Half Moon Bay, CA - Pillar Point RV Park - Sea Lion Pays A Visit

by Pamela Hamilton on 04/24/2014, 12:34 PM

Categories: Park Happenings - Photo Album - PAMELA'S POSTS
Tags: half moon bay , pillar point rv park , pillar point , sea lion , rv park in half moon bay , half moon bay rv park , harbor seal , seal on the jetty , the marine mammal center , sausalito

While we have been seeing a lot of sea lions playing and feeding in the bay in front of Pillar Point RV Park lately, it's not often, in fact pretty rare, that one of them will hop out of the water and rest on the rocky jetty right in front of us.

We were lucky today to be able to see one of those sea lions who have been swimming around out in the bay.   Quite a few of us were out there taking photos and the sea lion seemed to pose and look stately for the cameras.   Soon, he was tired and just lay on the rocks and we all went away.  He blends so well into the rocks, that you would miss him if you didn't know he was there! 

If you look closely by the flippers, you'll notice an orange tag.   That tag means this animal has been rescued before by the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, California and has been either rehabilitated and released or relocated from another area.    The center takes care of sea mammals along a 600 mile area of the northern and central California coast.   Since 1975 they have rescued over 18,000 animals.    According to their website, each year they respond to approximately 600-800 marine mammals that are malnourished, prematurely separated from their mothers, shark bite victims, entangled in marine debris or suffering from illnesses.

UPDATE:  A volunteer from the Marine Mammal Center came out to see the sea lion.  According to the records at the center that correlated with the numbers on his tag, his name is "Slam-Bam"...he is a fine, big, healthy sea lion, but he was brought into the Marine Center after suffering seizures from eating fish with high level of domoic acid. The toxin begins as algae that are eaten by smaller species, who are eaten by bigger fish and by the time a sea lion consumes a larger fish, the toxin has increased to the point where it causes memory loss and seizures.   It also happens to people, so that's why there are times of the year, when the algae is in bloom, that certain seafood from those areas are banned from consumption.  Slam-Bam was treated and released just two weeks ago on the Sausalito side of the Golden Gate Bridge and now, here he is!   The volunteer thinks he's going to be fine, he's probably just resting after a big night of fishing. 

FYI: When the center tags mammals, males are tagged on the left...females on the right...because as the saying goes, females are always right...lol

Report a Distressed Marine Mammal (415) 289-SEAL

The Marine Mammal Center is open  for free seven days a week 10am-5pm for visitors and school groups.   From Pillar Point RV Park, Sausalito is a quick trip across the Golden Gate Bridge and you're there.

Driving Directions:  http://www.marinemammalcenter.org/visiting-us/directions.html#.U1lKf1f74f4

Or, you may take a Ferry ride across the bay.  Here is the Sausalito Ferry Schedule: http://goldengateferry.org/schedules/Sausalito.php

When you visit the Marine Mammal Center, here's what you'll see:

February to May:
Pupping season! You’ll see northern elephant seals and California sea lions. Harbor seal pups are not on view because they are very fragile and sensitive to human disturbances.

June to October:
Sea Lion season with some of the last northern elephant seals and harbor seal pups from the spring getting ready to return to the wild.

November to January:
The quieter season on the animal front, but the weather is glorious so some for a tour and get some early holiday shopping in their eco-minded gift store.

Here's an interesting video showing the group perform a rescue on a sea lion who got tangled up in some fishing line.   

While we are located near Pillar Point Harbor, not all seals in the Harbor are called Harbor Seals! I just learned that today!  (Take no mind of the color of my hair!)  Here is a short video showing the difference between sea lions and harbor seals....both of which can be seen in this area whether they are in the harbor or not...lol