I used to have a picture of a sea lion as my computer wallpaper which I always wanted to pull right out of the photo and give a good squeeze. It was just the cutest thing. And then possibly we’d cuddle up and watch Free Willy while enjoying some fish sticks and chatting about how much more friendly I was than most humans.
Ha. Little did I know.
Today our group of exchange students went on a tour of las Islas Palominas, and the pièce de resistánce (go go gadget high school vocab!) was a swim in the frigid water with the sea lions. I signed right up of course, picturing some kind of playful frolic like they put on at Sea World with the dolphins.
But let me tell you, it was more like being circled by a pack of hungry, barking wolves who were only held back because they weren’t sure if we were edible. It’s totally no coincidence that they are called “sea wolves” in Spanish.
They. Were. Ugly. Mouths of yellow, crooked teeth and big bug eyes. There were those who still held that they were cute, but since this is my blog, I have veto power. Definitely ugly. And they stunk so much that on the boat they were offering us cotton with alcohol to breathe through. Their calls were deep, throaty things that sounded either like cries of alarm or old men telling you to get off their lawn. Occasionally they would dart through the pack of us slightly bumping your foot or emerging right next to your head.
It was one of the COOLEST most EXHILARATING things I’ve ever done. I say, add it to the bucket list, my friends.
Of course, that doesn’t mean I’m going to be jumping right in to do it again next semester.
(left)The boat that took us to the other boat.
(right)It would have been easier if the sun was out.
(left) They await us. (right) Confession: I was scared silly, but I knew they camera was on me, so I smiled.
(left) I'm...one of these two.
(right) Beth and I after squeezing out of the wetsuits.
(left) Champion and his side-kick Juan.
(right)I pretend I'm cool sometimes.