Thursday, December 27, 2012

Excuse me, pardon me

I was browsing through pictures I had taken during our 2008 family vacation in the Galapagos when I came across our close encounter with a sea lion pup at Puerto Egas on Isla Santiago. We had been up close with California sea lions before this trip: both Gayle and Rachel had volunteered at a marine mammal care center rehabbing injured or ill marine mammals (sea lions and seals) back to health before releasing them back to the wild, and we all got to photograph the mammals in their pens as they recovered. So being close like this was nothing new to us. But seeing them in their natural environment was quite different from visiting them in a concrete pen.

Anyway, we made a wet landing at Puerto Egas and then walked a trail that led to some of the discarded mining equipment and buildings that still remain from the mining days. We walked over lava beds that were interrupted by stretches of gravelly beach to see pups dozing in the warm equatorial sun:

Everyone loves photographing sea lion pups


When we crossed one lava bed and stepped onto a gravel beach, our naturalist had us pause because there was a sea lion pup just to the left of our group, lying under the shade of lava flow and just a few feet away. The pup then got up and began walking over in our direction:

A sea lion pup approaches our group

But then before it reached it plopped back on the gravel:



We stepped around it so that we wouldn't block its path to the beach. But the pup was in no hurry to leave:


After a few moments it began to move off:


Next to a pool of water it stopped to scratch itself:



When we last saw the pup it was headed towards the beach:


I wonder if this pup is still around.

(Shot with the Nikon D300 using the 18-200mm VR zoom; program mode; auto white balance; normal JPG.)


  1. What a cool encounter! Everyone must have been enchanted by him or her. You got some fantastic pictures!

    1. other than leaving the animals alone while you're hiking, you can get pretty close to them. they're not afraid of people, which is a good and bad thing.