Isla El Racito Sea Lions – 3/9/2020

We sailed a couple of hours north and headed into Ensenada el Pescador where we eagerly looked around for the large sea lion colony which the guidebook said was located south of Punta el Pescador (Bay of Fishermen).  We dinghied around Isla El Pescador and around the point but couldn’t find any sea lions. 

The kids decided to swim to Isla El Pescador (Fishermen Island) to explore and while they were there Andrew talked to one of the Panga boats who told him the seals were south at Isla El Racito.  Mark, Julie, Andrew and I decided to see if we could find the sea lion colony.  It didn’t take long to find the low-lying rocky island covered in sea lions and birds.  As we approached the many large males barked at our presence, but also eagerly entered the water with the females and juveniles to see what we were up to. 

We donned our snorkel gear and slipped into the water, wondering if we would be welcomed or not.  We were very quickly greeted by our inquisitive friends who glided past us, while the ever-present males occasionally chased them off if they got too close or we did.

The great thing about the location is that it is so shallow you are in at the most 2 metres of water and at times less than a metre.  It was amazing.  We decided to return to our boats to gather the kids and bring them for a snorkel.

While Max and Ava have generally not wanted to snorkel with the seals, the fact that the Love and Luck girls and Tristan were going was enough to sway them to as well.  We gathered all our gear and loaded up the dinghy tied on to Love and Luck who motored and anchored close to the sea lions.  Andrew bought a dive tank with a regulator.  Tristan and I put on dive belts and sat at the bottom with the tanks and regulators hoping the sea lions would approach us, unfortunately you really need the whole BCD for it to work and we spent most of our time clutching large stones to weigh ourselves down.  We quickly gave up on that and opted to just snorkel with them instead. 

I had researched that sea lions are more interactive if you spin and twist and turn in the water, Julie had told the kids this and it was quite funny to watch them all somersaulting and spinning in the water.  I watched Ava hanging upside down and a nearby sea lion did the same thing.  The kids found one sea lion with a scar on her face who quite happily came close to the kids for a better look.  The was one very large male who had obviously not done so well in a fight and had an injured tail flipper which he seemed to be keeping out of the water and laying very low

Eventually we returned to Love and Luck for a motor back with lots of excited chatter about our fantastic time with the sea lions.

Before heading to the Bay of LA in the morning, Julie and I tried to find the pathway between the two bays, on a morning walk.  The walk wasn’t so exciting, but we did have a beautiful sunrise with the dark clouds looming above.  The photo was not so great.

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