Sunday, March 25, 2012

Sea Lion Caves 2012-03-25

Today we ended up at the Sea Lion Caves.

They're on the Oregon coast, underneath about 180 feet of basalt cliff.  If I'm remembering the signs correctly, the sea lions we saw were mostly cows and calves.  The bulls hadn't come back yet, or were too busy somewhere else figuring out how to get a herd of cows for later in the spring.

These sea lions were mostly keeping out of the rain and the storm (and earlier in the week the snow) that was outside the cave.

I'm trying to remember when I was in the caves last.  I have a hazy memory of walking down a set of stairs that leads to a viewpoint now.  In any case, what these pictures don't convey is the smell, which was salty, sea lion poopy, and dead-fishy.  It sounds worse than it actually was; we got used to it quickly and it really wasn't all that bad (although I wouldn't want to eat a snack there).  The pictures also don't give a sense of the noise: the barking, the wailing, and occasional squeaking; and over everything the splashing of the breakers against the cave rocks.

The cave has been a sea lion hang-out for a very long time; a Captain Cox found this skeleton around 1880 (the head was stolen in the 1950's).

We stayed for a while, then went back up to the visitors' center to look at touristy gifts.  The whole set of photos is HERE
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