, so I had to buy a larger one. I decided to keep the smaller one, as it would go well in one of my back rooms. I’ll just put it back in the box for now and shove it in said back room for later consideration.

And the van brake light got fixed too.

The brake light switch for my van installed with no problem, but when I checked to see if the brakes where on, only the right light was working. I took the left light apart and determined that it had power, but the solder nub on the blub was not hitting the other one in the socket. Had to get the soldering gun out and solder some new solder on that puppy and it was good to go.

Had another great day today.

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