Monday, January 26, 2009

Elephant Seals at Piedras Blancas

On our drive down the along Highway 1, fairly close to Hearst Castle at San Simeon, we stopped at this breeding area called Piedras Blancas to see the elephant seals. The seals are only there twice a year to breed and raise their young so we were lucky that our timing was right. Hundreds of seals were on this stretch of beach. They would flip sand up on their backs to protect themselves from the effects of the sun on their skin.

This was my favorite photo, of the dad elephant seal putting his fin around the mom with the baby close by. So precious :-)

It is hilarious to watch the dad's "run" along the beach. They can move really fast, considering their large body mass, but it was only for a short distance and then they would completely flop on the ground, totally exhausted. They would rest for several minutes and then do it again. It was great entertainment. They make the most interesting sounds- the males would throw back their heads (and long noses) and let out these screams. Sadly, my camera battery was nearly dead so I wasn't able to get video.

We watched them until the sun set, with this lone seal out near the water.

1 comment:

Dyan said...

How fun! I can't believe how many seals are on the beach.